Keighley Cougars 40-20 Dewsbury Rams by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in Association with A1 Stairlifts.
A flawless first half showing by the Keighley Cougars led the path to a convincing victory over the more fancied Dewsbury Rams.
The Cougars came racing out of the blocks and after Paul White was just held up short of the line, Tiger took the ball across the park to send Richie Barnett racing over in the corner.
Dewsbury looked nothing like the side who had mauled Batley two weeks previous and were punished for a missed tackle as Brendon Rawlins broke through before offloading to Luke Haigh, allowing the hooker to grab his first Cougars try.
The introduction of Jack Lee and Ross Peltier did nothing to ease the Rams defensive woes as they created more havoc which showed for the Cougars next two trips over the whitewash.
First a clever offload by Lee sent Paul March racing forty metres before he sent a cross field pass into the hands of Barnett to grab his second of the afternoon.
Post-match Marchy told the media: “I’m delighted, a near perfect first half but we didn’t shut up shop and they gained some momentum but we came out second half and we toughed it up and gave there forwards, especially the front row something to think about.”
Marchy’s appraisal of the first half showing was also shared by Josh Lynam, who said: “First half was the best performance of the season, pretty much perfect with the exception of the last few minutes when Dewsbury scored that try but apart from that we stuck to everything we said we was going to do together.”
The second try created by the benched duo saw the marauding Peltier took no prisoners as he left two Rams tacklers flat out on their backsides before walking it in under the posts.
Following a converted Danny Jones penalty, Dewsbury got on the board at last when Greg Scott managed to squeeze in the corner past Daley Williams.
The Rams started the second half the stronger side but found themselves further behind when Barnett intercepted a wild pass out the ruck and raced sixty metres to wrap up his hat-trick on an impressive afternoon for the winger.
Two tries in four minutes brought Glenn Morrison’s charges within touching distance of bonus point territory as they took advantage of a lack of concentration in the Cougars line.
First, Tommy Gallagher powered over before they made their way up the field from the restart to send Kieran Hyde diving over after March gave away a penalty on the try line.
Despite Barnett’s hat-trick, the try machine Paul White grabbed one for himself racing in to score by the corner post despite the interests of Shane Grady and Ryan Hepworth before Jones put over another two point penalty.
Stephen Nash powered over under the posts for Dewsbury but the Cougars had the final say when Haigh broke through a gap on the hooter to grab his second next to the posts to wrap up a good afternoon’s work for the home side.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Richie Barnett – The ‘Rocketman’ Richie Barnett continued his fantastic form of recent weeks as he grabbed a hat-trick to help the Cougars to victory over the Rams. As well as his feats in attack, a number of catches under pressure and fantastic link up play with James Craven and Danny Lawton gave the likes of Wayne Godwin more to think about than they would have originally hoped.
Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Jode Sheriffe, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, March. Interchanges: Law, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier.
Rams: Hyde, Morton, Pryce, Grady, Scott, Hemingway, Thackeray, Dowes, Godwin, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale, Tonks. Interchanges: Nash, Gallagher, Haggarty, Grayston.