Facing a trip to SSE Yorkshire Division One leaders Dinnington on Saturday, Keighley’s director of rugby Graeme Sheffield has admitted that their injury situation “has gone from bad to worse”.

He said: “Stuart Inman’s looks like a long-term injury. He has had a re-occurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for so long the season before last, while Luke Carter has badly hurt his AC (acromioclavicular) joint and could be out for three to four weeks, while Alex Brown also has a shoulder injury and could be out for two to three weeks.”

The experienced Dave Pullen is also unavailable this weekend but there is some good news in the return of Adam Horsfall in the backs after unavailability due to work and Josh Han-nah, who boosts the back row in Inman’s absence.

Nevertheless, there will still be a young thread running through the team thanks to players such as Olly Mitchell and Liam Everett.

The youth of the Keighley side will also be emphasised when compared to the ageing side put out by their hosts.

However, age should not be seen as a sign of weakness as Dinnington have won 17 of their 21 matches and have a five-point lead over second-placed Ilkley.

Sheffield called the 19-13 home defeat by Bridlington last Saturday “one that got away”. He added: “We were leading 13-12 and in complete control, only to give an interception pass on the halfway line right in front of our posts.

“We didn’t close the game out and maybe we aren’t used to being in that position.

“We got a bonus point – but so did Pontefract – and it reminded me of our defeat to Doncaster Phoenix in similar circumstances.”