Keighley Cougars 36-14 Whitehaven Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
The Keighley Cougars started the new campaign with a fantastic display to blitz an out of sorts Whitehaven side at Cougar Park.
Three tries in either half for Paul March’s team as well as a fantastic defensive display meant there will be no eight game wait for three points this season.
Sean Hesketh earned himself the clubs first try of the campaign as he powered his way over the line despite the best efforts of three defenders.
The lead was extended seven minutes later when Scott Law touching down a Paul Handforth grubber moments after coming from the interchanges bench.
And before the half hour, Cougars took control when Elliot Cosgrove intercepted and broke the line before offloading to player-coach March who stumbled his way to the whitewash.
The Cougars fourth try was a wonderful team move which started from a Daley Williams chase down as Tom Carr attempted to kick clear.
‘Tiger’ Handforth then took the lead, as he controlled a flowing passing move across field which culminated in Cosgrove throwing a dummy and touching down.
Josh Lynam, who was awarded the sponsors man of the match, marked his twenty first birthday as he crossed moments after Daley Williams had left Samir Tarahoui looking like a fool.
Speaking after the game, Josh said: “Tiger (Paul Handforth) ran that line and said he’d give me it, he gave me it and I got over, so I’m happy and means no naked pint either!”
The Cougars wrapped up the scoring from their end as Elliot Cosgrove kicked a dropped ball in the tackle before Paul White masterfully got a hand to the ball in the corner.
Elliot gave these words post match: “I put the ball through myself and just hoped someone got there, but Whitey (Paul White) got down in the corner and got the try.”
Whitehaven drew first blood when Cain Southernwood kicked an early two pointer following a penalty offence against Brendon Rawlins.
The Cougars defensive superiority meant chances to cross the Keighley try line came few and far between for the men from Cumbria.
Haven did get a try ten minutes before the interval when Ade Gardner, on dual registration from St Helens, weaved his way through the defence to cross for the visitors.
The Marras other successful effort came in the second half when Jessie Joe Parker took hold of an offload to get over the line.
There was a moment of controversy during the first half when following a kick on the last; March was ruthlessly taken down with a late high shot by the big Moroccan Tarahoui.
Despite this, Marchy was giving off a positive vibe post match. “We got the three points and that’s what we wanted, overall it’s what we wanted and what we got and sets us up nicely for Doncaster next week.”
Up next for Cougars is a trip to the Keepmoat for a Yorkshire derby away at fellow promotion hopefuls Doncaster, who picked up a 22-12 victory at Workington.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Elliot Cosgrove – The centre was involved in almost all of the Cougars tries this afternoon and marked it with two assists for Paul March and Paul White whilst finishing off a wonderful team move to grab one of his own.
Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Williams, Cosgrove, White, March, Handforth, Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Sagar. Interchanges (All Used): Law, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier
Whitehaven: Carr, Calvert, McAvoy, Fox, Gardner, Taylor, Southernwood, Cullnean, Newton, Jackson, Tarahoui, Mitchell, Doran. Interchanges (All Used): Parker, Thorman, Marabe, Hand