Workington Town 22-24 Keighley Cougars Match Review by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a phrase overused in the game, but very appropriate for this dramatic Cougars victory.
Despite trailing by eighteen with twenty two minutes on the clock, Josh Lynam’s second try of the afternoon followed by a nail biting Paul Handforth conversion wrapped up the narrow victory.
The lad’s tremendous effort was not missed by Player-Coach Paul March: “Sixteen points down, probably should have been game over but we talked at half time about attitude and I think we showed that and I’m proud of the comeback.”
The Cougars were on the back foot for most of the game despite breaking the deadlock when Sean Hesketh dragged two Town defenders over the line before touching down.
Some shambolic defending by the visitors allowed Workington to take a twelve point into the half time interval much to the frustration of the Cougars defence.
Town took the lead when Andy Morris was the beneficiary of some lovely passing play from the halves, Carl Forber and Callum Phillips, to register the first points for the home side.
They would then go onto extend the lead when Brett Phillips broke through a half-hearted tackle before selling Handforth a dummy to send Jason Mossop through for a second try in five minutes.
The twelve point deficit at half time was wrapped up when a Morris break resulted in a flowing cross field move which caught the defence short to allow Callum Phillips over in the corner.
In between the Mossop and Phillips try, it seemed a miserable afternoon was to be impounded when Ash Lindsay departed injured.
Following the game, March gave us an update on Ash: “The doctor says it looks like Ash has cracked a bone in his leg, he’s going to have to go to hospital to have an X-Ray.”
A Cougars defeat looked certain when Town opened up an eighteen point lead Wigan dual registration star Jordan James powered over in similar style to Hesketh’s try.
But a resilient Cougars showed no mercy in the closing twenty two minutes to wrap up a fantastic comeback victory for themselves and the travelling support.
James Craven continued his recent hot streak when just made the whitewash to score despite appearing to knock the ball on in the process of grounding.
More dubious decisions then saw Josh Lynam score under the Town posts from a clear Danny Jones forward pass, one of many which infuriated Town coach Phil Veivers: “I need to look at the video, but there was a few dubious decisions I thought.”
Josh, who grabbed two tries including the winner, putting in an outstanding shift which saw him grab the man of the match award said post match. “It was disappointing to concede a few tries but we came out second half and stuck to our plans and won.”
Veivers mood could have only been worsened when a Danny Jones grubber on the last was missed by three defenders before being touched down by Elliot Cosgrove, who was in apparent offside position.
Then the Lynam winner came with five minutes left leaving the defence to hold out strong under immense pressure despite a last minute Town penalty five metres from the line.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Josh Lynam – An immense eighty minute shift from the second rower which saw him grab two tries was topped off with constant defensive line breaking runs in attack as well as many last gasp defensive tackles to stop Town running away with the game.
COUGARS: Craven, Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham, Lee.
TOWN: Murphy, Mossop, Stack, Morris, Connor, Forber, C Phillips, Dudson, Lupton, Shackley, B Phillips, Farrell, McAvoy. Interchanges (All Used): Coward, Duerden, Lucock, James.