By Simon Smith
Skipton progressed to the next round of the Aire-Wharfe Cup in a closely contested game against Keighley 2nds.
Quick ball down Skipton's back line gave them two early penalties for Keighley not releasing and full back Jake Duxbury converted the second penalty to give the home side an early lead. Strong forward work from Keighley brought them right to Skipton's line but excellent turnover ball allowed Skipton to clear. Keighley replied with a strong rolling maul from the next line-out but once again Skipton turned the ball over. A further penalty gave Duxbury another attempt at goal which he converted to stretch the lead.
A quick tap penalty by scrum-half Jonathan Kulik set up a swift backs move which put Harry MacEneaney clear and he ran in a try under the posts. Duxbury added the extra points and the sides turned round at 13 nil in the home side's favour.
Skipton suffered an early set back in the second half with Jon Currie being yellow carded for a shoulder charge but the Skipton pack remained solid and kept the ball close for the ten minutes with one man down. Keighley increased the pressure, eventually going in under the posts whilst playing advantage from two Skipton knock-ons. The try was converted and the visitors were within 6 points of the home side.
Determined forward play from both sides followed, with a superb back move from Skipton being set up from a break-away by No. 8 Ben Hall from a scrum against the head. A second try for MacEneaney followed, which Duxbury was unable to convert.
Keighley mounted a series of determined attacks on Skipton's line in the last 10 minutes but the home side's defence held firm and Skipton progressed to the next round with a full-time score of 18-7.
Updated 10:19 - 6 Apr 2016 by Tracy Murray