Keogh making a good impression

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PHIL ROWE believes that Rob Keogh is pushing towards a professional contract.

The Academy prospect, who has just begun to take his first steps at senior level, was on of the few bright spots as the Steelbacks’ dismal run in the Clydesdale Bank 40 continued with an eight-wicket thrashing by Sussex at Arundel.

Keogh made a spirited 30 in the visitors’ under-par 129 which could’ve been even worse after they had been reduced to 46-6.

And interim second team coach Rowe, who took charge of affairs for the day in place of head coach David Ripley, was impressed with Keogh’s effort.

He said: “He played nicely having gone in when it was a difficult situation.

“He ran well, he put the bad ball away and took the right option.

“He’s also an exceptional fielder and he is pushing strongly for a professional deal for next season.”

The likes of Keogh and Ollie Stone are likely to benefit from more opportunities in the remaining CB40 fixtures and Rowe feels that is how it has to be.

He added: “It’s not before time really.

“These lads need to be given a chance and it’s a credit to our Academy system that they aren’t looking out of place when they do come in.

“They aren’t looking like novices and that is good for us.”

As for the game itself, Rowe was left to rue a poor start on a pitch he felt wasn’t ideal for a limited overs contest.

“It was a poor wicket, very slow and seamed around and was also a bit up and down,” he said.

“But we didn’t apply ourselves and they bowled effectively.

“It was just too low a number and we weren’t able to build the pressure on them like they did on us.”