Whitehaven 28-14 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
KEIGHLEY Cougars troubled week came to a disappointing end with a 28-14 defeat away at fellow play-off hopefuls Whitehaven.
The Cougars were in the game until a controversial 59th minute dismissal of Dan Parker, however, Craig Lingard felt that it came on the back of another decision that influenced the outcome of the game.
“The red card had a massive impact with 20 minutes of the game still to go but for me that’s where they game didn’t swing,” confessed Lingard.
“We were 8 points behind and should have had a repeat set on the Whitehaven line in a period of the game where they were on the backfoot.
“But, the referee and the touch judge missed the stone cold knock-on from their player and on the very next play the Whitehaven played has deliberately thrown the ball into Mike Emmett for a penalty.
“The RFL have told us you can’t deliberately pass a ball into a man that is laid on the floor and Mike has rolled away from the ruck but still the referee has given the penalty against us.
“It should have been our penalty and Whitehaven then go the length to score and it goes from an 8 point game into a 14 point one.
“But I think Whitehaven deserved to win the game, they controlled the ball better than we did which takes its toll in these conditions, especially against 12 men.”
The home side opened the scoring after three minutes as Jordan Burns took the two points on offer after the Cougars were penalised close to the line.
Burns then raced the length of the field to touch down for what he believed was the afternoon’s opening four pointer but his effort was ruled out for a late shot on Benn Hardcastle.
Cameron Leeming then thought he had a walk-in for the afternoon’s first try but the touch judge had ruled that there had been a knock-on in the build-up play.
The Cougars came close once more as Perry Whiteley was held up on the back of a 70-metre break from the departing Adam Ryder.
The visitors eventually drew level, though, as Hardcastle opted to kick for goal after Haven were penalised for a ball steal in the ruck.
But, it would be the hosts that led at the interval when from a penalty, Jessie Joe Parker sold a dummy and cut on Davey Dixon’s inside to touch down.
The second half was proving as scrappy and error strewn as the first but the hosts increased their lead further as Dave Thompson touched down in the corner.
However, the try was deemed a controversial one as the pass to Thompson appeared to travel forward.
Hardcastle was pulling the strings for Keighley in attack and it showed as he used his quick footwork to leave two defenders in his wake and dive over from close range.
Parker was then shown a harsh red card for a high shot on Dion Aiye which came as a result of the Papua New Guinea international losing his footing at the point of contact.
The result of the penalty was Burns putting his boot to use once more to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The Cumbrian outfit then made full use of their man advantage to make sure of the two points with Chris Taylor first rounding the defence to score.
Thompson then scored his second after breaking downfield and handing off Harry Aaronson to get himself over the line.
Hardcastle had the afternoon’s final say though with a lovely show and go to seal his brace of tries.