STRUGGLING Keighley faced a tricky away clash at Goole in Yorkshire One. They should have won on the day, but were even denied the consolation of a draw by conceding a 94th minute try to lose 20-13.

Goole had first use of the gale force wind, but they preferred to drive up field with their big forwards and speedy backs and were able to camp in the Keighley half in the early stages.

The hosts’ flyhalf kicked two penalties to give them a 6-0 lead after 12 minutes. Against the wind, Keighley’s only option was to drive the ball away from their own line, and the whole pack were magnificent in doing this.

But Goole relieved the pressure with a box kick, which was misfielded to give the hosts an attacking lineout. Pinned on their own line, the Keighley forwards were driving away when the ball was robbed in the tackle.

It was quickly passed left for the winger to touch down by the posts. An easy conversion gave the home side a 13-0 lead.

From a Keighley scrum around 10 minutes later, Rich Tillotson linked up with Sean Kelly to put right winger Alan Ebbrell away.

Further pressure saw Keighley camped on the home line and when the ball was moved left, co-captain Adam Horsfall, making his first start of the season, drove over in the corner for a well deserved try. Oli Mitchell’s on target conversion was blown wide.

Keighley held out for the remaining 10 minutes of the half to turn round with the wind at their backs and the hope of an unexpected victory.

They put on some sustained pressure and Mitchell scored a penalty six minutes after the break to further increase hope of a victory, but then a kick to put them within two went just wide.

Keighley soon found themselves camped in the home 22 again but a wild pass out to the backs resulted in Goole clearing their lines.

But some more driving runs from both forwards and backs came. Eventually the pressure told, when the ball was moved quickly left for Horsfall to race 20 metres unopposed to score in the corner. It was too far out for Mitchell to convert.

With the score at 13-13 and only one minute left, it looked like a draw would be the final score but play continued, for a long, long time.

A good break by Kelly took play into Goole’s half but they were able to drive back up field with their heavy forwards.

It was all Goole now as they trundled towards the line, but a series of penalties allowed Ebbrell to clear away to the opposing 22.

A rolling maul gave Keighley a sniff of another score but the wrong option was taken and the ball was lost to Goole in midfield. A good inside pass led to a break by their second row, which laid siege to the Keighley line.

Eventually, the pressure told and Goole scored a forwards try in the 54th minute of the second half. Their fly-half converted off the crossbar, with the last kick of the match.

Keighley had their opportunities to win but a draw seemed a fair result until the final blow.

The performance did not deserve Keighley dropping into the relegation zone, but that level of play now needs to be maintained for another difficult game at eighth-placed Selby next week.