Keighley 25 Knottingley 21 - Keighley made heavy work of their Yorkshire Shield tie with visitors Knottingley, providing their spectators with plenty of anxious moments before securing victory late in the game.

There was little in the early stages to indicate the eventual closeness of the match, with Keighley soon building up a twelve point lead though tries by centre Dale Towler after a quickly taken tapped penalty by Willie Hafu and then by Hafu himself after a penetrating run by full back Jonathan Hargreaves, who also added the conversion.

In the meantime Knottingley full back Stansfield had badly missed a brace of penalty goal chances, without his side otherwise posing much of a threat. Keighley's impressive form the previous week at Selby deserted them, and the visitor's inferior league status often belied their spirit and adventure. Both sides were guilty of a stream of unforced errors, but Knottingley's big forwards secured plenty of possession that allowed them gradually to gain the initiative and to drive play to the Keighley line. The grip was tightened and wingman Turton forced his way over from a blind side move. Stansfield's conversation from wide out, followed by a penalty goal reduced the lead to two points, until Hargreaves added a penalty goal to ease the pressure before half time.

A penalty goal by Stansfield early in the second half brought renewed vigour to the visitors and they took advantage of a Keighley handling error to launch a quick counter attack which ended with wingman Seed crossing in the corner, pushing them into the lead for the first time.

An upset was, at this stage, very much on the cards. Keighley were unable to establish any prolonged dominance up front and, in the face of a keen defence, seldom threatened to cut loose in the backs. They were finally rescued, not for the first time this season, by the irrepressible Willie Hafu, who shook off several tacklers before dashing twenty metres to the line for a fine solo try, converted by Hargreaves to regain the lead. This was soon pegged back when Stansfield landed his third penalty goal, reducing Keighley's advantage to a single point, before Hargreaves sealed the issue late in the game with another penalty goal.

It was a close call and Keighley's erratic form will be a concern to coach Tim Brunskill. The injured Kevin Young and Leigh Sugden were badly missed, but there was often a general air of complacency about the side's play which was more worrying.

On the credit side, however, was the impressive line out work of Duncan Walsh and Morgan Bailey and the sound performance at scrum half by colt Brady Godfrey. Young second row forward Robert Clarke made a late debut appearance in testing circumstances and did little wrong. His time will come.

In the meantime, Keighley must focus on Saturday's home league fixture against Old Brodleians, who will be keen to avenge a defeat at Hipperholme in October. If the Utley men can re-capture the form they showed on that occasion all should be well.

Kevin Young (centre) and Scott Amos (scrum half) return to the starting line up and Leigh Sugden returns to the back row.