Keighley Cougars 14-28 Halifax RL Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar) in association with A1 Stairlifts.
In a slow paced game at Cougar Park, Halifax brought the Cougars five game winning streak to a comfortable end.
With some of the Cougar player mind possibly focused on the Widnes cup tie, Halifax took advantage of sloppy play and indecisive errors to take the points.
Fax found themselves in a twelve point lead early on to the proceedings after first opening the scoring after Ross Divorty walked the ball over the line after the official missed a clear forward pass in the build-up.
Six minutes later, a gap in the line was taken advantage of when Ryan Fieldhouse weaved his way through the backline and even avoided a near collision with the referee before touching down under the posts.
With tensions rising between the sides on the pitch, Cougars fought through a tough Halifax defensive unit to score after Jode Sheriffe somehow managed to get the ball down despite being tackled by three visiting players.
Halifax extended the lead two minutes into the second period when Dane Manning waltzed in the corner and placed the ball nearer to the posts to open up a ten point gap between the two outfits.
Halifax coach Karl Harrison said post match: “It was a tough ball game, it wasn’t the quickest of games at all, very, very slow and we put the ball down in our own half on plenty of occasions but we dug in and in the end, got the win.”
However, Paul March’s side got the gap back to two after two tries which came through a fifteen minute period of domination for the home team.
After a clever pass by Danny Jones, Paul White try to fight over in the corner before offloading James Haley who just managed to escape a last ditch Ben Johnston challenge to put a one converted try gap in the game.
The game went down to two when after an extended spell of camping on the line, James Feather scored his first try of the season when he took the ball from dummy half and got over the whitewash.
Unfortunately, the Cougars became impatient and allowed errors to take over the play and Halifax wrapped up the game and denied Keighley a bonus point in doing so.
The large Halifax support out in force at the petrol station end were sent into scenes of rapturous joy when Luke Ambler powered through the Cougars front line to squeeze over.
Speaking post match, strength & conditioning coach Adam Mitchell said of the Ambler try: “We need to stop making sloppy errors in the tackle, and they scored a try with ten minutes to go and unfortunately, it killed us.”
The bonus point was eliminated and the game wrapped up with three minutes spare when interchange hooker Paul Mennell collected a fantastic offload and raced forty metres to finish the afternoon’s scoring.
Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – James Haley – For the second consecutive week, James Haley took the Yorkshire Times Man of the Match award. His try aside which brought the times to within a converted try of each other at one point, Haley threw himself into every tackle whilst defending in order to prevent the visitors winning by a bigger margain.
Cougars: Jesse Sheriffe, Barnett, Lawton, Haley, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Sagar, Cherryholme, Haigh.
Halifax: Fieldhouse, Fox, Manning, Tyrer, Saxton, Murrell, Johnston, Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Bracek, Divorty, Adamson. Interchanges (All Used): Mennell, Davies, Casey, Spencer.