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Yorkshire Derby Day In Race For The Eight – York Preview

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Keighley Cougars v York City Knights Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

Date: Sunday 25th June

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley

After a superb second half showing saw off the London Skolars last Sunday, the Cougars are back on home turf once more as the York City Knights visit in a huge match in the race for both a top eight and a top four finish.

LAST TIME OUT:

The Cougars came back from a 14-18 half time deficit to register a 45-26 victory over the London Skolars. Davey Dixon, Matthew Bailey and a try of the season contender from Harry Aaronson in the first half were followed by second half efforts from Mike Emmett, Dixon, Matt Beharrell, James Feather and Nathan Conroy whilst Beharrell also slotted over a drop goal.

The Knights recent good form came to an end as they lost 16-18 at home to high flying Whitehaven. Despite trailing 4-18, two late tries from Brad Hey and Tim Spears brought the home side within two points with four minutes left to play but Connor Robinson missed all three attempts on goal following Spears try to rescue the home side a point.

TEAM NEWS:

Craig Lingard will be without Vinny Finigan (Ankle) once more and he is joined in the medical room by Scott Law (Groin) who sustained an injury against the Skolars. Ritchie Hawkyard (Facial) is still at least a fortnight away from a return whilst Ben Sagar’s recent impressive performances for the reserves earn him a call up to the 19 man squad. Otherwise, Lingard sticks with the same side that saw off London.

The Knights will be without Harry Carter (Hernia) who was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation following the defeat to Whitehaven last Sunday. Former Cougar Samir Taharoui (Knee) is still unavailable having yet to make his debut for the minster club. Tuoyo Egodo joined the club Friday from Castleford and is expected to debut whilst fellow new recruit Ryan Mallinder is not included.

KEY BATTLE:

In Connor Robinson and Pat Smith, the Knights possess a real threat from the number 9 position and the duo will provide a stern test for James Feather and Nathan Conroy as well as the Cougars pack in and around the ruck. This should be an enthralling battle throughout this Sunday afternoon.

THE SQUADS:

COUGARS: Aaronson; Bailey; Barnes; Beharrell; Brook; Cherryholme; Conroy; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Gabriel; Lynam; Milner; Nicholson; Rawlins; Ryder; Sagar; Tonks; Whittel.

KNIGHTS: Batchelor; Dixon; Egodo; Foggin-Johnston; Haynes; Hey; Jubb; Moran; Morrison; A Robinson; C Robinson; Robson; Saxton; Siddons; E Smith; P Smith; Spears; B Tyson-Wilson; H Tyson-Wilson.

THE COACHES:

Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “This is the most competitive League One has ever been. There’s never been a Toronto before and three Cumbrian teams in there.

“Then you’ve got the heartland teams, including ourselves, and expansion teams, who have had five, six, seven years to get going and are now finding their feet and stronger.

“Every team in the league has got players who have ability and like to play a bit of rugby. If the defence is good then they are going to score points against you, so it is very difficult at the minute.

“You have no God-given right to be in the top eight or the top four. You’ve got to fight for every point you get.”

York City Knights Head Coach James Ford: “I thought we were miles away from the standards we’ve set ourselves against Whitehaven. Some of the stuff we did with the ball was unrecognisable.

“We have shown when we have an off day we still have enough fight and character to be in the game against a good team and we should have taken something from the game – we certainly had enough chances.

“We got somewhere near in the second half when the standards were more like the team we’ve seen in the last few weeks and in practice.

“I think the effort from the middle was fantastic, especially after we lost Chris Siddons (to sunstroke) after 10 minutes leaving us a player down for 70 minutes.

“But we’re a bit disgusted with ourselves – we know we’re better than we performed against Whitehaven.”

THE REFEREE:

The referee for this Kingstone Press League One Round Twelve fixture at Cougar Park is Tom Crashley from Castleford. Crashley’s last Keighley appointment came in the high scoring League One defeat away at Rochdale Hornets last July in which a late rally from the Cougars proved too late after being on the back foot for the majority of the game.

PREDICTION:

Cougar Park is a traditional bogey ground for the Knights with the club only winning twice in Keighley since it’s re-formation in 2002 but the one thing you can’t do with the Knights under James Ford is write them off as they have established themselves as the ultimate underdogs over the past three years. A victory for Keighley would take them up to fourth and give them great momentum heading into next week’s trip to Whitehaven so two points is again extremely important. It promises to be an absolute corker this Sunday at Cougar Park.

19 Man Squad Announcement – York City Knights

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Head Coach Craig Lingard has this morning announced the 19 man squad to face York City Knights this Sunday.

Scott Law (Groin) has been ruled out for a month after sustaining an injury early into last Sunday’s victory over the London Skolars.

His place in the 19 man squad is taken by Ben Sagar, who has stood out over the past few weeks with his performances for the reserves.

Otherwise, the squad remains unchanged from that, that defeated the Skolars last weekend.

Vinny Finigan (Ankle) and Ritchie Hawkyard (Facial) are both still a minimum of a fortnight away from full fitness.

