Keighley Cougars 36 v 14 Whitehaven (Kingstone Press Championship)
Keighley Cougars started the new season with a fantastic battling display against an out of sorts Whitehaven at Cougar Park, with the re-structure of the league in 2015, it’s vital the club finish this season in ninth position or above so that they can start next season in the championship.
A lack of discipline lead to the first points of the season being scored at Cougar Park when Brendon Rawlins took out Whitehaven’s Cain Southernwood with a late challenge after the ball had gone to give away a penalty. Southernwood picked himself up to score the penalty and give Whitehaven a 2- 0 lead after two minutes.
The Cougars then started to take control of the game, on sixteen minutes Samir Tarahoui was lucky to escape punishment following a late shoulder charge on Paul March. A minute later the Cougars pressure paid off as Sean Hesketh powered over the line for the first try of the game and the season. Paul Handforth added the conversion to give the Cougars a 6-2 lead.
Scott Law then added a second try on twenty-four minutes following an excellent flowing move across the pitch which ended with a final pass from Paul Handforth, for Law to skip passed the last man and drive for the line. Handforth then added the conversion to make the score 12-2 to the Cougars.
On twenty-seven minutes, Elliot Cosgrove intercepts and then breaks before offloading to player manager Paul March to cross the line for the third try of the day. Paul Handforth then added the third conversion to make the score 18-2.
Whitehaven’s Ade Gardner was then quick thinking as he shuffled his way through the Cougars defensive line to cross for a try, before Cain Southernwood scored the conversion to make the score 18-8 to the Cougars at half-time.
On fifty-three minutes, Elliot Cosgrove crosses the line for another try after a fantastic offloading play by the Cougars. Paul Handforth followed up with another conversion to give the Cougars 24-8 lead. Whitehaven the scored their second try of the afternoon when Jessie Joe Parker went over for the visitors. Cain Southernwood adds scored the conversion to bring the score back to 24-14.
The next person to score a try for the Cougars was birthday boy Josh Lynam who went over the line on 68 minutes, once again Paul Handforth added the conversion to take the score to 30-14 for the Cougars.
The final try of the afternoon came from Paul White, who touched a Cosgrove kick down in the corner, Paul Handforth then converted the hardest kick of the game to make the final score Keighley Cougars 36-14 Whitehaven.
After the match Paul March said “We got the three points and that’s what we wanted, overall it set’s us up nicely for the Yorkshire derby next week at Doncaster.”
Keighley Cougars – Craven, Barnett, Williams, Cosgrove, White, March, Handforth, Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Sagar (Subs) Law, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier
Whitehaven – Carr, Calvert, McAvoy, Fox, Gardner, Taylor, Southernwood, Culnean, Newton, Jackson, Tarahoui, Mitchell, Doran (Subs) Parker, Thorman, Hand, Marabe
Trys – (Keighley) Hesketh, Law, March, Cosgrove, Lynam, White (Whitehaven) Gardner, Parker
Conversions – (Keighley) – Handforth (Whitehaven) – Southernwood
Attendance – 1,061