Keighley Cougars 26-28 Leigh Centurions Match Review by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
The bravest performance in defeat in many a year by the Cougars was no consolation for a controversial heart breaking defeat to league leaders Leigh Centurions.
Adam Higson crossed in the corner ninety seconds from the hooter after the referee awarded a controversial penalty for a ball steal in the tackle.
After winning the game on the controversial call by the official, Leigh came into the game expected to win with ease but didn’t have it all their own way.
This was shown by Paul Rowley post match: “There was no surprises, we’re not arrogant enough to think we deserve wins and for us, it’s done us good to be in a true contest and we kept going right until the last minute, which has done us the world of good.”
Leigh threatened to run away early on with Bob Beswick proving the beneficiary of a Tom Spencer break and Tom Armstrong crossed through a massive gap in the defensive line.
These efforts came either side of the Rocketman, Richie Barnett, going over in the corner for his first try of the season and Cougars first of the afternoon.
Leigh opened up a twelve point when a wild Danny Jones pass was kicked eighty metres down field by Stuart Littler to allow Ryan Brierley to touch down.
Cougars came back into the game however when Jack Lee, on for Luke Haigh who departed concussed, threw a fantastic offload to James Craven to touch down under the posts.
Leigh went into the half time interval with an eight point lead when Martyn Ridyard converted a penalty on the hooter after Brendon Rawlins was penalised by the match official.
Paul March’s stooges turned the style on in a dominant second half performance which left the stunned Centurions outfit looking for answers.
Keighley narrowed the margin of difference to two points when Daley Williams took yet another beautiful Tiger pass before dummying through two defenders to touch down.
The home side then drew level when Jack Lee collected a wonderful pass from Neil Cherryholme before weaving his way through three Leigh challenges to touch down at full strength.
But, Jack Lee’s efforts came after the visitors took a six point lead when Higson grabbed his first of the match touching down in the corner despite a last ditch tackle attempt by Williams.
Danny Jones gave the Cougars a deserved lead when he converted a penalty when Leigh were penalised back to back for interference in the ruck.
But Higson scored on the back of the controversial penalty to win the game for Leigh, leaving Paul March with this to say: “I’m massively disappointed, we didn’t start quite well yet again and they scored an early try but we dug in deep. We played for each other today and probably deserved all three points.”
The side will be looking to bounce back next Saturday when they step into an unknown quantity at Cougar Park when NCL outfit Wath Brow Hornets visit in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Daley Williams – In a team full of heroes on this afternoon, Daley put himself out from the rest with his superb individual effort. As well as scoring a try, he forced numerous errors from Leigh whilst making a variety of fantastic tackles in defence across the park.
Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham, Lee.
Centurions: McNally, Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Spencer, Beswick, Aspinwall, Sarsfield, Goulden, Barlow. Interchanges (All Used): Wilkes, Penkywicz, Emmitt, Haggerty.