19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE YORK:
1 – Harry Aaronson
2 – Andy Gabriel
5 – Davey Dixon
7 – Matty Beharrell
9 – James Feather
11 – Josh Lynam
12 – Brendon Rawlins
13 – Mike Emmett
14 – Adam Brook
15 – Neil Cherryholme
16 – Will Milner
17 – Nathan Conroy
18 – Josh Tonks
19 – Matthew Bailey
21 – Emmerson Whittel
25 – Ben Sagar
29 – Brad Nicholson
32 – Adam Ryder
34 – Hamish Barnes

Karen Stephenson To Run Manchester Half Marathon For MNDA

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Keighley Cougars are sad to announce that club legend Phil Stephenson has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Affectionally known as ‘Stepho’, Phil was a part of the clubs most successful era ‘Cougarmania’ and made over 300 appearances for the club prior to retiring at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

Phil was also the Cougars captain before handing the armband over to current Captain, James ‘Buster’ Feather, who has since become only the second player after Stephenson to make 300 appearances for the club during the summer era.

Phil’s wife Karen is to run the Manchester Half Marathon in October to raise money for the MNDA. (Motor Neurone Disease Association)

We hope that you, the Cougars faithful, can donate as much as possible to support Phil, his family and the MNDA.

To donate & find out more information, please go to the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karenstephenson10?utm_id=13

Rawlo Testimonial Irish Night

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Details for Brendon Rawlins Testimonial Irish Night have been confirmed.

The event will take place at Cougar Park on Friday 14th July with a 7:30pm start with band Dale Country performing throughout the evening.

Tickets are priced at £10 and include supper.

If you’re interested or would like to attend this event please phone Margaret Proctor on 07980 893003.

Josh Casey Joins Hemel On Loan

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Keighley Cougars can today confirm Josh Casey has joined Hemel Stags on an initial month’s loan.

Casey made his senior debut in March’s defeat to Toronto Wolfpack but has struggled to cement a place in the first team and has been loaned out to gain more experience.

The centre made his debut for the Stags this past Sunday in the 20-32 home defeat to the All Golds.

Hemel have an option at the end of the month to extend Josh’s loan for the remainder off the season.

Second Half Show Seals Cougars Victory

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Keighley Cougars 45-26 London Skolars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

THE Cougars got their top-eight hopes back on track to move three points clear of their visitors in League One.

Defeat to Newcastle Thunder the previous week meant this clash was must-win for Keighley against a London side who were just a point behind them before kick-off.

“We just needed to be smarter and when we went 14 points up in the first half we should have closed the game out then but we didn’t and allowed London back into it,” said Craig Lingard.

“I’m pleased we learnt our lesson because when you get a team on the ropes you’ve got to knock them out and we got the lead because we controlled possession well and defended well.

“When you’re playing in this heat if you don’t control possession then unfortunately you’ll concede points and that’s what happened to us in the first half.

“We learnt our lesson from the first half though and we got 14 poinits in front again and put our foot down.”

Keighley got off to a flying start as they raced into a 14-0 lead after just a quarter of an hour.

They opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Harry Aaronson kept the ball alive before putting a grubber kick across to the corner for Davey Dixon to pounce

Matthew Bailey marauded over from close range as the Skolars line failed to withstand the pressure being put on it, Mike Emmett creating the space with a lovely short pass.

Aaronson then put in a contender for try of the season as, after thwarting a 40/20 attempt on the right edge, he cut inside across the width of the field before a lovely show and go allowed him to break the Skolars line and race 80 metres to score.

A Hamish Barnes effort was then ruled out for offside and the Skolars took advantage to turn the game on its head.

From the resulting penalty, Dave Williams fended off a would-be tackler to race round and touch down beneath the uprights.

Billy Driver then scored a quick brace of tries, the first of which came about as he showed quick footwork to weave through a number of Cougars players to dive over.

His second was more simple as he touched down a loose ball on the free play after Aaronson had knocked it out of his hand in a tackle attempt.

Keighley kicked it up a gear in the second half, first retaking the lead when Emmett marked his 200th career appearance by taking the pass from the play the ball from Nathan Conroy.

This came after a controversial moment in which Adam Ryder grounded the ball but the officials ruled that Andy Gabriel had been in an offside position to the bemusement of both sides.

Dixon sealed his own brace after great work from Emmerson Whittel – and then Aaronson allowed the winger to dummy round behind the posts.

The Cougars then put the game out of London’s reach as Andy Gabriel broke the line and looked up to pass and send Matty Beharrell cruising over.

James Feather added his name to the scoreboard, squeezing over to complete a superb flowing move down the Cougar Park slope.

Lamont Bryan registered the Skolars’ first points of the half as he battled his way over to stretch an arm over the whitewash.

A Beharrell drop goal extended the lead further before Conroy scored after great work from Brad Nicholson to break the London line and race through.

Michael Brown had the final say as he scored in the corner on the hooter for the capital outfit.

Reserves Taught Lesson By England Students

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Keighley Cougars Reserves 26-62 English Universities Match Report by James Smith (@JamesSmith_LTU)

England Students visited Cougar Park in what the RFL billed as an ‘international friendly’, their second of the season after having beaten Scotland students earlier in the season.

Keighley made the worst possible start and found themselves 6-0 down after Prop Forward Aaron Hall sauntered through the middle to touchdown early doors.

Things went from bad to worse with less than ten minutes on the clock as Marcus Stock went through for the students, with Sam Druce unable to convert to keep the score 0-10.

Failure to score was then punished as Keighley Cougars own Kieran Smith scored, before a terrible conversion was missed which made the score 0-14.

The home side finally registered as Aidan Scully broke down Cougars’ right to slot home before converting his own try to make the score 6-14.

That was only a brief reprieve, Students scored twice in quick succession. First Josh Hamilton stole a march on the defence for a routine score, before Jason Bass glossed the scoreline which made the score 6-26.

Dom Bryan added insult to injury after a sin-binning to make the half time score 6-32.

