Doncaster RL Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
Following the defeat away at the hands of the York City Knights two weeks previous, the Cougars returned to action against an in form Doncaster outfit who travelled to Cougar Park on the back of two extremely impressive away victories against Featherstone Rovers and the Swinton Lions.
The only change from the defeat at York for this fixture was at hooker as influential club captain James ‘Buster’ Feather missed out through injury suspected to be the broken nose suffered against Workington Town with the other change being forced just minutes before kickoff. Joe Chandler was forced to withdraw through illness during the warm up meaning that Josh Lynam stepped up into the thirteen with Danny Lawton going onto the interchanges.
The start of the game was a slow and sloppy affair with the opening fifteen minutes providing dull with very little talking points. Paul White and Daley Williams both nearly crossed in the corners for the Cougars but on both occasions were just beaten as Scott Leatherbarrow’s kicks reached touch. The only other action saw Danny Jones win a penalty after he was a victim off a Brett Waller high shot.
Then the game suddenly sprung into life, with the Cougars edging closer and closer to scoring, a Danny Jones kick saw Dave Scott make the horrendous decision to play the ball backwards from the bounce into the arms of James Haley who then crossed with ease to score. Scott Leatherbarrow then added the two.
Doncaster then raced into the lead, first Liam Kay collected the last of some fantastic passing to race through a bus sized gap into the corner with Stewart Sanderson missing the conversion in a horrible fashion before Dave Scott collected a suspiciously forward pass to race sixty metres and offload to Craig Hughes who crashed over just next to posts with Sanderson this time easily adding the two to open up a four point lead for the visitors.
Cougars then forced their visitors to dropout as Scott Leatherbarrow’s restart found its way into touch after bobbling along the Cougar Park pitch. Unfortunately the Cougars couldn’t capitalise as Doncaster quickly regained possession. But then after Josh Lynam was held short and the Cougars won a penalty for an offside challenge on Joe Parkinson, Paul March squeezed his way over the line before Scotty Leatherbarrow added the two to put the Cougars back into the lead.
The Cougars then nearly extended their lead after Paul March and Elliott Cosgrove forced an error from Lee Waterman but they didn’t succeed in the extension after Marchy was penalised for obstruction moments before Scott Law spilled the ball.
Things didn’t get better for the Cougars as Danny Jones was punished for interfering with play before some tough Cougars tackling just pushed Stewart Sanderson into touch meaning the winger didn’t get in for what would have been the final try of the half.
The second half started as slowly as the first with handling errors proving the difference between the two sides. Paul March was the culprit of three sloppy errors of his own but on each occasion was saved by vital tackles by both Danny Jones and Elliott Cosgrove.
But then, the Cougars got the first try of the half as some sloppy Doncaster defending allowed Paul White to race in and make his way over for the Cougars third try of the afternoon with Scott Leatherbarrow adding the two. The winger then thought he was in again but Jamie Leahy ruled out the try for a forward pass from Paul March.
The Cougars were then providing Doncaster with serious problems in defence as they couldn’t handle the Keighley forward pack and this eventually came to a head when Sean Hesketh successfully fought off forward of the visiting defenders to put the ball down for a Cougars try. Scott Leatherbarrow then again added the extras to put the visitors out of bonus point territory.
Things were getting worse for Doncaster and this showed as the restart from Craig Fawcett when straight out on the full but the Cougars on this occasion failed to take advantage but Scott Leatherbarrow then showed what the Cougars are capable off as he intercepted the ball and raced eighty metres to score despite the best efforts of Donny centre Liam Kay to stop him, he then added the two to put twenty points between the sides.
The Cougars were continually pressurising the Doncaster line and after a quiet five minutes in which the only moment of note was Brendon Rawlins and Brett Waller sharing fisticuffs, the home side were nearly in again but Stewart Sanderson beat Daley Williams in the air to prevent the winger extending the lead but then James Haley forced his way over the Doncaster line meaning the efforts were for nothing. Scott Leatherbarrow then missed for the first time in the afternoon. This proved to be the last action of the game as the Cougars secured a much needed victory.
The Yorkshire Times Keighley Cougars Man of the Match – Elliott Cosgrove – The centre even though outshone most probably by his centres partner James Haley who crossed twice but the Cougars could have been long out of the game if ‘Cozzy’ hadn’t of made two try saving tackles at the start of the second half and played his part in attack as well helping in the build up to two of the Cougars tries.
Cougars: Jones, Williams, Cosgrove, Haley, White, March, Leatherbarrow, Shickell, Kelly, Hesketh, Pursglove, Lynam, Rawlins. Interchanges: Lawton, Law, Jode Sheriffe, Parkinson
Doncaster: Waterman, Dave Scott, Cowling, Kay, Sanderson, Cooke, Fawcett, Castle, Emmett, Waller, Adam Scott, Edwards, Trout. Interchanges: Hughes, Powley, Garbutt, Spiers