Heath 34

Keighley 0

PLAYING on a soggy waterlogged pitch against the heavyweight Yorkshire One leaders, Keighley were up against it.

From the first whistle the visitors were put put under pressure. Good defence and the muddy pitch stalled a number of Heath’s attacking plays.

What possession Keighley had was trucked up the middle by the ever-reliable centre Sean Kelly.

However, the visitors were too often trapped in their own half and suffered a number of penalties.

The pressure told and following yet another penalty decision, a quick tap from Heath’s scrum-half Dom Walsh and some good interpassing gave number eight Alex Patrick the chance to cross in the corner.

Keighley responded well, they drove the play upfield and thought that they had scored at one stage only for the play to be brought back for an offside penalty against them.

Heath returned to the attack. Their progress was relatively easy given the constant penalties awarded in their favour at what seemed like every breakdown.

Heath’s muscular efforts were rewarded when good close support from the Heath backs brought about an overlap wide out and a try for winger Callum Harriott-Brown.

Heath were now well in control of the game, Keighley had a forward sin-binned which gave Heath the opportunity to drive a lineout maul over the line, the touch down claimed by captain Alex McFadden.

A little later good work from the backs gave prop Olly Cook the bonus-point try.

Keighley, although struggling in the scrums, started to put their game together, busy scrum-half Lucas Uren and his outside-half Rich Tillotson were constantly on the look-out for opportunities, ably backed up by a pack that was prepared to dog it out with the bigger Heath forwards. Unfortunately the good spell of possession and territorial gain came to nothing.

The second half was similar to the first, an arm wrestle up front with Heath gaining the majority of possession.

Keighley were put under pressure but their defence held out.

At the 50-minute mark one of the Heath players was red carded for a dangerous high tackle. Unfortunately for Keighley they were unable to take advantage due to a solid Heath defence and the deteriorating weather conditions.

The torrential rain and sleet meant the game became a muddy mid-field stalemate.

Although Keighley battled well and even crossed the opposition try-line the final pass was adjudged forward.

Heath, through rugged defence, managed to nullify the concerted Keighley efforts.

Towards the end of the game, with the light fading fast, Heath gained good territory and a second try for Cook.

This was followed by a hard-working try in the corner for full-back Eddie Cartwright. Both tries were converted by centre Ezra Hinchliffe.

This was a long difficult afternoon for a depleted Keighley, up against the strong efficient league leaders.

The festive break in the fixture list will hopefully give fourth-from-bottom Keighley the chance to recover and get back to winning ways. They return to action on Saturday, January 4 when they hosts ninth-placed Dinnington.