Cougars started the second half brightly with two tries as Rikki Sheriffe and Liam Darville went over which narrowed the scoreline to 16-32 with a long way still to go.

The referee showed his card prowess once more as Kieran Smith was sin binned, the students problems were exacerbated as Cougars scored from the resulting penalty making the score 22-32.

Then, a moment to savour for young Josh Smith, some tidy rugby from the Cougars sent the youngster away and the 17 year old scored to make the score 26-32.

Cougars hard work was undone not long after. Good play from Aaron Hall led to Dan Harrison scoring and putting daylight between the sides once more.

Jacob Morgan effectively ended Cougars’ hopes of a comeback, making it 26-44. Before James Mason went over to leave the home side deflated as the score went to 26-50.

A pulsating second half continued, when, with seven to go Jack Lazenby went over for 26-56. More slack defending saw Lazenby score again in the closing minutes to make it 26-62.

That proved to be the last score in an entertaining game as England Students triumphed.

COUGARS: Barker, McConville, Scully, Rawlinson, Smith, Darville, Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Weatherill, Price, Connell, Sagar, Kinnaird. Subs: Brown, Adams, Nassau, Clarkson, Robinson.

Cougars Welcome A Capital Challenge – Skolars Preview

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Keighley Cougars v London Skolars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

Date: Sunday 18th June

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley

After a damning defeat away at Newcastle last Sunday, the Cougars top eight aspirations are under serious threat as one of their top eight spot rivals London Skolars visit Cougar Park.

LAST TIME OUT:

The Cougars slumped at a 36-12 defeat away at Newcastle Thunder. Tries from Adam Ryder and Vinny Finigan in the first half set the Cougars up nicely for the second despite trailing by two points, but the Thunder ran in 24 unanswered points after the interval to condemn Craig Lingard’s side to a fifth away defeat of the season.

The Skolars came from behind to register a 31-18 home victory over Oxford to keep themselves alive and kicking in the race for the eight. Trailing 6-18 at one point to their visitors, Jermaine Coleman’s team turned up a gear to run in 25 unanswered points with Ben Pointer, Mike Bishay and Callum Bustin amongst the pointscorers.

TEAM NEWS:

Craig Lingard will be without Vinny Finigan (Ankle) for Sunday’s visit of the Skolars but good news is that Ritchie Hawkyard (Facial) returned to training this week but is still another three weeks at least away from match fitness. Harry Aaronson (Shoulder) returns to the 19 man squad and Adam Brook comes in to replace Liam Darville.

The Skolars make the trip north to West Yorkshire this Sunday to face the Cougars and have made three changes of there own from the side that defeated Oxford last Saturday. Michael Greenhalgh, Lameck Juma and James Hill all drop out of the side with Andy Winfield, Charlie Lawrence and Kameron Pearce-Paul taking there places.

KEY BATTLE:

The Skolars have a experienced veteran in the halves in the shape of former Cougar Jy-Mel Coleman and his partnership with Mike Bishay could cause the Cougars problems if not contained, they will provide more than a stiff test for Matty Beharrell and his half-back partner come 3pm on Sunday.

THE SQUADS:

COUGARS: Aaronson; Bailey; Barnes; Beharrell; Brook; Cherryholme; Conroy; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Gabriel; Law; Lynam; Milner; Nicholson; Rawlins; Ryder; Tonks; Whittel.

SKOLARS: Adebiyi; Allison; Bishay; Brown; Bryan; Bustin; Chester; Coleman; Dollapi; Driver; Lawrence; Melling; Nash; Pearce-Paul; Pointer; Robinson; Sykes; Williams; Winfield.

THE COACHES:

Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “We keep stressing the importance of these ‘four-point’ games. It is important to take points off teams around us but also important to build momentum for the second half of the season.

“We’ve got to be beating these teams around us but our performances against them have not been good enough. That has to improve as we play London this week and York the next.

“If you have an off-day or off 40 minutes you get found out and we were found out on Sunday. We’ve got to get back to it soon.”

London Skolars Head Coach Jermaine Coleman has yet to comment.

THE REFEREE:

The referee for this Kingstone Press League One Round Ten Eleven Fixture at Cougar Park is Nick Bennett from Sheffield. The game will be Bennett’s third Cougars appointment of the season with the second of his previous two coming in early April as Keighley’s League One Cup defence was ended at the hands of the Barrow Raiders.

PREDICTION:

Head Coach Craig Lingard has stressed the importance of this ‘four-point’ game and now the regular season enters it’s run-in he needs his side to respond and pick up crucial points to avoid missing out on a top eight finish in the division. That has to start this Sunday with the visit of the London Skolars, themselves with top eight aspirations, and nothing less than the two points will suffice for either side.

19 Man Squad Announcement – London Skolars

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Head Coach Craig Lingard has today announced his 19 man squad for Sunday’s crucial League One encounter with the London Skolars.

Vinny Finigan drops out the squad after suffering an ankle ligament injury during training on Tuesday evening and was on crutches yesterday with the length of his period on the sidelines to still be determined.

Harry Aaronson (Shoulder) returns to the 19 man squad after missing the victory over South Wales and defeat to Newcastle through injury whilst there is a recall for Adam Brook after recent impressive performances for the Reserves.

Liam Darville is not included by Linners and will feature for the Reserves on Saturday against the English Universities.

