Keighley 29

Guisborough 22

KEIGHLEY grabbed their first victory of the season in Yorkshire Division One with a narrow home success.

Neither side dominated any particular phase of play, and both were intent on moving the ball as quickly as possible.

Guisborough started well but were unable to break down a resolute defence.

Eventually Keighley broke upfield, wing forward Tom Willson made ground, full-back Alan Ebbrell drew the last man and speedy winger Josh Slingsby finished the move, Alex Brown converted.

Guisborough, through penalty awards and unintelligent kicking from Keighley, were gifted a lot of possession and thus field position. Eventually their forwards powered over on mass to score.

Gaining confidence, the visitors caused consternation when they managed to give their wingers Robson and Ferguson the ball and some space, both were quick and difficult to handle, only last-ditch tackling kept them at bay.

The pace of the game was such that defences became unstructured.

Keighley capitalised on this when Adam Horsfall powered his way through the middle, mobile prop Luke Currie dummied his way past a number of defenders to give winger Richard Tillotson the opportunity to race to the corner.

A little later Keighley after a muscular break by stalwart number eight Leigh Sugden broke away, Tom Wilson was stopped short, a quick ruck and quick thinking and a try under the posts for wing forward Shaun Minikin. Brown added the extras, he also kicked a penalty to increase the scoreline.

Towards the end of the half the visitors gained good field position and a series of pick and drives gave prop Rob Berriman a deserved score that was converted by outside half Sam Whyman.

Although Keighley started the second half with a 10-point lead, it was obvious from the outset that this might not be enough.

Guisborough, with full-back Phil Shields able to break out of defence with ease, were pressured and some crisp handling gave winger Mark Ferguson a try wide out.

Sensing a comeback Guisborough with the forwards gaining the upper hand began to dominate territory, only last-ditch tackling from full-back Alan Ebbrell and brave ground work from Luke Carter saved the day.

Weathering the storm, Keighley’s outside half Jake Duxbury began to assert himself, some excellent back play pressured defenders and both Tom Willson and Josh Slingsby came close to scoring.

Eventually, quick hands gave centre Sean Kelly the chance to step inside to score, converted by Brown.

Guisborough, who have five losing bonus points to show for their league season thus far, were never going to give in.

Some excellent interplay gave back row forward Liam Cochoran a try wide out.

Nerves began to show as the visitors forwards took the direct route up the middle, when the ball was moved wide winger Lewis Robson danced around two defenders. Unfortunately with the line at his mercy he was adjudged by the Guisborough touch judge to have had a foot in touch. Keighley were relieved to win the line-out and finish the game.

Keighley face a difficult task, away to Middlesbrough on Saturday.