KEIGHLEY'S Yorkshire Two title push continued at the weekend with an awkward 31-14 home win over Bradford District rivals Old Grovians.

They picked up the maximum five points available from the contest, but Dan McGee's side will be hoping for a much more comfortable afternoon when they host rock-bottom Thornensians this Saturday.

The Keighley head coach explained: "Old Grovians lost a prop to injury in the warm-up, so that meant they were down to only a starting front row.

"Our scrum and set-piece game was so strong in the opening 10 minutes, but then their hooker got injured and we had to go to uncontested scrums.

"That meant we couldn't use a key weapon of ours and it wasn't how we wanted the game to go.

"At one point in the first half, there was about a 30-minute period where we only played 10 minutes of rugby due to their injuries, and it played with us mentally, and with our momentum.

"They came out second half and scored a couple of converted tries to get back to within three points of us at 17-14, but then we pulled ourselves together and scored again.

"Our last try came after Grovians picked up another injury and were down to 13 men, so you have to give them credit for keeping going."

Winter rugby union in the bitter cold and on muddy pitches can take its toll on even the toughest players, so the visit of cut-adrift Thornensians seems like the perfect time to rotate the side.

McGee mused: "It's about balance for the Thornensians game, because if we put too many of the young lads in, it could upset that.

"But we'll definitely look to throw some of them in on Saturday, although it is something we have done a bit of all season.

"The likes of Max Wild at flanker and Harry Worstead in the second row have impressed me when they've trained and played with the firsts.

"Playing competitively gives those young lads experience, and allows us to look forward to next season."

McGee admits he has only heard rumours about the 2022/23 league set-up, and believes it could be between any of two, three or four teams going up from Yorkshire Two this term.

If it is only two, then remarkably, Keighley are still in with a real chance of missing out, despite winning 18 and drawing two of their first 21 league games.

Wetherby are only eight points behind them and Hullensians 12 back, and both have a game in hand on the West Yorkshire side.

McGee said: "It's a stronger league than maybe we thought before this season.

"To have won the amount of games we have, and to still be looking over our shoulders, is testament to others.

"But in a way that's motivated us and kept us going.

"Even though we think we're pretty much there with promotion (as long as more than two go up), we're looking to win the title, so the game at Wetherby at the start of April could be decisive."