Keighley 5 Moortown 53

KEIGHLEY, with six first-team regulars missing mostly through injury, were always going to have problems against Yorkshire Division One promotion-chasing Moortown, and so it proved in a nine-try demolition.

A defence-splitting break down the middle led to an early try for Moortown's powerful number eight Muaiava Taulealo.

The pain continued with a quick follow-up try for winger Ged Innes, converted by centre Mark Shires.

A good supply of ball from their big forwards gave Moortown the chance to stretch Keighley out wide; a neat chip kick found Taulealo lurking on the wing and his second try, converted by Shires.

Keighley recovered from the shock and the pack began to operate, hard yards were gained by Josh Hannah, Shaun Minikin and Will Armitage.

Pressure in their 22-metre area forced Moortown into conceding a series of cynical penalties.

Keighley spurned the opportunity to kick for goal intent on the direct approach.

Apart from an opposition player yellow carded for persistent infringement of the laws Keighley had nothing to show for their efforts.

Moortown recovered their composure and swept upfield and a try for wing forward Muil, Shires added the conversion.

The second half was more of the same; a break from Taulealo and good backing up gave full-back Mark Greenwood the chance to cross wide out.

Once again Keighley responded, the back trio of Robert Wilkinson, Josh Donnelly and Gibson found gaps in the defence, eventually winger Josh Slingsby had enough space to go on one of his darting runs which gave the forwards a platform.

Good ball retention and hard driving play managed to force Hannah over the line for a well deserved try.

Moortown soon regained their dominance, and returned play to the wide open spaces.

They finished the game with a hat-trick try for Taulealo and three further tries and one conversion.

Although the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow, Keighley fought hard against a well balanced team used to winning.

Improvements in the scrum and line-out and their undoubted character should hopefully lead to success at some stage during the season.

The defeat sees Keighley remain rooted at the bottom of the table, three points adrift, with seven defeats from their opening eight league games.