19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE SKOLARS:
1 – Harry Aaronson
2 – Andy Gabriel
5 – Davey Dixon
7 – Matty Beharrell
8 – Scott Law
9 – James Feather
11 – Josh Lynam
12 – Brendon Rawlins
13 – Mike Emmett
14 – Adam Brook
15 – Neil Cherryholme
16 – Will Milner
17 – Nathan Conroy
18 – Josh Tonks
19 – Matthew Bailey
21 – Emmerson Whittel
29 – Brad Nicholson
32 – Adam Ryder
34 – Hamish Barnes

Cougars To Give Free Wembley Tickets To Children

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Keighley Cougars will over the next month be donating free tickets for children to the 2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final.

The final will take place on Saturday 26th August at Wembley Stadium with a 3pm KO with the Quarter Finals taking place over the weekend beginning this evening with Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity.

A representative of the Cougars will be handing out the tickets whilst visiting schools over the next month on behalf of the club.

Meanwhile, Cougars Season Ticket Holders can purchase discounted tickets with prices starting at £15. To purchase these tickets email Gary Fawcett at info@keighleycougars.com

Cougars Rolled Over By The Thunder

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Newcastle Thunder 36-12 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

KEIGHLEY Cougars’ top eight aspirations took a major knock as they slumped to defeat on the road at Newcastle Thunder.

The game marked club captain James Feather’s 300th appearance for the Cougars. However, his big day would be spoilt.

“I’m massively disappointed, especially after the first half where we handled the difficult conditions extremely well,” said Head Coach Craig Lingard.

“But in the second half we just completely tipped over for Newcastle and lacked any sort of enthusiasm and desire so they deserved the win.

“Because of the importance of the game it is definitely the worst performance the lads have put in since I arrived at the club especially after the way we played in the first half.

“Our biggest problem is we’re lacking a lot of composure and patience because we want everything to happen now and it doesn’t happen like that especially against the other sides in the top eight.

“You’ve got to be willing to put the graft in for the full 80 minutes and just keeping doing the things you worked on in training but when you try to solve it on your own, it doesn’t work.”

The visitors broke the deadlock as Josh Tonks charged through the Thunder line and, after quick hands from Matty Beharrell, Adam Ryder raced over unchallenged from 20 metres out.

Newcastle responded, and took advantage after a lapse in the Cougars’ defence saw them fail to complete a tackle on Lewis Young which allowed the full-back to show great tenacity and squeeze his way over the line.

Thunder then went ahead as Tom Shaw put up a hanging kick on the last tackle, which allowed Ali Blair to beat Vinny Finigan in the air and touch the ball down.

Cougars re-took the lead immediately however from a short kick off. Liam Darville showed great feet to cut inside to his right and get the ball to Finigan who crashed over in the corner.

Lingard will have felt his side were hard done by from a referee’s decision, as on their next attack Brad Nicholson appeared to outstretch his arm for a try but the official ruled he had knocked on.

And Thunder were also disappointed not to add to the scoreboard when, following a penalty for holding in the tackle, Benn Hardcastle dragged his effort wide of the uprights.

The hosts then scored under contentious circumstances as the referee ruled Ryder had knocked the ball free when it appeared a knock-on, allowing the home side to work their way downfield and put Blair over for his second try.

Newcastle, for the first time in the game, took a comprehensive lead as Hardcastle utilised a lovely ‘show and go’ on the last tackle to create the space to dive over next to the uprights.

Their performance stepped up another gear with Hardcastle’s kick taking a wicked bounce off the 4G surface, allowing Young to pick the ball out the air and go in underneath the posts.

Keighley chances were few and far between, and the closest they came throughout the entire second half was when Andy Gabriel was held just short of the line with Darville spilling the offload.

Young sealed his hat-trick for the hosts when he saw off two would-be tacklers to go over next to the uprights.

Reserves Fall To Narrow Derby Defeat

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Keighley Cougars Reserves 18-22 Halifax RL Reserves by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

COUGARS Reserves fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of West Yorkshire rivals Halifax at Cougar Park.

The game was a fairly even encounter throughout and Halifax took the lead as following a free play from a knock on Aiden Hema pounced to ground the ball.

Josh Casey then got the Cougars onto the scoreboard as he took the ball from the air from an Adam Brook kick and managed to outstretch his arm over the line.

Martin Gonzalez’s visitors would then take the game by the scruff of the neck as they scored three quick fire tries in the space of five first half minutes.

Jamie Stringer forced walked into the corner with ease just moments after spilling the ball in a similar position.

On the opposite side, the Cougars outside edge were caught out of position and Sam Smith took full advantage to race through and dive over.

Jude Corcos would then grab his first off the evening with an easy touchdown down the Keighley right wing.

Scott Lindsey’s side would only going into the interval trailing by eight points however as Calvin Barker broke the line before sending Graham Rawlinson racing 60 metres to go in underneath the uprights.

Barker would get his name onto the scoreboard in the second half pouncing on a bobbling ball inside the Halifax in-goal area.

Both sides were then reduced to 12 as Martyn Reilly took a cheap shot at Brook in the tackle which led to the official sending Reilly and Luke Walters to the bin following handbags.

The visitors then worked the ball out to Curcos who cut inside to touch down to seal his brace.

In the aftermath, the Cougars were reduced to 11 as Callum Smithson was dismissed for foul and abusive language towards a match official.

The final say would go to the Cougars in spectacular fashion.

Jak Adams got a deaf flick away out the tackle to Brook who found the space to put in a lovely curling kick to the far corner for Barker to acrobatically pluck out the air and touchdown.

COUGARS: Smith, Barker, Casey, Rawlinson, McConville, Smithson, Brook, Kinnaird, Weatherill, Price, Scully, Sagar, Walters. Subs: Brown, Adams, Clarkson, Robinson.

