Keighley Match Report
Keighley Cougars 40 Coventry Bears 8
Betfred League One
The Bears started well but conditions dictated the play and Keighley made better of the pitch and horrendous conditions in the second half to run away victors.
The weather for the most part evened the playing field in the games early stages and it showed as a Nick Newman penalty for a shoulder charge off the ball put the first points of the afternoon on the board after 18 minutes for the Bears.
On the back of his own 40-20, Nathan Conroy appeared to spill the ball on the line but the referee ruled that a Keighley hand had knocked it loose and this allowed Chris Barratt to then touch down and take the Bears to 0-8.
But the Cougars then started to dominate the middle and the introduction of Jack Coventry, Jamie Thackray and Lewis Wray from the interchanges bench followed and this swung the game in Cougars favour.
Immediately from the restart, the home side forced a knock on and from the resulting scrum the ball was worked to Macauley Hallett who sold the dummy and raced through the gap to score.
The try that would give Keighley a two-point lead at half-time also came from a scrum as Will Cooke took the ball out the ruck and handed off a defender to dive over in the corner with Benn Hardcastle adding the extras from the touchline.
HT Cougars 10 Bears 8
Following the first Keighley set off the half, Hayden Freeman stumbled under pressure and Davey Dixon picked the loose ball up to race round for the score.
And from the kick-off that followed, first Thackray, and then Billy Gaylor, broke through the Bears scrambling defence were unable to get back to prevent Hallett racing over for his second try off the afternoon.
The Bears were stunned and Keighley wouldn’t let go off their vice like grip on the game and Hardcastle and Josh Lynam linked up to send Jack Miller sliding over the whitewash.
Hardcastle then opted to take the two points on offer from 45 metres out after the official penalised the visitors for a ball steal in the tackle.
FT Cougars 40- Bears 8
Lingard’s side sealed their victory with two late tries, the first of which was a solo effort from Jack Coventry that saw the Prop plough through four defenders, taking three over the line with him, with a 30-metre run.
Then with two minutes remaining, James Feather cut straight through from the play the ball to score near to the corner.
Head Coach Tom Tsang said:
“The score line from the game is a fair reflection of how the two sides acquitted themselves in the conditions on the day. The team that made the fewest handling errors in the rain won. Once we went a couple of tries behind it was always going to be difficult as the weather limited how expansive we could play. A lot of what we do in attack is based on speed and playing up tempo which we weren't able to do. The mistakes meant more defending and weight of possession in favour of keighley told in the second half. We will definitely learn from the experience. “
The win against Newcastle didn't define us and we wont let this loss define us either.
This week the Bears travel to Doncaster for the 3rd round of the challenge cup.
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