Keighley Cougars 94-0 West Wales Raiders Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
KEIGHLEY Cougars returned to winning ways in League One as they eased past the West Wales Raiders 94-0 at Cougar Park.
The result on the afternoon was expected by all in the lowly crowd of 470, but Craig Lingard focused on the positives from the performance.
“You can’t really win in these games because if you don’t score many points you’ve not performed well enough and if you do then it’s expected,” admitted Lingard.
“I was pleased with our attitude, we spoke in the build up to the game about making sure we were professional and we put in an 80 minute performance.
“We had to defend a couple of back to back sets in the first half, especially from West Wales kick-offs that went dead in goal so we had to do a little more defending than we will have expected.
“My only criticism came at half-time and that was we were a bit too narrow in the first half and that we needed to open up a bit more and play with width in the second half.
“We played too much down the middle in the first half and we knew they were weak down the edges and had some big forwards who liked to tackle.
“The small realistic goal that we were looking at throughout the week was making sure it was only a zero on the scoreboard so I’m pleased that we kept that clean sheet.”
Despite an hour delay to kick off, the hosts wasted no time in opening the scoring through Adam Ryder after just two minutes.
Dan Parker was the next to get over the line with the utility man handing off a would-be tackler to get to the line.
Keighley were on the front foot and Ritchie Hawkyard extended the lead further, breaking a tackle to get himself over.
And the Cougars would take a comfortable lead into the half-time interval with Perry Whiteley finding time to score a brace of tries.
The first saw the centre take advantage of the overlap from a superb Cameron Leeming offload with the same combination linking up moments later to put Whiteley over for his second.
The second half saw the onslaught truly take hold with the Cougars scoring six tries in 17 minutes.
Hawkyard sealed his hat-trick with a quick fire brace, touching down a Parker grubber before carrying three Raiders defenders with him to the line.
From the restart, Ryder broke down the left wing and marauded his way over for a second.
Ryder broke once more from the kick-off, this time putting a try on a plate for Andy Gabriel on the wing.
The Cougars centre was beginning to shine and sealed his own hat-trick, easing his way over after the West Wales defence showed very little interest in his efforts.
Hawkyard wasn’t in the mood to share the spotlight and from a Parker break just over half way, the full-back raced underneath the uprights for his fourth of a productive afternoon’s work.
Gabriel then scored two tries in as many minutes to join Ryder and Hawkyard on the hat-trick mark, the first of which came through superb work and an even better offload from Josh Tonks.
Darrell Griffin then broke the ever tiring West Wales line but made the decision to act unselfishly and put Parker over for his second try.
Griffin turned from provider to scorer as the onslaught continued, turning his way through the tackle to get the ball down.
Whiteley then hit the hat-trick milestone with the afternoon’s final score moments before the sound of the full-time hooter.