All Golds 46-22 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
THE Cougars were left stunned after a poor performance led to a shock defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire All Golds.
It appeared to be business as usual when Andy Gabriel palmed Matty Beharrell’s kick out of the air for Adam Ryder to score in the first minute – but it would prove anything but for Craig Lingard’s side.
“To say it was very disappointing would be an understatement,” Lingard said.
“The way we’ve conducted ourselves in training and in games belie the way we’ve played today and as a coaching staff we have got together and scratched our heads wondering where that performance has come from.
“We’ve shown the lads clips of Gloucester’s middles and there dangers so they were under no illusions to what we were facing but they bullied us up the middle and we knew that’s the way they would come and unfortunately our middles didn’t stand up to their middles.
“What we’ve instilled in the players and what the players have brought to the table since the competitive season began means this was a very un-Keighley like performance.”
The All Golds took the lead when, after Harry Kidd was held up, Ritchie Hawkyard struggled with a grubber kick and Steve Parry pounced.
They extended their lead on the quarter-hour mark as, after coming close on the previous two tackles, the ball was worked to Mo Agoro, who dove in at the corner.
Keighley drew level as a Beharrell kick was plucked out of the air by Gabriel to provide the assist, this time for Josh Tonks to race over.
They fell behind once more with the final score of the half as Jack Mitchell touched down a Parry grubber, despite appearing to spill the ball on grounding.
The first period ended in bizarre circumstances as the Cougars broke and as Ryder offloaded to Beharrell, the referee adjudged the pass forward, much to the bemusement of supporters from both sides.
The visitors were punished when Lawton came up with an unnecessary offload and Harrison Elliott picked up the loose ball and marauded through from 60 metres.
The Cougars showed a spark and got back to within a converted try when, on the back of a penalty, James Feather forced his way over from the play-the-ball.
They then drew level when Will Milner spotted a gap in the defensive line and weaved through to touch down, with Lawton adding the extras.
Lingard’s men were proving to be their own worst enemy as they failed to deal with a Mitchell kick and the home side kept the ball alive and worked it to Agoro to seal his brace.
Agoro was proving to be a real thorn in the Cougars’ side and he punished them as the defence fell asleep, racing through unchallenged to go under the uprights again.
The result was no longer in doubt as Agoro completed his hat-trick, with Parry then successfully catching and scoring his own chip over the top.
There was still time for more points as Danny Fallon converted a penalty from in front of the uprights just seconds after missing another two point attempt from near to the touchline
Agoro showed great athleticism to grab his fourth try of the game in the final minute though as he managed to squirm past Gabriel.