Keighley Albion 26 Bradford Victoria Rangers 18

KEIGHLEY Albion went second in the Yorkshire Men's League Division Two table with a late victory over their Bradford neighbours.

Albion went into the game with a mixture of confidence and frustration as fixtures towards the end of the season had been postponed and moved around so much over the past month.

Some outstanding defensive work saw the whole Keighley pack pinning the Bradford side into their 20-metre area for 20 minutes. But they fluffed chances and could not capitalise on their field position to get on the scoreboard.

In fact, it was Rangers on their first real attack that opened the scoring with Jordan Walker using his quick feet and pace to score, Sam Thornton converting.

From the restart Albion kept the pressure on with thunderous runs from Mark Smith and Jack Kennedy. Some good ball work from the backs finally saw Alex Young go over for a try, Stevie Cutler converting.

Albion now knew where the try line was and it wasn’t long before they went over again. Chris Price, back from long-term injury, showed experience and skill with a great offload to Jack Kennedy for him to power over under the sticks.

Cutler, able to kick from anywhere out wide, missed a sitter of a conversion, with the ball nearly going to the corner flag.

Leading 10-6 at the break, Keighley started poorly in the second half. Bad passes and decisions slowly let Bradford build confidence and field position as Thornton went over for a try converted by himself to put Vics in front.

Still, Albion would not play as a team and Vics scored again to go 18-10 up.

Some strong words and home truths under the sticks brought Keighley back to reality. Chris Spencer, who had to play out of position in the centre, was moved back to No 13 and he started the charge off with some strong running.

Rob Spencer began to break the line and Albion made this new lease of life count, with Conner Taylor going over in the corner and Cutler adding the extras.

From the restart some crunching tackles by Taylor and the Albion line kept the Bradford side pinned in.

Young, who had returned the ball brilliantly all day, made another great run up field. The impressive Jamie Stephenson, whose defence had been second to none, powered his way over for his first try of the season to put the hosts back in front. Albion were playing some great rugby at last and Chris Spencer continued his great end to the game with a try under the posts, Cutler this time adding the conversion to seal a 26-18 win.

Stephenson claimed the man of the match award, with Young a close second.