AN exciting game of rugby in awful weather conditions saw a depleted Keighley team show immense character to gain a 7-7 draw at home to Yorkshire One leaders Old Brodleians.

The result means Keighley remain 13th and in the relegation zone, but leaves them just three points behind Dinnington, who slumped to a 10-0 defeat against relegation rivals Pontefract.

From the off in this one, Brods were out of the blocks quickly, fully expecting the home team to succumb to an early onslaught.

Instead, Keighley’s defence and the weather conditions soon put paid to that idea, as a flurry of early handling errors from both teams led to a series of scrums.

The Keighley front row of Craig Spencer, Andy Heys and John Gibson caused the visitors’ scrum a lot of damage and forced to play off the back foot, Brods looked vulnerable.

After the early exchanges, there was a period of aerial ping pong, with both teams attempting to gain field position. Keighley, using the conditions to their full advantage, managed to gain the upper hand.

With the scrums going well and Tom Willson producing sterling work in the lineout, Keighley began to believe in themselves.

Forceful runs down the middle from dominant centre Sean Kelly, backed up by close support work from the forwards, kept Brods pinned in their 22-metre area.

Some real graft from the forwards, with wing forward Lucas Uren to the fore, forced play towards the opposition try line.

Quick ball and a surging run ultimately led to a well taken try from Kelly, converted by winger Oli Mitchell.

Right up to the half-time whistle, Keighley repelled every move from Brods and deserved their lead.

The second half was, in many respects, more of the same, a midfield arm wrestle interspersed with long kicks to touch.

The stalemate was broken when Keighley, gaining good possession in their own 22-metre area, decided to throw caution to the wind and run it out of defence.

It proved to be a poor decision, as a simple knock on gave Brods a scrum, and an excellent attacking opportunity. Winning the ball, they set up a series of drives and rucks.

The Keighley defence was forced to cover both sides of the breakdown, which gave strong running prop forward Joey Kafatolu an opportunity, and a well earned try under the posts, converted by Kyle Millward.

Brods, with their tails up, began to move through the gears and some good interplay between forwards and backs put Keighley under serious pressure.

Once again, a resilient defence held out. But, towards the end of the game, Brods forced a penalty in a kickable position.

Although Millward struck it well, the swirling wind did its work, and to the relief of the Keighley team, the ball struck an upright and was quickly kicked out of danger.

Both teams gave their all in the final minutes in order to gain the victory, but at the final whistle, a draw seemed to be the fairest result for all concerned.

Keighley's next game is a huge clash at fellow strugglers Leodiensian on February 29.