Halifax RL 38-6 Keighley Cougars Match Review by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in association with A1 Stairlifts.
A second half horror show by the Cougars saw the side thumped by local rivals Halifax, in what was the tenth and final game of Paul March’s two month stadium ban.
The Cougars opened the scoring after a blood and thunder opening quarter of an hour, when James Feather took the ball out of the tackle and crossed after a great angled run through a gap in the Halifax defence.
This looked like being the only score of the first half, however with six minutes to go until the break a four man Cougars tackle on Adam Robinson left the visitors lacking in numbers and a clever pass to Jack Spencer allowed the interchange prop to get through under the posts.
Following a successful penalty conversion by Danny Lawton to level the scores, Fax opened up a one try lead when following repeat sets on the line, Tony Tonks saw a gap and seized the opportunity to cross the line.
After a spell of indiscipline by the Cougars, the home side made them pay the best way they could when a gap left open in the corner by Daley Williams was punished by Adam Robinson who raced over in the corner.
And after another penalty which Murrell kicked to touch, from the set that followed, Fieldhouse was caught short by Craven before Luke Ambler powered through to score under the posts at full stretch.
And the ten minute domination from Karl Harrison’s side which left the Cougars in misery was compounded as Ash Lindsay came racing out of the line and left a gap for Fax captain Scott Murrell to ease through.
Speaking post match, Performance Director Paul Royston told the media: “I’ve just told the lads that it was the worst second half performance off the season, and we were made to pay for our mistakes by a very good Halifax forward pack, but this can’t be rectified behind the posts, it has to be sorted on the pitch.”
Things would get worse for the Cougars, when after a bus sized gap was left on show, Ross Divorty exposed it to go round and touch down next to the posts.
Cougars then had a brief spell of constant possession but the next time Fax were down the other end, Mennell’s clever grubber to the corner was touched down by Tommy Saxton who won the race to the corner against Ash Lindsay.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Paul Handforth – For the second consecutive game, Tiger took the man of the match honours as his superb kicking game for the Cougars was the only constant throughout the game, even during the disastrous final half hour.
COUGARS: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Haley, Williams, White, Handforth, Rawlins, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Interchanges: Shickell, Jode Sheriffe, Sagar, Haigh.
HALIFAX: Fieldhouse, Fox, Robinson, Casey, Saxton, Murrell, Mennell, Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Adamson, Divorty, Bracek. Interchanges: Johnston, Holden, Brooks, Spencer.