Cougars Roll In For Thunderous Challenge – Newcastle Preview

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Newcastle Thunder v Keighley Cougars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

Date: Sunday 11th June

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: Kingston Park, Newcastle

After a routine victory over the South Wales Ironmen last time out, the Cougars head north this Sunday to face a challenge in the form of the Newcastle Thunder, who are becoming resurgent under the stewardship of Interim Coach Jason Payne.

LAST TIME OUT:

Newcastle’s first game under the temporary stewardship of former player Jason Payne saw them pick up a comprehensive 10-56 victory on the road against the All Golds. Derrell Olpherts scored a hat-trick whilst Ali Blair sealed a brace. Joe Brown, Lewis Young, Danny Nicklas, Rhys Clarke and Sam Luckley also registered themselves onto the scoreboard.

The Cougars ran in 13 tries as they recorded a 74-6 rout over the South Wales Ironmen at Cougar Park. Full-Back Liam Darville ran in a personal haul of 4 tries whilst braces were added by Josh Tonks, Davey Dixon and Andy Gabriel. Further tries on the evening came through Adam Ryder, Brad Nicholson and Scott Law with Matty Beharrell converting 11 goals.

TEAM NEWS:

Jason Payne comes into this game without Danny Nicklas and Brett Waller who both drop out of the side that secured victory in Cheltenham last weekend. Exciting utility back Tyler Craig comes into the side as does the former England international winger Peter Fox.

Craig Lingard welcomes Hamish Barnes (Knee) back from a six week injury lay-off following re-joining from Dewsbury and he takes the place of Harry Aaronson (Shoulder) in the only change to the 19 man squad. Club Captain James Feather will make his 300th appearance for the Cougars on Tyneside.

KEY BATTLE:

The Thunder pose a real danger in the shape of Cook Island international Prop Forward Vincent Rennie who is one of Newcastle’s standout performers since his arrival in the North-East. His battles with the likes of Scott Law and Brad Nicholson promise to be entertaining viewing this Sunday afternoon.

THE SQUADS:

THUNDER: H Aldous; J Aldous; Blair; Brown; Clarke; Craig; Fox; Hardcastle; Kilday; Luckley; McAvoy; Olpherts; Parker; Rennie; Shaw; Simons; Snitch; Teroi; Young.

COUGARS: Bailey; Barnes; Beharrell; Cherryholme; Conroy; Darville; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Finigan; Gabriel; Law; Lynam; Milner; Nicholson; Rawlins; Ryder; Tonks; Whittel.

THE COACHES:

Newcastle Thunder Interim Coach Jason Payne: “The performance was really good with our all-around effort in terms of working hard for each other. We ran harder than them, we tackled harder than them, we did the basics really well but saying that it was far from a complete performance so there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“We played well in the second half and really turned it on but the first was quite ordinary. In total it was probably only a 50-minute performance from us and we can assess what went wrong on Tuesday.

“Against Keighley this week, we’ll have to play for 80 minutes if we want to get a result.”

Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “I think Thunder are in a false position and are better than their league placing suggests at the minute.

“They have strength all the way down the middle with a strong pack and some strike on the edge as well. We are under no illusions it’s going to be a massively tough game.

“If we beat them we go four points above them and if they beat us they go level with us, so it’s a huge ‘four-point’ game. We need to chalk it off and get our away form back on track.”

THE REFEREE:

The referee for this Kingstone Press League One Round Ten fixture at Kingston Park is Jonathan Roberts from Huddersfield. Roberts has refereed the Cougars on a number of occasions over the past two seasons with his last appointment being the away victory against North Wales Crusaders in June of last year.

PREDICTION:

Craig Lingard will be looking for his players to back-up last Saturday’s victory over South Wales whilst Jason Payne will be doing the same with his Newcastle outfit. The conditions on the 4G pitch at Kingston Park promise to play a huge part in this crucial clash in the race for a top eight position in League One as the Super Eights cut-off edges ever nearer.

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19 Man Squad Announcement – Newcastle Thunder

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Head Coach Craig Lingard this morning has announced his 19 man squad to face Newcastle Thunder this Sunday at Kingston Park.

Club Captain James Feather is named and will lead the Cougars on what will be his 300th appearance for the club.

Elsewhere, Hamish Barnes (Knee) returns from a six week injury lay-off and takes the place of Harry Aaronson in the 19 who is still struggling with a shoulder issue.

Otherwise, Linners takes an unchanged squad north to face the Thunder.

19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE NEWCASTLE THUNDER:
2 – Andy Gabriel
5 – Davey Dixon
7 – Matty Beharrell
8 – Scott Law
9 – James Feather
11 – Josh Lynam
12 – Brendon Rawlins
13 – Mike Emmett
15 – Neil Cherryholme
16 – Will Milner
17 – Nathan Conroy
18 – Josh Tonks
19 – Matthew Bailey
21 – Emmerson Whittel
24 – Liam Darville
26 – Vinny Finigan
29 – Brad Nicholson
32 – Adam Ryder
34 – Hamish Barnes

Travel Pack – Newcastle Thunder

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Newcastle Thunder Travel Pack by James Smith (@JamesSmith_LTU)

After returning to winning ways against South Wales last time out, the Cougars hit the road for a tough test north against the resurgent Newcastle Thunder.

