Keighley Cougars 22-20 York City Knights Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
KEIGHLEY Cougars made it two wins from two in the Super Eights phase with a late 22-20 victory over the York City Knights at Cougar Park.
James Feather marked his first appearance at Cougar Park since announcing his retirement with a dramatic late try to move the Cougars within a point of the League One play-off places.
“The guys dug deep, stuck in there and got the win,” said Craig Lingard following the game.
“All I’ve said is that we have to take these Super Eights week by week and all we can do is try and chalk off as many victories as we can.
“It’s been a disjointed week for us as we’ve been really struggling with numbers and training this week has been pretty much non-existent due to the amount of injures we’ve had.
“We were waiting on three players to declare themselves fit this morning and had a further two pull out of the side on the day so we were down to our last 17 players.
“So to get the victory today is a really big achievement from the boys.”
After an uneventful opening to an eagerly anticipated contest, the Knights thought they had been the side to open the deadlock. However, Adam Robinson’s effort was ruled out after referee Callum Straw penalised the forward for a double movement.
York did open the scoring though, as Kieran Moran handed off a Keighley defender to waltz in unchallenged beneath the posts.
The visitors extended their lead further when Adam Brook came racing out the line, leaving a bus-sized gap for Joe Batchelor to race through and cross near to the corner.
Keighley finally got onto the scoreboard shortly before the half-time interval when clever work from James Feather saw the ball pass through the hands of Matty Beharrell and Adam Ryder to allow Andy Gabriel to squeeze home at the corner.
The sides went into the half-time break level when, on the sound of the hooter, Beharrell lofted a kick high into the air and Gabriel beat Nev Morrison to the ball and stumbled over the line.
Captain Feather thought he had given his side the lead early in the second half when he scooted his way over from dummy half but was held up over the line by a tenacious York defence.
The Knights restored their advantage when Tommy Saxton eluded an attempted tackle to squeeze over in the corner despite a suspiciously looking forward pass from Batchelor in the build-up.
However, the lead went to the home side for the first time on the afternoon when, from a Beharrell kick, Brad Hey spilled under pressure from Hamish Barnes and Vinny Finigan was quickest to pounce on the loose ball.
That lead would only last three minutes. From the Knights’ next attack, full-back James Haynes found himself under no real defensive pressure and eased his way to the line.
Feather, who had been held out earlier in the half, then scored what proved to be the game’s winning try as he took a pass from the play the ball, threw a dummy and weaved his way around the full-back to send the Cougar Park faithful into delirium.
York still had time to nick the win themselves – but Gabriel took Morrison into touch down the right wing.