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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 9 Sep TBC - Northern Division - Yorkshire Division One Full time

Selby RUFC 14 - 17 Keighley RUFC

A narrow defeat for Selby after a promising display.

On a wet pitch on a sunny afternoon, with the rain holding off until the end of the match, Keighley took the kick off to the Leeds Road end of the ground. After resisting early pressure Selby took the game to Keighley dominating the first quarter of the game and had a chance to take the lead on 12 minutes after centre Alex Webster kicked through the Keighley defence for winger Harry Cruise to expertly gather but a foot in touch foiled the try scoring opportunity. However, Selby continued to dominate and they did go into the lead on 17 minutes with an excellent kick through the Keighley defence on the 35 metre line by scrum half Danny Wilkinson – full back George Stoker was on hand down the right to gather and squeeze through the Keighley defence for an outstanding try in the corner – fly half Scott Hunt kicked a magnificent conversion from the touch line for a 7 points to nil advantage for the hosts. Keighley, however, always looked a useful side and the more the half wore on the more they came into the game. A three point penalty opportunity for Selby was spurned in favour of a kick to the corner but the resultant catch and drive came to nothing – something which, in the final analysis did prove to be costly. Keighley drew level on 33 minutes after a spell of pressure saw their centre Adam Horsfall over for a fortuitous try near the corner after the referee had missed a blatant knock on – fly half Alex Brown converted to level the scores at 7 points apiece. Selby came storming back and re-took the lead on 37 minutes after a successful scrum on the Keighley 35 metre line – Selby number 8 Charlie Cicero picked up from the base of the scrum before breaching the Keighley defence and feeding scrum half Danny Wilkinson who scooted over for an excellent try to the right of the posts – Hunt converted to restore Selby’s 7 point advantage at 14 points to 7. Keighley had the chance to reduce their arrears in added on time after Selby were penalised for ‘going in at the side’ but Brown’s penalty attempt went wide. Selby went in at the break with a 14 points to 7 advantage after putting in an excellent first half performance.

Ten minutes into the second half, Selby once again spurned the opportunity of a very kickable penalty, favouring a kick to the Keighley 10 metre line – the sustained pressure from a successful catch and drive once more failed to bring any reward after the ball was eventually knocked forward and it was Keighley who were the next to score after a kick out of defence found touch on the Selby 22 metre line – Selby lost the line out and after sustained pressure form the Keighley forwards, Adam Horsfall was on hand to force his way over for his and Keighley’s second try near the posts – Brown’s conversion once more brought the scores level at 14 points apiece. Keighley then dominated much of the last quarter and went into the lead on 63 minutes when Selby were penalised for holding on near the half way line – Keighley decided to have a shot at goal with Brown (a thorn in Selby’s side for many a season) kicking the penalty from 49 metres and giving his side a 17 points to 14 lead. Try as they may Selby were unable, meaningfully, to penetrate a sound Keighley defence for the remaining 20 minutes of the match and finished with the small consolation of a losing bonus point – however, this was enough to lift Selby off the bottom of Yorkshire 1 to 12th place in what is proving to be a ‘topsy turvy’ and tight Division.

After an excellent first half performance, Selby appeared to lose much of their intensity in the second half with their line out, in particular, suffering badly, losing 5 successive line outs on their own throw. However, taking into account that at least 6 key players were missing through injury or unavailability, this was a promising performance with those selected ‘stepping up to the plate’. Once Selby’s intensity can be maintained for the full 80 minutes then wins should be more of the norm than defeats.

Selby now face 2 tough looking away fixtures with a trip to Scarborough next Saturday followed by an away fixture at Bradford Salem on Saturday 23 September – both matches kick off at 3 P.M.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Old Brodleians 26 63
9. Keighley 25 54
10. Hullensians 26 46
11. Bradford Salem 26 41
12. Selby 26 38
13. North Ribblesdale 26 31
14. Wheatley Hills 26 30

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