Newcastle ThunderGAME DETAILS:
Newcastle Thunder v Keighley Cougars
Kingstone Press League One Round Ten
Kingston Park
Sunday 11th June, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Mr J Roberts

ADMISSION
ADVANCED PRICES:
Adult Seated – £12
Concessions Seated – £10
Under 16’s Seated – £6
Under 11’s Seated – £3

Adult Standing – £10
Concessions Standing – £8
Under 16’s Standing – £6
Under 11’s Standing – £3

Advanced tickets are available until 4pm on Saturday 10th June and can be purchased by ringing the Kingston Park Box Office on 08712266060 between 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00-16:00 on Saturday.

MATCHDAY PRICES:
Adult Seated – £15
Concessions Seated – £12
Under 16’s Seated – £6
Under 11’s Seated – £3

Adult Standing – £12
Concessions Standing – £10
Under 16’s Standing – £6
Under 11’s Standing – £3

 

Disabled supporters with any specific accessibility, assistance or viewing requirements can you please contact Newcastle Thunder prior to the fixture confidentially by emailing Jordan.Robinson@newcastle-falcons.co.uk

Newcastle Thunder also offers supporters Matchday Hospatility packages starting from only £30 per person. Contact the club to find out more information.

VENUE:
Kingston-Park-NewcastleIt was in 1990 when the Falcons, under the name of Newcastle Gosforth first moved into their current home, Kingston Park. The site had been the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Sports Ground prior to this.

Since the professional era, Kingston Park has undergone a number of facelifts, firstly with the installation of a temporary stand on the western side of the ground, and most recently the construction of three completely new permanent stands. These are the main West Stand, the popular covered terracing of the South Stand and the uncovered terracing of the North Stand.

The East Stand houses the club’s offices and changing rooms, as well as our Hiding Place and Clubhouse bars and the Falcons’ custom built media suite.

This stand was the only one present when Kingston Park was originally converted into a rugby stadium by Newcastle Gosforth, and the Ticket Office and Club Shop can also be found here.

The sheltered terracing of the John Smiths Stand at the south end of the ground has already carved out somewhat of a vocal reputation for itself, with the noise generated there being heard right across the pitch. The South Stand bar is also a lively post and pre-match venue, with a friendly and sociable atmosphere to greet both home and away fans.

The all-seater state of the art West Stand houses some of the best facilities in club rugby, playing host to the club’s corporate clients and Premier Club members. The stadium control rooms are housed in the West Stand, which has three levels of bars and function rooms. The concourse bar on the ground floor runs the length of the field and is the place to grab a pint and a burger on match days, with Players Q&A sessions and live music taking place before and after most home games.

The uncovered terracing of the North Stand provides the most easily accessible area of the ground for many fans, with reasonably priced Tickets attracting many newcomers to the game. Plans are in place to add a roof to the stand as part of the stadium’s continual development, as well as further facilities.

WHERE TO DRINK:
The Kingston Park Stadium usually opens at least 90 minutes before kick off and serves a range of drinks along with burgers, chips and other food.

If you are in the area and looking for food or drinks prior to the game the closest pub and restaurant to the ground is the Twin Farms pub, which is 0.4 miles or 8 minutes’ walk from the ground. To get to the Twin Farms head out of the main stadium gates and turn right; follow Brunton Road along and turn right onto Main Street road. The pub is a short distance along the road on your right.

Alternatively, there is also a Tesco Superstore, McDonalds, Boots Chemist and a range of other shops within walking distance of the stadium. To get to the retail Park exit the main gates of the Kingston Park rugby ground, turn left and then immediately right onto Windsor Way. Follow this road around to the left and turn right at the traffic lights. Continue straight ahead taking care when crossing the Metro train lines; you will see Boots, Greggs and Marks and Spencer to your right and Tesco, McDonalds and a number of other shops to your left.

Please note that there is also a petrol station at Tesco Kingston Park.

WHERE TO PARK:
Parking is available on site on a matchday and is FREE of charge. Local parking restrictions mean that anyone parking on the main road or in the housing estates near to Kingston Park will receive a parking ticket.

TRAVEL:

SUPPORTERS TRAVEL:
The club are selling seats on the Mini Bus to depart from Cougar Park at 10:30am with seats available for £10 per seat. Email info@keighleycougars.com to secure your seat.

BY CAR, POSTCODE FOR THE SAT NAV:
SUGGESTED ROUTE: (2h 15 min, 105 miles)
Head east on Royd Ings Ave toward Alston Rd.
Turn right onto Alston Rd.
At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Hardings Rd/A650.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A629.
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Keighley Rd/A6034. Continue to follow A6034.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Silsden Rd/B6160. Continue to follow B6160.
Turn left onto Bolton Rd/B6160.
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A59.
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Otley Rd/B6161.
Turn left onto Ripon Rd/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon Rd/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Ripon Rd/A61. Continue to follow A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Ripon By-Pass/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61. Continue to follow A61.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A1(M) ramp to Mesham/Pickhill/B6267/A1 North/Londonderry.
Merge onto A1(M).
Continue onto A1.
Continue onto A1(M) (signs for Darlington/Newcastle/Airport).
Keep left at the fork to stay on A1(M).
Continue onto A1.
Take the A696/A167 exit toward Jedburg Airport/City (Centre).
At Kenton Bar Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Ponteland Rd/B6918.
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Brunton Ln. Go through 1 roundabout.
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Belvedere Pkwy.
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit.
Turn left. Destination will be on your left.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
TRAIN: 10:26 from Keighley, arriving in Leeds at 10:54.
TRAIN: 11:08 from Leeds, arriving in Newcastle at 12:25.
TRAIN: 18:40 from Newcastle, arriving in Leeds at 20:04.
TRAIN: 20:16 from Leeds, arriving in Keighley at 20:40.

