Scarborough ran in four thrilling tries in a sizzling 20-minute opening spell which blew away any thoughts that struggling Keighley had of beating the drop into Yorkshire Two, the home side going on to win 45-12.
And although the west Yorkshiremen staged a third quarter revival through their forwards, ultimately they had no answer to the pace of a dominant Scarborough back division.
Apart from some early sparring, Scarborough dominated the opening quarter of the game playing into the northerly wind and scoring 26 points in 20 minutes.
The Seasiders opened their account in the sixth minute when Harry Domett was released by scrum half Zybnek Schutz from a scrum on the home 22. Burning up the right touchline, the Kiwi wing shook off the attentions of three defenders before releasing prop Nino Cutino who cut in to score near the posts. Full-back Tom Harrison added the extras for 7-0.
Fly-half Danny McGee made a great break from midfield for the visitors which took play into the home 22 where a stuttering Scarborough scrum performance allowed the visitors to outstay their welcome.
However it was only delaying the inevitable and when Domett once more broke from deep in the 14th minute, the ball was transferred left through hands for hooker Ian Williams to score in the corner. Harrison hit the upright with the difficult touchline conversion.
And Scarborough were out of sight with only a quarter of the game gone when centre Benji Cottle twice broke from half-way in the 17th and 19th minutes with the ever-alert Domett the beneficiary, romping in for two well-deserved tries. Harrison converted both for 26-0.
Breaks by winger Graeme Jeffrey, Tom Harrison, half-backs Phil Stewart and the effervescent Schutz could have produced more in the second quarter but the Keighley defence tightened up and kept their line intact.
At the other end Scarborough had some defending to do and flanker Blake Nightingale was having a great game particularly at the breakdown. Harrison was sin-binned in the 31st minute for a deliberate knock-on.
Kicking off the second half 26-0 adrift and into the wind, Keighley had to knuckle down and they did through their industrious forwards.
The Scarborough scrum struggled at the set pieces and their prolific backs just couldn’t get their hands on the ball.
The visitors were then camped in the home 22 for an extended period of time.
Scarborough defended well and had one effort held up over the line but finally succumbed when Keighley No8 Leigh Sugdon bustled over in the 56th minute. Scrum-half Mark Hargreaves failed to convert.
Stung into action Scarborough won a scrum in the Keighley 22 and from a solid platform Schutz released Jeffrey who romped over wide on the left to stretch the lead to 31-5. Harrison missed the touchline conversion.
The visitors came straight back and full-back Sam Walker looked certain to score following a jinking run through the home defence only to spill the ball in the act of touching down. However the west Yorkshiremen scored three minutes later when the ball was moved wide left from a five metre scrum and wing Jack Atkinson scored in the corner. Scrum-half Hargreaves added the extras to reduce the arrears at 12-31.
Scarborough ended the game as they started it, with a flourish; great work by Stewart released substitute centre Jan Teiber to race through from halfway to score between the uprights in the 77th minute. Two minutes later a sweeping move ended with Nightingale powering over by the uprights in the 80th minute. Harrison made no mistake with the conversions and Scarborough ran out richly deserved 45-12 winners of a highly entertaining game.
In an all-action performance pick of the forwards were Cutino and Nightingale who were both outstanding at the breakdown.
Behind them there wasn’t a weak link with perhaps Domett, Cottle, Harrison, Jeffrey and Schutz getting the majority of the plaudits.