Experience is key as Keighley in box seat after Brid's points loss

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Graeme Sheffield says that Keighley will be looking to their more experienced players, such as Dave Pullen. Picture: Charlie Perry Graeme Sheffield says that Keighley will be looking to their more experienced players, such as Dave Pullen. Picture: Charlie Perry

Keighley director of rugby Graeme Sheffield wants his experienced players to take the lead now their promotion play-off bid is in their own hands.

Two wins from their final two games will secure the Rose Cottagers second place in SSE Yorkshire Division One following news that rivals Bridlington have been deducted five points after a breach of rules.

The East Yorkshire side were punished after failing to replace an injured front-row prop on the first occasion in a game against Dinnington back in January, which led to uncontested scrums.

The deduction, combined with a run of four straight victories by Keighley and a shock defeat to Pontefract for fellow contenders Driffield, has put the Utley side in the box seat.

But Sheffield acknowledged that his side still have it all to do ahead of games against Dinnington at home on Saturday and Knottingley away the following week.

He said: “There is still a lot of hard work to do.

“We’ve not been playing particularly well at home or away of late but we’ve still been getting results.

“Now the pressure is on us and we have some players who will be nervous as they are young men.

“We will really be looking to stalwarts like Danny McGee, Leigh Sugden and Dave Pullen to use every little bit of experience they can to help us through.”

Dinnington are bottom of the table but only lost 14-11 at home to Bridlington in the replayed match between the sides last week, and Sheffield insisted they would not be taking them lightly.

He said: “Dinnington are a different side at home but they did travel to North Ribblesdale and got a result there. We will be giving them the utmost respect.”

Keighley (85) are two points clear of third-placed Driffield (83), with Bridlington (77) fourth with a game in hand.

Keighley’s superior playing record (percentage of points gained out of total number available) to Driffield mean they would come above them if they finish level on points.

That means two four-point wins would be enough for Keighley as that would put them above Driffield if the sides finish level on points, the Rose Cottagers having won more games.

Keighley (home to Dinnington): D McGee; A Horsfall, D Price, M Ferrazzano, B Blackwell; A Brown, L Uren; C Spencer, W Armitage, G Fletcher, I Buckley, J Hannah, S Inman, S Dyson, L Sugden, Replacements: D Pullen, O Sugden, D Lester.

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