Keighley Cougars 24-26 Featherstone Rovers Match Review by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) in association with A1 Stairlifts.
A last gasp defeat at the hands of Featherstone Rovers condemned Keighley Cougars to not only a bonus point defeat but relegation into Championship League One.
At one point, Andy Shickell marked his final game in the red & green with a try underneath the posts to give Keighley a ten point advantage over the visitors to Cougar Park.
However, a sensational collapse followed when Shaun Pick from close range and two tries in the corner from wingers Jason Crookes & Ben Blackmore gave Rovers a 26-24 victory to send Keighley down from the division.
Cougars took the first points of the afternoon from the boot of Danny Jones when the Welshman successfully converted a penalty following an offside call by referee Joe Cobb.
A Shickell knock on immediately from the restart was taken advantage off, as from the resulting scrum, Gareth Moore worked the ball across the field before sending Ian Hardman walking into the corner.
The chop and change rhythm of the game’s lead continued when just minutes later James Craven somehow managed to power over to get the ball down despite being in the midst of a four man tackle from the opposition defence.
The frantic opening quarter to the game ended with Will Sharp earning the lead back for the side in purple as he took the ball and weaved his way round three of the Cougars backline to touchdown near to the uprights.
But, in similar fashion to Craven’s try, Elliot Cosgrove powered through to get the ball down despite being at the bottom of a man mountain with his first touch of the ball from the interchanges bench.
The first points of the second half came in the same vain as the previous half as Moore kicked Fev into a two point lead after Josh Lynam was penalised for taken a man out without the ball following a grubber by the visiting half back.
A Danny Jones grubber less than ten minutes later was fantastically touched down by Paul White in the far corner after he beat Crookes and Greg Worthington in a foot race from the ten metre line.
Then following Shick’s try two minutes later, the collapse ensued resulting in a defeat which ends Paul March’s charges three year stint in the game’s second tier.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – James Haley – The centre was like a man possessed from the first whistle to the last. The first man on the scene from every Danny Jones kick and chase, giving the Rovers backs very little room to breathe as well as making a number of crunching tackles when Cougars found themselves on the back foot.
COUGARS: Craven, Williams, Lawton, Haley, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Lindsay, Jode Sheriffe. Interchanges (All Used): Cosgrove, March, Law, Cherryholme.
ROVERS: Sharp, Blackmore, Worthington, Hardman, Crookes, Kain, Moore, Crossley, Ellis, Trout, Pick, Spears, Lockwood. Interchanges (All Used): Bussey, Hirst, James, Teasdale.