Keighley Cougars U20s 28-30 Midland Hurricanes Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in association with A1 Stairlifts.
After two heavy defeats on the road to York and Leigh, the Cougars under 20’s returned to home comforts as they welcomed the Midlands Hurricanes.
And a phenomenal second half performance from the Hurricanes saw them come from twelve behind to snatch a narrow two point victory at a sunny Cougar Park.
Liam Darville got the Cougars off to the best possible start with a wonderful solo effort underneath the posts with less than a minute on the clock.
Despite conceding after 50 seconds, Midlands reacted quickly and Jason Bass powered over the line despite the best efforts of the Cougars defence.
Despite the setback following the first try, Taylor Stott extended the lead powering through three would be challengers to go under the sticks.
Dean Muir’s boys thought they had extended the lead further when James Crabb touched down a Taylor Stott chip over the top after fifteen minutes, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
They did from the next set however, when trialist James Hanson collected a suspiciously forward pass to get over the whitewash.
After conceding the further two four pointers, Joe James collected the ball on the wing shortly before the half hour and skipped past five Cougars tacklers to get the ball down.
Midlands found themselves back level when James collected a lovely Bass offload to race in underneath the posts, dodging four attempted tackles to score.
Cougars needed only four minutes to retake the lead when some lovely passing movement was finished off by Ben Blackwell who escaped a tackle to cross.
Cougars had a two converted try advantage as on the hooter, Chris Unsworth touched down a lovely kick from Darville in the corner.
After some wonderful work early on in the second half in both attack and defence, the Cougars were punished for a moment of sloppiness when Jason Bass went in unchallenged.
Bass continued his fantastic solo performance with another try, this time in the corner to bring the visitors within four points of the Cougars once again.
The visitors should have been at least level moments later when Bass broke through a tackle but his offload was spilt by Joe James who should have been over in the far corner.
Captain Matt Davis gave the visitors the lead for the first time in the afternoon when he raced forty metres to touch down despite the interest of Cougars full back Alfie Seeley.
Cougars should have retaken the lead but a Sean Kelly offload was collected by Davis rather than it’s intended target of trialist prop forward Louis Hobbs.
The game could have been put out of reach for the youngsters but the Hurricanes Dylan Bale had an effort ruled out for double movement by the officials.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Alfie Seeley – The full back put in a tireless effort in both defence and attack, helping a hand in two of the Cougars tries as well as helping stop Midlands scoring a couple more.
Cougars: Seeley, Unsworth, Blackwell, Hanson, Crabb, Stott, Darville, Hobbs, Kelly, Courtney, Eccleston, Watson, Graham. Interchanges: Gregory, Kennedy, Handol, Connell.
Hurricanes: Price, James, Bass, Holton, Freeman, Omaca, Heath, Gray, Bale, Birnie, Davis, Sturgess, Norman. Interchanges: Wakeling, Chapman, Smith, O’Sullivan.