A great start to the New Year for Keighley
Sheer determination and the will to win gave them their first away victory against high flying Old Crossleyans
Old Crossleyans 13 Keighley 18
A great start to the New Year for Keighley. Sheer determination and the will to win gave them their first away victory against high flying Old Crossleyans. At the start Crocs threw everything they had at their visitors who were pinned in their half for extended periods. Superb blanket defence kept the attackers at bay. Eventually Keighley managed to get some decent possession, moving the ball wide they looked liked scoring but for an adjudged forward pass. The game then settled into a midfield impasse, try as they might Crocs with a lot of possession were given little room to operate, the Keighley forwards were holding their own and the mid channels were firmly dominated by strong centres Horsfall and Ebbrell who were relishing their defensive duties. In order to break the deadlock Croc’s outside half Joe Gallagher delivered a perfect cross kick into the hands of big winger Chris Vine who scored under the posts, converted by full back Callum Dunne. Keighley with belligerent scrum half Lucas Uren forcing himself at the opposition raised the tempo of their game, some lovely hands gave number eight Ryan Gibson space, he quickly broke the defence and only a last ditch effort stopped him short. There followed a purple patch of play for Keighley, they came very close to scoring on at least three occasions. The only rewards for their efforts was a penalty for Alex Brown, which was followed a few minutes later with penalty for Crocs kicker Dunne. The Keighley effort was finally rewarded when quick hands found winger Joey Sugden, who did well to cross in the corner.
At the start of the second half it was Keighley’s turn to start strongly, second rows James Fox and Luke Carter were making the hard yards which gave the backs chance to show their skills. Once again good defence nullified any chances. All the good work was cancelled out when Crocs gained a penalty for a high tackle, converted by Dunne. The Keighley forwards holding their own in the scrums and lineout began to pressure the opposition, so much so that the Crocs scrum half was yellow carded. Keighley took advantage of the extra man, a well worked move gave strong running full back Jake Duxbury half a chance, cutting inside he wrong footed the last defender to score. Alex Brown added the conversion. Keighley two points in front were being drawn into a nail biting finish, Crocs intent on chasing the game threw every thing they had at the visitors, Keighley were defending as if their lives depended on it, the pressure built up and often over spilled into minor niggles that the referee dealt with well. Finally the tension was too much for the Crossleyan’s scrum half who was red carded for foul play. Alex Brown finished the scoring with a penalty. This was without doubt Keighley’s best all round performance of the season thus far, a victory built on sheer character and determination. They will be hoping to repeat the performance next week away to Guisborough.
Keighley Team :
1. Luke Currie
2. Joe Kaye
3. Dave Smith
4. Luke Carter
5. James Fox
6. Shaun Minikin
7. Tom Willson (double ‘l’)
8. Ryan Gibson
9. Lucas Uren
10. Alex Brown (Capt)
11. Joey Sugden
12. Adam Horsfall
13. Alan Ebbrell
14. Richard Tillotson
15. Jake Duxbury
16. Craig Spencer
17. Smith Brown
18. Leon Hobson-Sheriff
Old cCrossleyans Match report from their Website:
Crocs falter at home to Keighley
By Ryan Price
report by Martin Staples, pictures by Max Uttley
TEAM: 15) Callum Dunne, 14) Josh Hunt, 13) Joel McFarlance, 12) Jack Hammond, 11) Chris Vine, 10) Joe Gallagher, 9) Joe Stott
1) Navneet Sembi, 2) Jack Pilcher, 3) Roland Marki, 4) Iain Davies, 5) Tony Oxley, 6) Martin Hamer, 7) Alex McFarlane, 8) Ryan Hammond
REPLACEMENTS: Rob Oliver, Gareth Sweeney, Raman Sembi
OLD CROSSLEYANS 13 KEIGHLEY 18
Old Crossleyans started 2019 with a lacklustre, disappointing defeat against Keighley. The visitors gained revenge for their 32-13 defeat back in September at Utley. The Crocs’ performance, in comparison to the high standards achieved for much of this season, lacked the necessary cohesion and discipline. They didn’t have a cutting edge in attack and the defence was found wanting on several occasions. Keighley defended effectively and took their scoring opportunities well. The four week layoff seemed to have a detrimental effect on the Crocs’ display. Notwithstanding, they led until the 75th minute but having a man red carded early in the second half meant they faced an uphill struggle. Keighley eventually made the numerical advantage count and Crocs had a further man red carded as the game entered stoppage time.
Crocs controlled the opening exchanges but the Keighley defence held firm and Crocs were penalised for not releasing. They were further penalised for crossing when attacking in the Keighley ‘22’ and the threat was nullified. Keighley responded with a promising move down their left wing, deep in the Crocs’ half, only for it called back for a forward pass. Defences were on top and play became scrappy and fragmented with a series of turnover balls and unforced errors from both teams.
Keighley had an opportunity to take the lead on the quarter hour but Alex Brown’s penalty kick hit the crossbar and Crocs were able to clear their lines. Josh Hunt excelled in defence forcing a turnover and minutes later he scored the opening try of the game. Crocs built the phases patiently. Tony Oxley drove the ball in hard and Joe Stott’s diagonal cross kick found the wingman who sprinted past the cover to score under the posts. Callum Dunne’s conversion established a 7-0 lead.
Keighley responded when Tom Wilson broke the midfield defence and ran the ball deep into the Crocs’ half. The attacking platform was established but faltered when a knock on relieved the pressure. Crocs were penalised for successive scrum infringements and Keighley again asked serious questions of the home defence. They spun the ball to the right wing but a ‘try’ was ruled out for a foot in touch. They were denied on this occasion but the warning signs were plain for all to see.
A further threat was diffused when Joe Gallagher crucially intercepted a dangerous Keighley attack but the constant pressure was made to count after 32 minutes. Crocs had a man yellow carded for a deliberate knock on and Alex Brown’s penalty from in front of the posts reduced the arrears to 7-3. Callum Dunne landed a penalty minutes later to make it 10-3 but Keighley had the final word of the half. Suspect tackling allowed Joey Sugden to scamper in for a try in the right corner. The conversion attempt drifted wide but the Crocs’ lead was narrowed to 10-8.
Crocs started the second half on the attack building the phases with a series of pick and go drives but Keighley defended comfortably and eventually forced a turnover when Crocs were penalised for not releasing. The home team were back to a full complement of players but it was the visitors who were controlling play. Once again, they breached the defensive line and only a further interception prevented a possible scoring opportunity with the try line beckoning.
Arguably, the turning point of the game occurred on the 50th minute. Following a scuffle, Keighley had a man yellow carded but, crucially, Crocs’ scrum half received a second yellow which became a red. Minutes later a Keighley penalty in front of the posts was pulled wide and, shortly after, successive penalties enabled Crocs to establish an attacking position deep in the Keighley half. The visitors were penalised for a high tackle and Callum Dunne’s penalty extended the lead to 13-8.
Crocs were still turning the ball over too readily, although credit must be given to the Keighley defence. Entering the final ten minutes, a further penalty attempt from Callum Dunne, just inside his half, fell short. Keighley replied immediately and a scything run through the Crocs’ defence from the full back, Jake Duxbury, levelled the scores. The formality of the conversion gave Keighley the lead for the first time in the match.
Entering stoppage time Crocs had a second player sent off for successive yellow card offences and Alex Brown’s penalty stretched the visitors’ lead to 18-13. There was still one more opportunity for Crocs to attack but the ball was eventually turned over and kicked into touch. Keighley were able to celebrate the win and Crocs were left with plenty to contemplate before next week’s visit to Middlesbrough.