Keighley 31 Huddersfield YMCA 17 - Keighley took a long step on the road to re-habilitation with an impressive and crucial victory.

It was the side's first league success of the season and hopefully will herald the start of a winning run.

The visitor's bulky pack made little impression on the more skilful and fitter Keighley eight. Props Evan Griffin and Mark Smith laid the foundations with some solid scrummaging and robust work in the loose play, but the back row of Michael Feather, Rob Ellis and Leigh Sugden was the major influence on the game. Ellis in particular, in his first outing of the season, was outstanding both in attack and defence and was rewarded with his first try at senior level when he supported a break by centre Nigel Curr to cross for the second try.

It was never easy for the Keighley side however. An elementary mistake straight from the kick off led to intense pressure on their line. But they defended doggedly and were relieved to escape with only a penalty goal by Huddersfield flanker Chris Wilson to count against them.

Matthew Cox soon equalised and then gave Keighley the lead with a brace of penalty goals as the Keighley pack warmed to the occasion. Mid way through the first half a tremendous forward drive gained 20 metres before the ball was released to the backs and a delayed pass by Johnny Harrison and an angled run at pace onto the ball by Cox allowed him to burst through the defence for a top class try which he also converted.

At this stage, Keighley were well on top with backs and forwards looking sharp and eager. A long run by Ellis out of defence set them on the attack again culminating with Ellis' well taken try, leaving Keighley apparently in control with a half time lead of 18 points to 3.

Huddersfield threatened to turn the tables early in the second half. The previously shaky handling of their backs improved sufficiently to allow New Zealand Mav Iosefa to show his potential with a slick break leading to a try for stand off David Rees converted by Wilson and almost from the re-start Rees latched onto a loose ball to dash over unopposed from 50 metres out, Wilson's conversion reducing Keighley's lead to a single point.

Suddenly the result was in the balance but the Keighley pack dug deep on its resources. Forwards and backs tackled fiercely and play was halted regularly as a succession of Huddersfield players received attention and at the same time tried to refill their lungs.

The Utley men's fitness and determination paid a final dividend. Cox extended the lead with a penalty goal and the evergreen Harrison snapped up a stray pass to scuttle over from 20 metres for the decisive score. Cox capped a fine individual performance with the conversion before landing a last minute penalty goal to bring his points haul on the day to 21.

With one or two injury doubts, coach Jeff Inman has yet to finalise the starting line up for Saturday's visit to Bradford Salem. Michael Feather is unavailable but prop Paul Sinfield is named in the squad.