Halifax entered this game on the back of a morale-boosting 18-18 draw with Widnes last weekend, but only seven of the 23 that featured at Widnes were in the squad for this game.
But Keighley were to respond almost immediately with Aaron Ollett managing to dive onto a superb grubber kick from Adam Brook to level things up for the home side. Brook then converted the extras to give the Cougars the lead.
Halifax were not to be behind for long however, as Brandon Moore broke the Cougars defence before passing on to Johnston who crossed to give the Championship side a four point cushion with Joe Martin’s conversion.
Keighley were struggling to contain the youthful Halifax side, as Andy Bracek made a break once more, before handing the ball to Billy Gaylor who sneaked in at the corner to extend the lead to 6-20 with Martin converting once more.
Adam Brook handed the Cougars a lifeline when barging over from close range, and converted his own try to reduce the gap to just eight at half time.
Ollett was the second Keighley player to barge over from dummy half, as the home side came out firing for the second half which made the score 18-20.
Keighley then made Halifax pay for needless penalties as Ross Peltier powered over under the sticks to give the Cougars a 24-20 lead, with victory now in sight.
But Halifax were not to be on the wrong side of the result as Reilly barged over to give the away side a 26-24 lead, and was one which they held on to at the full time hooter.