Swinton Lions 20-33 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in association with A1 Stairlifts.
The Cougars booked a dream place amongst the game’s elite in the Quarter Finals with a hard fought victory over Swinton at Leigh Sports Village.
Swinton were within touching distance until the last fifteen minutes when they were finally put to bed despite the battling performance.
But, the Lions had the better of the opening exchanges despite finding themselves behind through a Danny Lawton score in the corner after a lovely James Craven cross field sprint.
Ian Watson’s men found themselves six points in front minutes later after two tries from eventual hat-trick hero Anthony Bowman.
The former Fax man took advantage of sloppy defending to get over the Cougars line before touching down in the corner.
Keighley went into half time with a six point lead of their own which was started by Jode Sheriffe after the interchange powered through to touch down near the posts.
The scores went from level pegging to four points in the Cougars favour when Richie Barnett grabbed his first of the afternoon after collecting a lovely placed Danny Jones kick to score.
Jones kicked a penalty to open the gap to six points following a near brawl which resulted in the returning Daley Williams and Richie Hawkyard both receiving a ten minute stint in the sin bin.
March’s men came quick out of the blocks in the second half and added a further ten points to the scoreboard to put the game out of the Swinton reaches.
James Craven took the ball out of scrum and raced straight across the Lions line before dummying through a gap to get over the whitewash.
The ‘Rocketman’ Barnett jumped highest above Lions winger Ben Warrilow to collect a fantastically placed Jones bomb and grab his second of the afternoon.
Swinton gave themselves a small glimmer of hope with two tries in three minutes with Bowman wrapping up his hat-trick before Steve Lewis caught Craven napping to race in and touch down a Watson grubber kick.
But Williams, out the sin bin, took another lovely Jones bomb before powering through three tacklers to get over for a well-deserved try on his return shortly before Tiger kicked a drop goal to put a seal on the victory.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Josh Lynam – A typical 110% no nonsense performance from a quickly emerging talent in the Cougar ranks. Controlling the back row throughout, Josh put in a number of huge hits as well as stopping the Lions attack in its tracks on numerous occasions.
Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Law, March, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Sagar. Interchanges: Jode Sheriffe, Graham, Peltier, Haigh.
Lions: R Hawkyard, Worthington, Bowman, Peet, Warrilow, Atkin, Watson, Morrison, Ackers, Menzies, Philbin, D Hawkyard, Brown. Interchanges: Johnson, Thomas, Hulme, Lewis.