Keighley Cougars 20-12 Swinton Lions Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in Association with A1 Stairlifts.
The Cougars secured another vital three points in this tight affair against the Swinton Lions, the side’s second meeting in three weeks.
The two month stadium ban handed to Paul March overshadowed the build up to the game but he will have been pleased his side wrapped up the hard fought victory.
The worst possible start will have not helped any anxieties of the coachless Keighley side as Darren Hawkyard ran through a gap in the line left by James Craven to open the scoring.
Cougars turned the game round to take a lead into the final five minutes of the half, the first try of which came when Rolo offloaded to Daley Williams and the centre survived the attempted tackle to touch down.
Minutes later, Keighley took the lead when after Ross Peltier was held short off the line, Danny Jones sent a lovely offload out to Paul White and the winger raced in the corner for his fifteenth score of the campaign.
But Swinton had a two point lead come the interval when in similar fashion to the Hawkyard try, a gap in the line was exposed and Chris Atkin raced over the line as the Cougars continued to make the game hard for themselves.
Paul Royston, Cougars Performance Director, spoke following the game to say: “I thought we made hard work of it to be honest, I think we just weren’t patient enough, we didn’t respect the ball enough and I’m convinced we didn’t put that right in the second half but we did grind out the victory.”
An error strewed second half saw the Cougars keep Swinton scoreless as Jones and Tiger carried the side to a second consecutive Championship triumph.
After initially breaking the Lions line and racing sixty metres, Jones surrendered possession before forcing an error in his defensive chase back of Ritchie Hawkyard.
From the Cougars next set, Handforth put a bombing kick in the air and after a Ritchie Hawkyard slip, Danny Lawton claimed possession and set Richie Barnett in for his sixth try in three games.
DJ broke free and race nearly half the length of the field once again, and in the play that followed Jack Lee was held short before after another Swinton error, Scott Law powered over to touch down next to the posts.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Danny Jones – The Welsh international had a fantastic game, as the experience of himself and halves partner Paul Handforth took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half to control the Cougars around the park and see of the spirited Swinton side.
Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Jode Sheriffe, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Law. Interchanges: Feather, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier.
Lions: R Hawkyard, Worthington, Nanyn, Bowman, Walker, O’Brien, Watson, Morrison, Ackers, Riley, Thornley, D Hawkyard, Brown. Interchanges: Menzies, Johnson, Thomas, Atkin.