 

Fran Welsh Released

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Keighley Cougars can today announce Fran Welsh has been released from his contract.

Welsh joined the Cougars in the off-season on a one year deal from Newcastle Thunder after being a part of there League One Shield winning side last season.

The Prop scored 3 tries in 6 appearances for the first team whilst also making two appearances for the reserves.

We wish Fran all the best in his future endeavours.

Cougars Find Their Metal In Ironmen Thrashing

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Keighley Cougars 74-6 South Wales Ironmen Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

KEIGHLEY Cougars responded to calls from Head Coach Craig Lingard to step up their game by routing the South Wales Ironmen.

And it was the response that Lingard was craving as his side dominated throughout the evening.

“It’s always good to get the win and when you point 70 points on the scoreboard it’s even more pleasing,” said the Cougars Head Coach.

“There are still areas in our game we need to improve on such as our composure and execution which at times let us down today.

“We completed at 61% in the second half which clearly isn’t good enough as it means we gave up a lot of ball in hand cheaply.

“If we had of completed we could have racked up the points but it’s one of them where we’re looking for positives but still looking for areas where we can improve.”

The tone was set early on as Andy Gabriel rounded to touch down after superb work from Darville and Adam Ryder to break through the defensive line.

It wouldn’t be long before the home side scored once more as Liam Darville scored the first of a personal four try haul as he finished a downfield break.

Adam Ryder then continued his impressive debut season at semi-professional level as he ran through a number of South Wales defenders to dive over from 30 metres.

Darville then sealed his second try as he raced over unchallenged after great work by Davey Dixon to set the full-back racing free.

The Ironmen wouldn’t got home nilled however as veteran Christiaan Roets handed off Vinny Finigan following a break to slide his way over the Keighley line.

But the final say of the half went to the home side as Brad Nicholson rode a tackle to touch down underneath the uprights ten minutes before the half-time hooter.

Cougars really turned the screw though as they ran in eight unanswered second half tries starting with Dixon exploiting space in the Ironmen’s line to score his first off the season.

Darville then wrapped up a first professional hat-trick after great work by Matty Beharrell to create the space.

This left a patched up South Wales solely playing for pride, but it didn’t stop Lingard’s side scoring three tries in six minutes to really rub salt into the wounds.

Dixon, celebrating a recent call-up to the Scotland squad, touched down for his second after a Vinny Finigan break made the metres and left a number of would be defenders trailing behind the play.

Josh Tonks was the next Cougars player to add his name to the scoreboard as he touched down following three consecutive penalties on the Ironmen’s line.

Scott Law then dove beneath the posts from close range after taking James Feather’s pass from the play the ball despite claims from the South Wales players that they had held the long-serving prop up over the line.

Tonks then managed to break an attempted tackle to seal his brace before referee Brandon Robinson ruled a free play following a South Wales hand knocking the ball free and from a Ryder kick through, Darville managed to get to the ball in time for his fourth.

Gabriel then wrapped the comprehensive victory up in style, diving over in the corner moments before the final hooter sounded.

Reserves Rout The Ironmen For First League Victory

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Keighley Cougars Reserves 56-8 South Wales Ironmen Reserves Match Report by James Smith (@JamesSmith_LTU)

The second game of the annual Keighley Cougars family fun day saw South Wales Ironmen reserves make the long trip up to West Yorkshire and Cougar Park to face the Keighley Cougars reserves.

Cougars got off to a magnificent start as Aidan Scully finished off a fluid move to touch over in the corner, after he latched on to Rikki Sheriffe’s simple pass for the first try of the game.

Despite Cougars pressure, the next significant event in the game was an injury to Ironmen Loose Forward, Rhys Davies, who’s afternoon was done after being tackled by Sheriffe.

South Wales then shocked the Cougars by equalling the score as Yousif Sullimun went over in the corner after the home side failed to capitalise on their early lead.

Cougars restored their slender advantage with the first converted try of the day. Good work in the centre before some nice footwork set Luke Walters away as he crashed in under the posts to make the score 10-4.

The home side settled down and added to their lead after a magnificent kick from scrum-half Adam Brook saw Ash Hutchinson to score his first and Cougars’ third.

Cougars were pegged back once more as Lee Goddard found space in which to touch over to reduce the gap three minutes from the whistle.

Keighley still found time to score again, though. Relentless pressure from the home side led to Luke Walters doubling his tally to send Cougars in 22-6 at half time after Callum Smithson’s conversion.

Cougars started the second half in the same vein as they ended the first with some scintillating rugby from Gavin Reed and Lewis Davey sent Jack Brown over for a simple try.

Sheriffe was then involved once more, his routine pass allowed Scully to skip through South Wales’ defence to effectively secure Cougars’ first win of the season.

Cougars scored three times in quick succession, Josh Casey, Ryan Price and Calvin Barker all touched down to make the score 50-8.

Aidan Scully then went over for his hat-trick, capitalising on more slack defending from the Ironmen to extend the hosts’ lead.

That proved to be the last try of the game, Cougars got their first win, while South Wales remain pointless as the game ended 56-8.

COUGARS: Barker, Davey, Casey, Sheriffe, Scully, Smithson, Brook, Cherryholme, Walters, Price, Pickering, Sagar, Reed. Subs: Brown, Adams, Rawlinson, Hutchinson.

