Dewsbury Rams survived a late fightback by Keighley Cougars to register a vital 32-28 victory in the Kingstone Press Championship.
The fine away win left Dewsbury seventh in the table, just two points behind Whitehaven going into another important clash in Cumbria last night.
Dewsbury produced a terrific first half display and raced into a 32-6 interval lead before Keighley fought back after the break, scoring 22 unanswered points to leave the Rams hanging on.
Dewsbury were out of the blocks quickly, playing up the slope, and Karl Pryce brilliantly plucked a crossfield kick out of the air to cross for the opening try after three minutes.
When Keighley lost possession, Pryce pounced again, scooping the ball up and racing 40 metres for a try which Bobbie Goulding converted.
Goulding was released by Wakefield Wildcats to play for the Rams and along with half-back partner Jonathan Schofield, the pair ensured Dewsbury took a stranglehold on the game.
Brad Watkinson crossed soon after and Goulding’s goal put the Rams 16-0 up before Shaw Cross Sharks head coach Joe Chandler replied for the Cougars and Scott Leatherbarrow converted.
The Rams continued to dominate as James Craven added a brace of tries in quick succession, with Goulding converting the latter.
Substitute Tommy Gallagher improved things further with a 39th minute try and Goulding’s fourth goal gave the Rams a deserved 32-6 half-time lead.
However, despite having the slope advantage after the break, Dewsbury were unable to add to their score as the Cougars stormed back.
James Haley got the home side moving with a 44th minute unconverted try and after Scott Law barged his way over, Haley added a second.
Leatherbarrow added conversions to the latter two tries and Keighley were back in the game at 32-22.
Sean Hesketh barged over for a 76th minute score, which Leatherbarrow improved but although there were a few anxious moments for the visiting supporters, Glenn Morrison’s men held on for a crucial win in their quest to reach the end of season play-offs.