Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round: Barrow Raiders 20 Keighley Cougars 0
KEIGHLEY Cougars exited the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at Kingstone Press League One rivals Barrow Raiders last night.
The game was played in horrendous conditions, with driving rain and blustery winds throughout, and their cause wasn’t helped by a penalty count heavily in the Raiders' favour.
However, Craig Lingard can be pleased overall with his side’s performance that was a mass improvement from the defeat to the All Golds six days earlier.
The first half produced very little in terms of quality, with the game’s first real chance coming after 25 minutes when Harry Aaronson thought he had marked his Cougars debut with a try but his effort was ruled out for a double movement.
Adam Ryder had a glorious opportunity to score from a break but was hauled down by a superb last-ditch tackle from Jarrad Stack, while Andy Gabriel was agonisingly close to touching down a floating kick from Matty Beharrell.
Barrow had a chance of their own as Jamie Dallimore sent Ryan Fieldhouse racing through but the veteran full back spilled the ball on the line.
Defences were on top throughout and it was the first real error which led to the game’s opening try on the hooter.
Nathan Kitson missed a one-on-one tackle on Lewis Charnock, and the Raiders' scrum half danced his way through to dive over next to the posts.
The respective defences continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and, despite the Cougars losing possession immediately from the restart, the Raiders' further three tries all came on the back of penalties.
Charnock forced his way over for his and Barrow’s second shortly after the interval on the back of great work from Stack, who had won the ball back from the kick off.
Two quickfire tries in the space of four minutes shortly after the hour mark then ended any hopes of a Cougars comeback in the Cumbrian rain and mud.
Barrow first worked the ball across to the right flank, where Declan Hulme was on hand to throw a superbly-timed late offload to Shane Toal, who dived over in the corner.
Hulme would then turn from provider to scorer as he darted through to slide over after spotting a gap.
The Cougars' best chance off the second half came three minutes from full-time as they pressured the Raiders try line, only for a clearly frustrated Mike Emmett to knock-on five metres out.