Keighley Cougars 28-6 Workington Town Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
THE Cougars bowed out at Cougar Park for the 2017 season with a comfortable 28-6 victory over Workington Town.
It was an emotional day as James ‘Buster’ Feather played his final home game for the club after 15 years of service, while Neil Cherryholme also departed after announcing his retirement.
Keighley’s victory means that a win away to old foes Barrow Raiders should be enough to secure a top-five finish and a place in the play-offs after Doncaster were defeated at home by Newcastle Thunder.
Following the game, Head Coach Craig Lingard said: “I’m not really pleased with the performance, they didn’t retain the ball as well as I would’ve liked.
“We’ve scored a lot of points this year and that’s probably good going to stand us in good stead if Toronto beat Doncaster next week and we beat Barrow.
“But we’re going to have to improve considerably, we can’t turn out like that at Barrow and expect to win.
“Got to take some of the positives out of today though, we got the win and our defence was really good which is a really pleasing aspect of our game giving the amount of defensive work we had to do.
“It was a fitting send off though for Buster and Chez and I’m really pleased for Buster that he got over for that first try on his final home game but they’ve both been great professionals for me down here this season and I’m pleased we could get the win for them.”
Fittingly, it was Feather who opened the scoring when he burrowed his way over from close range after collecting a Matty Beharrell pass.
The game then experienced a brief stoppage when Workington centre Danny Rasool was on the receiving end of a challenge that ended his afternoon and required a trip to hospital for assessment on a head injury.
The Cougars extended their lead when Matthew Bailey showed great feet to expose a gap in the defensive line to race through next to the uprights.
Workington registered their first points of the afternoon when, from a Jamie Doran kick into the air, Joe Hambley rose highest to touch down.
Lingard’s side soon opened up another two-try margin between the sides with their next attacking set as Liam Darville’s clever kick in goal was pounced on by Josh Lynam.
As conditions worsened, Beharrell thought he had extended his side’s lead further but his try was disallowed after he was adjudged to have knocked on in the process of grounding the ball.
With the game becoming a ‘knock-on-a-thon’, the next try did not arrive until the 62nd minute. After pressurising the Town line, Josh Tonks finally broke through to maraud his way over.
Town winger Phil Lister than had an effort ruled out by the touch judge, who flagged for a forward pass in the build-up.
The win was becoming a routine one for Lingard’s side and Ritchie Hawkyard was next to add his name to the scoreboard when the full back handed off a would-be tackler before racing through the line to cross.
The game finished with a fitting moment. With five minutes remaining, an injury allowed Feather to depart the Cougar Park field for the final time in his career to a standing ovation from all in attendance.