Keighley Cougars Reserves 38-40 Halifax RL Reserves Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
COUGARS Reserves opened their 2017 season with a thrilling 38-40 defeat at the hands of local rivals Halifax at Cougar Park.
It was the Cougars who opened the scoring as Vinny Finigan raced down the left flank to cross in the corner.
Halifax ttook charge for the first time on the evening as Sion Jones powered his way through but they fell behind when the ball came loose and Harry Aaronson showed great footwork to dazzle the defence.
Alex Mammone restored the visitor’s slender advantage but in the final ten minutes of the first half, the Cougars scored twice more to have the upper hand at the interval.
Aiden Scully first dove onto a grubber kick from Aaronson with Finigan scoring his second, sliding over on the back of great link-up play between James Pickering and Dane Weatherill.
The second half saw Halifax race out the blocks, scoring five tries in a twenty minute blitz after the break.
Joslin Landu crashed over and minutes later, Martin Gonzalez’s side really turned the screw as a kick from Luke Nelmes caused confusion in the defence with Liam Bent the quickest to pounce.
And following the restart, ill-discipline within the Keighley ranks allowed their opposition to work their way down the field with Chester Butler rounding a would-be tackler to race over and extend his sides lead.
Going down the hill in the second-half, Halifax were really turning the screw and were over once more on the hour as Martyn Reilly handed off his marker to power over underneath the uprights.
Jamie Stringer worked his way in at the corner flag but the Cougars then sprung into life to make a game off it.
Joe Newell sparked the fire intercepting a Fax grubber and racing the length of the field to dive over and on the back of the penalty, Callum Dunne turned through a tackle to score against his former side.
Ash Hutchinson pounced on a kick into the in-goal area to make it a two point game, however the referee controversially blew up early with time still remaining on the clock.
COUGARS: Aaronson, Barker, Scully, Dunne, Finigan, Payton, Smithson, Harlow-Stephenson, Kitson, Cherryholme, McGuigan, Pickering, Walters. Subs: Davey, Yarrow, Weatherill, Brown, Newell, Hutchinson, Hawthorne.