Yorkshire One: Heath 36 Keighley 13

KEIGHLEY’S run of four bonus-point wins came to an abrupt end at the hands of promotion-seeking Halifax side Heath.

The heavy conditions assisted the hosts whose juggernaut pack dominated from the start.

The loss of centre Adam Horsfall with a shoulder injury after five minutes did not help Keighley’s cause. While he received treatment on the field the home side’s forward power brought a try from close range for prop Chris Moore to open the scoring.

Keighley were soon back on level terms when a cross kick by stand-off Alex Brown was skilfully controlled by wingman Joe Copperwaite who hacked on and won the chase to touch down.

A penalty goal by Brown briefly edged Keighley ahead, but it was a false dawn as the home pack ground relentlessly forward. In spite of the strenuous efforts of back-row men Stuart Inman, Shaun Minikin and Tom Willson and some solid defence by centres Alfie Seeley and Sean Kelly, Keighley were unable to stem the flow.

Ezra Hinchcliffe tied the scores with a penalty goal before a rare flurry by the backs brought a try for wingman Callum Harriett-Brown improved by Hinchcliffe.

By half-time Heath’s dominant forward pressure brought further tries for Moore and stand-off Jack Crabtree, both converted by Hinchcliffe, extending the lead to an unassailable 29-8.

The second half was a more even contest with each side scoring a single try. While still unable to cope with Heath’s pack in the scrums, Keighley produced a more energetic effort in the loose play.

Their backs still lived on scraps and had few chances to show their skills. Seeley and the impressive Copperwaite briefly threatened a competent Heath defence but once more the ruthless home pack was decisive, No 8 Richard Brown touching down from a surging five-metre scrum with the reliable Hinchcliffe adding the conversion.

Keighley stuck gamely to their task. The heavyweight home forwards began to tire and their cause was hindered by a late yellow card.

A last-minute try for wingman Joe Sugden was small consolation for a comprehensive defeat by a good side.

Keighley face another high-riding side, Beverley, at Utley on Saturday (2.15pm).