Beverley 27

Keighley 12

KEIGHLEY, with availability and injury problems, were forced to field a weakened teams against Beverley, a team in the top strata of Yorkshire Division One.

On a grim wet day, both teams struggled to put together any coherent rugby.

The first 20 minutes or so were littered with handling errors that led to a stop start game.

Eventually the stalemate was broken when a Beverley scrum deep in Keighley territory led to some quick hands and a try for winger Steve Payne, who went in at the corner.

Keighley, outgunned by a much bigger pack, did well under the circumstances.

Centres Sean Kelly and Rich Tillotson worked well off the slick handling of outside-half Grayson Tihema, but a wet pitch and a well organised defence was always going to be a deciding factor.

Third-placed Beverley, using their bigger forwards to full advantage, pinned Keighley into their own half.

Sustained pressure and a darting run from the scrum-half Rob Smith gave wing forward Lewis Szrama the chance to crash over the line. Captain and fly-half Phil Duboulay landed the conversion.

Keighley started the second half with a great deal of determination, number eight Will McLaughlin and the forwards managed to gain good possession and field positions.

Unfortunately, their efforts were wasted through poor handling and execution. Breaking out of a deep defensive position, Beverley full-back Luke Hazel broke through some weak defence to score.

Once again Keighley raised their game, a loose kick was snapped up by Tihema, who raced 50 yards to score in the corner.

Keighley, maintaining their impetus gained a scrum deep in the opposition territory, stable ball at the back gave replacement scrum-half Alan Ebbrell the opportunity he needed, breaking wide he crashed over near the posts, full back Olly Mitchell added the conversion.

Beverley, stung into action, raised the tempo of the game, the pressure led to an offside and a penalty from Duboulay.

With the light and the match time fading, Douboulay, in the last play of the match, managed to weave his way through defenders to score a bonus-point try, he also added the conversion.

On the day Beverley with their big pack and strong defence deserved their win. Keighley though to their credit made them work hard.

Danny McGee's Keighley are fourth-from-bottom in Yorkshire Division One with 19 points from 11 games. The defeat at Beverley was Keighley's seventh loss of the campaign so far.

They have a break from league action this weekend and will next be in action when they host rock bottom Hullensians on Saturday, December 7.

Keighley will wrap up their action for 2019 before their Christmas break seven days later when they travel to leaders Heath.

Keighley: Gibson, Hampson, Smith, Cunliffe, Uren, Lawrie, McLaughlin, Willson, Marshall, Tihema, Kelly, Tillotson, Ebbrell, Mitchell, Atkinson. Substitutes: Heys, Bell, Pickles.