York 15 Keighley 24
A powerful first half performance by a determined Keighley saw off the challenge of a good York team.
York started well using their big forwards to drive into Keighley territory, a ball stolen at the breakdown gave winger Sam Walker the chance to sprint fifty yards to the try line, unfortunately he was adjudged to have a foot in touch. From that point onwards the more mobile Keighley forwards kept York pinned in their half, the pressure eventually told.
A muscular run by centre Ferrazzano broke the first up defence; the play was taken on by the Sugden brothers. After prop Olly Sugden had broken free of the scrabbled defence he gave a try scoring pass to send Alex Brown over under the posts, he also added the conversion.
Although York gained good possession and attacked well through their excellent number eight Jim Rossington and a strong back line, there was no way through the stonewall defence of the midfield trio of Brown, Ferrazzano and Price.
After weathering a period of York pressure Keighley regained possession and swept play up field, some excellent inter passing between forwards and backs ended with a driving maul and second row Ian Buckley forcing his way over the try line. York once again raised their game moving the ball wide, some excellent thrusts down the wing forced Keighley to retreat and defend. The only reward for their concerted efforts was a penalty for offside. Outside half Jon Dawes taking the points. Keighley finished the half strongly with a second try for Alex Brown, after some skilful play from the backs and an inch perfect pass from winger Michael Phillips, Brown also added the conversion.
The second half started well for York, winger Rich Downey made a good break, with the defence closing him down he kicked infield and gathered to score under the posts, converted by Dawes. York playing with renewed confidence made inroads into Keighley territory through their favoured weapon the driving maul. Although they gained territory they were unable to breach the defence. Regaining possession Keighley through excellent play from the their back row especially open side Scott Dyson forced play into York territory, the York defence held up well, and all Keighley had to show for their hard work was a penalty from Brown.
York realising that there was nothing happening in midfield changed tactics returning to a forward battle, through a series of strong driving mauls they forced Keighley to concede ground, when a maul finally stopped near the try line, powerful prop Darren Rutherford broke off to score in the corner.
With time running out the Keighley forwards with prop Craig Spencer and his front row colleagues in fine form kept the ball deep in York territory, although the York defence managed to stop any further scoring they were unable to gain any useful possession and were forced to concede the league points to the more determined Keighley team.
This Saturday is a rearranged fixture, Keighley host the league leaders Bridlington in what should prove to be an enthralling tussle.