Keighley 12 Heath 58

KEIGHLEY endured a torrid Friday evening under the lights, crashing to a heavy defeat in Yorkshire Division One.

Heath, with a bigger dominant pack, put Keighley to the sword.

In the early stage of the game both sides mixed it up, using both backs and forwards to probe for weakness.

Some Keighley attacks involving centre Sean Kelly and full-back Joe Copperwaite showed promise. However, Heath overall dominated the scrums and breakdown. Their forwards were able to cross the gain line which gave their backs quick ball with plenty of support.

Good hands and a stretched defence led to a try wide out for winger Luke Saltonstall.

Keighley managed a period of stability and gained good field position, unfortunately poor handling and composure let them down.

Heath, returning to the attack drove a lineout, and a try for their pack.

A little later a mess up at the back of a scrum gave Heath number eight Jordan Moana a chance to break free, and a quick pass and a try for scrum-half Michael Reynolds.

Keighley tried gamely to use the slow possession they were getting, but the loss of the ball in contact gave Heath chance to break out of defence and a try for centre Isaiah Spooner, converted by outside-half Dan Cole.

Near the half-time whistle scrum-half Lucas Uren capitalised on a driven line-out to sneak over for a deserved try, converted by Alex Brown.

In the second-half it was more of the same, forward pressure from Heath, long raking kicks into Keighley territory, pressure on the opposition ball and a second try for scrum-half Reynolds, converted by Cole.

There followed an extended period of intense pressure, Keighley forwards were continually forced onto the back foot, the backs were drawn in, leaving space, and two further tries, scored by Richard Brown and Cole, both converted by Cole.

Although Keighley tackled their hearts out and made some inroads based on good line-out work from Tom Wilson and Adam Kemp they were always under the cosh up front.

The pressure told once again and another three tries for Heath.

As a consolation in almost the last play of the match, speedy Keighley winger Josh Slingsby showed what he would have been capable of with more possession. He rounded the last defender to score in the corner.

A disappointing performance from Keighley, but in many respects only to be expected, in Yorkshire One, a particularly difficult and physical league, size matters.