Keighley Cougars Reserves 30-42 Halifax RL Reserves by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
COUGARS reserves returned to action after a near two month lay-off with defeat to Halifax in a pulsating game at Cougar Park.
Scott Lindsey’s side broke the deadlock in the 3rd minute when half-back Callum Smithson sidestepped his way through the defensive line to find the line.
Halifax levelled soon after though when Morgan Punchard burst through and drew in the full-back Kieran Smith before getting the offload to Chris Cullimore who dove over underneath the uprights.
Jamie Stringer handed the visitors the lead for the first time on the evening shortly after the quarter of the hour mark as he pounced after Keighley failed to deal with a grubber in-goal.
But this game continued to ebb and flow and the Cougars scored two quick fire tries to re-take the lead.
Liam Darville was first provider as he flicked a Kieran Smith kick on behind him into the arms of debutant centre Jack McMillan who crashed over from close range.
Darville then grabbed a try for himself as he skipped through an attempted tackle to race over.
But the scores would be level at the interval as Punchard opted to kick early in the tackle count and Chester Butler was quickest to score.
After a stuttering start to the second half, the first team to strike were the hosts as veteran winger Vinny Finigan dove in at the corner.
Connor McGrath soon levelled the scores though from a grubber kick and in Halifax’s next attacking set, Will Calcott powered his way through beneath the sticks from close range.
The Cougars soon equalled the scores for the fifth time in the game on the hour mark after a lovely team move was finished by loose forward Bradley Clarkson who was only awarded the try after official Tom Crashley consulted with his touch judges.
But, it would be Martin Gonzalez’s Fax side that went on to win with two further tries, the first from Martyn Reilly who powered his way over a would be tackler to squeeze over.
Aiden Hema then sealed victory for Halifax with a try with two minutes remaining.