KEIGHLEY celebrated Adam Horsfall’s 250th first-XV appearance in style.

In what head coach Danny McGee called their first 80-minute performance of the season, they ran in five tries to defeat Beverley 34-5 at Rose Cottage in Counties One Yorkshire, adding to the visitors’ worst start in eight seasons.

There are no such worries for Keighley, who have responded well to last season’s promotion near-miss, and now just five points off the summit in fourth.

The hosts were 17-0 ahead halfway through the first half with tries by prop Sam Booker, flanker Ollie Snowden and hooker Jack Gallagher, with fly half Alex Brown, who had an off day with the boot, adding a conversion.

Beverley, who had winger Jake Boardman sin-binned early doors for a tip tackle on full back Alfie Seeley, and full back Luke Hazell yellow carded for offside, hit back soon after the interval with a try by winger Jacob Baggs.

But second best in the pack, there was to be no revival this time, and Keighley scored further tries by Snowden, from his own kick ahead, and No.8 Tom Whyte, after a Horsfall break, with Brown landing two conversions and a penalty.

McGee said: “We got a try nice and early, which was good and got to half-time on a positive note, but we knew at half-time that they would come back at us, which they did.

“They are always dangerous with their backs, but we were switched on the majority of the time, and I was very pleased with the start and the whole 80 minutes.

“We haven’t put in an 80-minute performance for a long time.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dan McGee was pleased his team finally showed up for a full match.Dan McGee was pleased his team finally showed up for a full match. (Image: John Ashton.)

The victory was based on pack dominance, but McGee admitted: “Our pack were asked some questions beforehand, which we don’t always like to do after not performing for the last few games and were set some challenges, and they rose to them.

“We should have had more scrum penalties with our dominance, but we had them under pressure all the time and if you do that then you are going to demoralise a side.”

As for Horsfall, McGee admitted: “I didn’t know how Adam was going to perform after a week in France, but him and Alex steadied that back line, and you cannot meet a better bloke than Adam, who is a great team man.”

Looking into the future, McGee said: “It is a topsy-turvy division, but we are targeting the top three or four, although we are not going to find it as easy as we have the last few years.”

Seeley used his hand to brace his fall from that tip tackle early in the contest, and eventually came off in the second half to protect the scaphoid injury on which he has had surgery.

Booker’s try came from a rolling maul, following a lineout, and Beverley, down to 13 at one stage due to those sin-bins, conceded a try to Snowden after several phases, Brown converting for 12-0.

Winger Sam Blakeley almost went over on the right, but Gallagher did cross to make it 17-0.

Hazell and Blakeley then counter-attacked in quick succession before Booker was held up over the line.

Beverley were on the scoreboard four minutes into the second half via Baggs after a good Hazell offload, although referee Graeme Hall, who controlled the game well, had a long look before whistling.

Brown added a penalty to make it 20-5 to put Keighley three scores ahead, and Snowden then kicked ahead after a Chino Rocha knock on, just managing to dive on the ball before it reached the dead-ball line.

The conversion made it 27-5 and with replacement prop Craig Spencer showing his skilful soft hands, skipper Whyte got on the end of a Horsfall break for Keighley’s fifth try to the delight of a crowd that was swelled by an old boys’ reunion.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tom Whyte scored Keighley's final try on an excellent afternoon for the hosts.Tom Whyte scored Keighley's final try on an excellent afternoon for the hosts. (Image: John Ashton.)

Brown completed an emphatic victory with the final conversion.

Bradford & Bingley remain bottom of the table after a heavy 60-11 defeat at Wetherby, while Bradford Salem were beaten 31-17 at Hullensians, dropping to seventh in the process.

In Counties Two Yorkshire, Baildon leapt up to third after winning 28-10 at Bramley Phoenix.

Finally, the game of the day came at Driffield in Regional One North East, where visitors Cleckheaton moved off the foot of the table with a thrilling 35-34 away victory.