Cougars Looking To Roar Back To Winning Ways – South Wales Preview

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Keighley Cougars v South Wales Ironmen Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

Date: Saturday 3rd June

Time: 6:00pm

Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley

After back to back defeat at the hands of top eight rivals Barrow and Doncaster, Craig Lingard will be looking for a response from his side as they welcome the South Wales Ironmen to Cougar Park on Family Fun Day.

LAST TIME OUT:

The Cougars slumped to a second consecutive defeat as they went down 28-14 to Doncaster RL at the Keepmoat Stadium. An Adam Ryder brace and a first Cougars try for Nathan Conroy gave the visitors a two point lead in the early stage of the second half, however the Dons punished a lackluster Keighley to take the two points.

South Wales Ironmen remain winless in 2017 after a 18-38 home defeat to Oxford RL in Merthyr Tydfil. Three first half tries from Shaun Owens, Yannic Parker and Ross Price sent South Wales into the interval level, however, they conceded 20 unanswered second half points to stay joint bottom of League One with Hemel.

TEAM NEWS:

Craig Lingard welcomes Andy Gabriel (Ribs) back into the 19 after missing the defeat to Doncaster but is still without Hamish Barnes (Knee). Ritchie Hawkyard (Facial Injuries) remains the only long term injury absentee for Linners whilst Sean Kelly serves the first of his four match suspension.

South Wales travel north down to the bare bones with eight off the side that featured in the defeat to Oxford last time out unavailable for selection. This means Phil Carleton will arrive at Cougar Park without the spine of his team with Courtney Davies, Morgan Evans, Ashley Bateman and Yannic Parker amongst those missing.

KEY BATTLE:

Whilst they may be without a number of key players for the trip to Cougar Park, the Ironmen still boast an experienced head in veteran centre and captain Christiaan Roets. At the age of 36 he still has the ability to cause the Cougar problems and will provide a different sort of test to the likes of Davey Dixon and Adam Ryder than what they’ve faced to date.

THE SQUADS:

COUGARS: Aaronson; Bailey; Beharrell; Cherryholme; Conroy; Darville; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Finigan; Gabriel; Law; Lynam; Milner; Nicholson; Rawlins; Ryder; Tonks; Whittel.

IRONMEN: Breen, Carter, Davies, Edwards, Emanuelli, Farrer, Gay, Harris, Hodge, I’Anson, Jeffries, B Jones, S Jones, Price, Roets, Sheridan, Uren, Williams.

THE COACHES:

Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “First and foremost we need to get that win. If we then get off to a good start, we need to look at putting some points on the board because I keep saying that the league is that close it might come down to plus and minus points scored.

“Although South Wales have not won a game yet, they have pushed teams close. They only lost by two points against York and by 17 against Whitehaven.

“Out of all the games they have lost – in five of them they have lost by less than two scores, so they are no pushovers.

“We can’t turn up and just put a shirt on expecting to win because we have been caught cold before so we must make sure our players are fully focused on the job in hand. We need to do a professional job.

“But the priority is getting the win and then seeing what happens after that.”

South Wales Ironmen Head Coach Phil Carleton has yet to comment.

THE REFEREE:

The referee for this Kingstone Press League One Round Nine fixture at Cougar Park is Brandon Robinson from Dewsbury. This is Robinson’s first Cougars appointment of 2017 after he was originally scheduled to referee the pre-season victory over Bradford before being replaced by the RFL at the final moment.

PREDICTION:

Craig Lingard will be looking for that all important response from his side and whilst the Ironmen come with a squad decimated by key players being absent, Lingard knows that the expansion clubs can’t be taken lightly. However with his side nearing full strength once more and on home turf, you’d have to fancy a comfortable victory for the Cougars come 7:45pm on Saturday.

19 Man Squad Announcement – South Wales Ironmen

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Head Coach Craig Lingard has today announced his 19 man squad to face the South Wales Ironmen this Saturday at the Family Fun Day.

The Cougars make two changes to the 19 man squad that fell to defeat at Doncaster a fortnight ago as Sean Kelly is ruled out through the first of the four game suspension following being found guilty of Grade D Other Contrary Behaviour for his dismissal against Barrow.

Nathan Kitson also drops out the squad following his release due to work commitments.

There places in the 19 man squad are taken by Neil Cherryholme and Andy Gabriel (Ribs) who returns from injury after missing out against Doncaster.

Davey Dixon (Illness) has recovered, however Hamish Barnes (Knee) is still ruled out through injury.

19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE SOUTH WALES:
1 – Harry Aaronson
2 – Andy Gabriel
5 – Davey Dixon
7 – Matty Beharrell
8 – Scott Law
9 – James Feather
11 – Josh Lynam
12 – Brendon Rawlins
13 – Mike Emmett
15 – Neil Cherryholme
16 – Will Milner
17 – Nathan Conroy
18 – Josh Tonks
19 – Matthew Bailey
21 – Emmerson Whittel
24 – Liam Darville
26 – Vinny Finigan
29 – Brad Nicholson
32 – Adam Ryder

Nathan Kitson Released

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Keighley Cougars can today confirm Nathan Kitson has been released from his contract.

The club agreed to mutually terminate the contract of Kitson after he informed Head Coach Craig Lingard he could no longer commit to training due to work commitments.

‘Kitty’ joined the club this off season from Oxford RL and made two appearances for the club whilst also originally extending his deal for the 2018 campaign.

A clause has been inserted into the terms of the release that Kitson can not play for another League One club during the 2017 season.

We wish Nathan all the best in his future endeavours.