Keighley Cougars Match Report

 Mikey Russell goes over for one of his trys

Mikey Russell goes over for one of his trys

Coventry Bears 24 Keighley Cougars 44

Butts Park Arena, Sunday 7th May, 3pm

Agony for the Bears, so close yet so far away!

The scoreline tells one story- another defeat for the Bears. But this game also saw Coventry Bears score first, regain the lead after losing it, be more than a match for their more experienced opponents for long spells and go on to outscore the Cougars in the second half. Agony indeed.

Keighley kicked off on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon at the Butts Park Arena, eager to shake off their patchy form this season. It was Harry Chapman who opened the scoring for the Bears over on the left wing, but the conversion was a difficult one so the score stayed at 4-0.

Keighley pressed hard and it seemed that the Bears defence would hold, but Keighley’s Michael Emmett finally battered his way through to level the score. The Bears’ Michael Russell retook the lead a few minutes later after some fast and accurate passing set him free on the left wing.

Keighley’s response was another try from close quarters, this time being converted to make it 8-10, a lead they would hold for the rest of the game. Then, Cougar’s Andrew Gabriel wove his way past half a dozen Bears defenders after 20 minutes to further extend the away side’s lead and signal period of dominance for the away team.

Despite some good play, and some fierce tackling, the Bears conceded three more tries before half time, with Nicholson, Aaronson and Law crossing over the line in rapid succession and by now Keighley’s kicker Matty Beharrell was converting every opportunity to give Keighley a 26 point lead at the interval.

Half time Coventry Bears 8 Keighley Cougars 34

It seemed as if things were going to get worse for the Bears when William Milner crossed over for Keighley in the 48 th minute for another converted try.

Then Coventry showed what they were made of as they stepped up a gear, with man of the match Michael Russel diving over for Brad Delaney to convert, bringing the score to 14-44.

By now the Bears were looking easily the better side, it was a big margin to erode, but grit and determination were evident for the whole forty minutes. Harry Chapman added another, and ever dangerous Michael Russell gained a hat trick of tries with another in the dying minutes of the game.

Attendance: 383

Bears Team

Coventry Bears: Harry Chapman, Mikey Russell, Eddie Medforth, Matt Reid (c), Jamahl Hunte, Brad Delaney, Joe Prior, Jack Morrison, Billy Gaylor, Alex Beddows, Chris Barratt, Kieran Sherratt, Zach Johnson. Subs all used: James Geurtjens, Richie Hughes, Callan Beckett, Dan Gover.

Next up the Bears play York City Knights Away on Sunday 14th May before coming home to play Gloucester All Golds on Sunday 21st May at the Butts Park Arena 3 pm.

Photos by SBS Photography

Bears Media