North Ribblesdale 22 Keighley 17

NORTH Ribblesdale gave themselves more breathing space in the Yorkshire One relegation battle with a hard-earned win at Grove Park.

Tries by Ian Close, Omari Kaup-Samuels and Tom Frik enabled them to avenge their defeat in the reverse fixture - the first match played on Keighley's new artificial pitch.

One of the most-pleasing aspects of the victory was the sight of their two young wingers Kaup-Samuels and Frik getting on the scoresheet again.

Close had set the ball rolling with the opening score when he burst through a tackle and ran 20 metres to the posts.

Kaup-Samuels' try followed the best move of the match with Jonathan Richards and Jonny Moore creating space in midfield before unleashing the winger to score in the corner.

The final North Ribblesdale try was a fine solo effort by Frik. He came off his wing and took a pass from David Fox to run over unopposed.

Michael Thwaite converted two of the tries and also landed a penalty.

Keighley responded with a try by Joe Copperthwaite along with a conversion and penalty by Alex Brown as they trailed 22-10 at half-time.

Ribb looked confident and they were two scores ahead and playing towards the clubhouse which is normally worth a couple of scores.

They completely lost their way in the second half with a display of kicking which gifted possession to a Keighley pack who had looked down and out.

The supply of easy possession was a pick me up to the tiring Keighley pack.

The visitors sensed they could turn things around and started to stretch Ribb on the left where Brown created a try for Seeley.

Brown landed the conversion and all of a sudden Ribb had lost all momentum.

Every bit of hard-won possession secured by their pack was kicked back to Keighley and only tenacious defence kept them out. Copperthwaite went close on two occasions as Ribb put themselves under pressure.

It may be good for the half backs to have a few training sessions in the front row to see how hard it is and dispiriting to see hard-won possession give back to the opposition.

Ribb's only chances of the half came to nothing. Matt Speres was hauled down short and Richards, playing his first game of the season, dropped the ball on the line.

However, they survived for a valuable win to take them fourth from bottom.

They have a hard trip to Scarborough this week and must revert back to the mobile possession game which brought them bonus points in the last few weeks.