Rochdale Hornets 14-40 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
Following the disappointing defeat at Doncaster the week previous, Keighley Cougars travelled to Rochdale looking to bounce back
Despite conceding two early tries, the Cougars got back into the game through the luck of the green when Brendan Rawlins escaped an offside call before Paul Handforth wriggled through a gap to cross the line.
The Cougars finished the half four points off the pace when a lovely passing move resulted with Paul White effectively jogging into the corner under little challenge.
Paul White gave the Cougars the lead for the first time six minutes into the second stanza when he crossed following a lovely Danny Jones pass.
Whitey’s hat-trick came from a bit of fortune when he collected a Jones kick and touched down despite being in an offside position.
Cougars second half dominance continued when Sean Hesketh was held up short but offloaded to Paul March who powered over.
Marchy said post match: “I thought we defended far too much in the first half, but we get hold off the game and come back. Second half, it was all there evident for everybody ¬to see that we upped our tempo.”
And moments later, Paul White found himself going over in the corner for his fourth when after collecting the ball from a long range pass, he went over with the freedom of Rochdale at his mercy.
Following the game, Whitey said: “Majority of my tries, I just got onto the end of them and I would have liked to finish the one where I got put into touch but I’m just out there finishing tries, it’s my job that if I’m there on the end to finish them.”
Then a March break saw the Player-Coach offload to Lewis Graham who raced forty yards to cross for his first try as a Keighley player.
Cougars wrapped up the comprehensive victory seconds after the final hooter when James Craven raced down the wing to cross in the corner.
The Cougars got off to the worse possible start however when Fiji international Ryan Millard, on debut for the hosts, controlled the play to allow Gareth Langley to get over in the corner.
Rochdale extended their lead through the same man in the same corner when Langley touched down following a lovely kick on the last to the wing from full back Sean Casey.
The Hornets didn’t let a Cougars reply stop them extending the lead when Matty Dawson wonderfully collected a Millard grubber to get his sides third of the afternoon.
YORKSHIRE TIMES MAN OF THE MATCH – Paul March – The Player-Coach, dubbed as one half of the family circus in the matchday programme, made a clown out of the Hornets with a fantastic display off the interchanges bench, controlling the play throughout his stint on the field as well as grabbing himself a try and playing a part in two others.
COUGARS: Craven, Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. INTERCHANGES (All Used): March, Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham.
HORNETS: Casey, Langley, Davies, Dawson, Te’o, Crook, Millard, Walker, Dandy, Thompson, Greenwood, Flanagan, Suffolk. INTERCHANGES (All Used): Cookson, Case, Marsh, Dwyer.