KEIGHLEY’S head coach Dan McGee is at a loss to explain the poor away form of virtually everyone in Yorkshire One, and will hope the fact that his side are at home to leaders Old Brodleians on Saturday could help them spring a shock result.

Keighley have won five of their nine home league games, but just one away win all season is a major reason why they currently sit second-bottom. Not a single team in Yorkshire One boasts a better record on the road than they do on home turf.

McGee said: “If I knew why that was the case, I’d sell it (the secret) to the rest. There’s no real reason why teams are not doing well away, it just seems they’re more comfortable on their own patch.

“We’ve looked into different approaches to away games, including how many stop offs we do (on the way down).

“We keep saying that we never win when we’re on a bus, but we probably have taken more coach trips than in previous years as we like to be together as a team.

“We want to stick together and the management have made sure we get more buses this year, as it’s good for us socially too.”

It is not like Keighley have been thumped in every away game either. A raft of injuries hampered their chances in Saturday’s 32-17 defeat at Selby and they gave this weekend’s opponents a scare in the reverse fixture.

McGee said: “At Selby we emptied our bench so I thought we did all right. We just missed out in some good positions and maybe made errors in the wrong places.

“Old Brodleians are a good team and they’ve been consistently good where they've fallen off in past seasons.

“But we pushed them all the way and nearly got a bonus point or even a draw up at theirs (in a 19-7 defeat on October 19).

“We’ve got to be busy and physical this weekend as Old Brodleians are big and strong. You can’t give them anything, or they’ll punish you with tries and points.”

A win over the leaders would be a massive boost heading into three crucial, consecutive fixtures against Leodiensian (away), Pontefract (home) and Bridlington (away).

All three are within 10 points of Keighley, and addressing those games, McGee said: “We’ve got to be going for it against those teams around us.

“Ponte are definitely a big rival, as are Leos and (rock-bottom) Hullensians. But Bridlington have hit form. They’ve recruited during the season and they beat (second-placed) Heath at the weekend.”

Keighley have been here before. They were locked in a relegation battle last year, but crucial late-season wins over Beverley, Old Rishworthians and Bradford Salem meant it was Rishworthians and Guisborough who went down.

Asked if that could stand Keighley in good stead, McGee said: “I think you can call upon what you’ve done before, and remember those times in the 2018/19 season.

“To be fair we have beaten teams around us this year too. We’ve pushed hard in training and in every game, we’ve just not been consistent.”

As McGee mentioned earlier, consistency has not been an issue for Old Brodleians, who have won all 10 of their home league games, and only lost one and drawn one on the road.

McGee does feel his side can win on Saturday, but he will be sweating on the fitness of some of his best players.

Adam Horsfall, Rich Tillotson, Will Armitage and George Marshall were among those who went off injured at Selby.

But McGee sounded quietly confident over availability for Old Brodleians, saying: “We did get a few knocks but we’ll have to see how the players fare in training.

“Adam did come off with an ankle and leg injury against Selby though, so I’d imagine he’s a doubt for Saturday.”