A DIFFICULT afternoon for Keighley saw them slump to a 44-14 defeat at West Leeds in Yorkshire One and drop to third-bottom in the process.

Although they played reasonably well, they were outgunned by a well-balanced home side.

The initial stages of the game were a stalemate but then the big West Leeds forwards began to make good ground down the middle of the field. The pressure told and a penalty for full back Rian Hoey opened the hosts’ account.

They repeated the treatment a few minutes later. Taking play into Keighley’s 22, outside half Cam Breakwell found hooker Lewis Bromley on the charge and a try under the posts resulted, converted by Hoey.

Keighley struck back and a well-worked back move gave Sean Kelly chance to attack the defence at pace. He got a well earned try near the posts, converted by winger Jack Ackroyd.

Once again, Leeds stuck to their successful formula of the forwards making short, well-supported drives, before moving the play wide with quick ball when the defence narrowed.

Keighley were soon caught offside and a further penalty for Hoey increased the hosts’ lead.

The visitors rallied, but wanting to run the ball out from deep, against a quick defence, saw them play into the opposition’s hands.

Just before half-time, Keighley were exposed out wide, leading to tries for the Leeds wingers James Myerscough and veteran ex rugby league international Mark Calderwood. Hoey added one of the conversions.

Keighley were trapped in their own half straight after the break. The initial attacking drives were defended well, until a gap appeared wide out and scrum half Jamie Cocking snuck through to score.

After a pacy Keighley attack in midfield broke down, the hosts broke out of defence and that eventually led to a converted try for prop Duane Smith.

Keighley continued with their attacking intent and moved deep into West Leeds territory.

A pressured attempt at a clearance kick by the home side was charged down by Keighley’s centre Alan Ebbrell, and a score under the posts was converted by Jack Atkinson.

West Leeds had the final say when they pushed a five metre scrum over the Keighley line, with the try claimed by replacement number eight John Marshall. That was converted by Hoey.

Keighley battled hard and had chances, but a lack of positional awareness and game management let them down at times, giving West Leeds a flattering victory. They move up to fifth as a result.