Halifax 30 Keighley Cougars 20

Paul March took the positives after Cougars slipped to their third consecutive defeat but claimed a deserved losing bonus-point at their derby rivals today.

Cougars trailed only 14-12 at the break but shipped six tries in total, with the hosts scoring three in both halves.

Player-coach March, who kept himself at stand-off and put Halifax old boy Danny Jones to full back, said: “We played for 80 minutes today. At half-time we were definitely in the game and only two points behind.

“We made some individual errors but overall I’m pleased that we’ve come here and given a good account of ourselves.”

Halifax opened the scoring when Scott Murrell sent Ross Divorty over from ten metres out.

Steve Tyrer added the extras but Cougars fashioned an impressive response when Jake Emmitt sent prop Sean Hesketh bustling over from close range.

Scott Leatherbarrow added the extras but Halifax struck again when centre Ben Heaton charged though a gaping hole.

Halifax had their third try in the 27th minute after Cougars replacement Jode Sheriffe felled Luke Ambler. From the penalty, full back Ryan Fieldhouse charged over from ten metres but, shortly before the break, Jones’ clever kick into the corner was grounded by White and Leatherbarrow converted in style.

Seven minutes after the restart, Halifax replacement Dane Manning squeezed over to cap a period of pressure on Cougars’ line.

Shortly before the hour-mark, scrum half Anthony Thackeray weaved his way through a clutch of visiting defenders to score Halifax’s fifth.

Hooker Craig Ashall burrowed over for a sixth home try in the 65th minute but with four minutes remaining, Cougars registered their first points of the second half.

March embarked on a fine run from deep and then showed intelligence to usher White clear for his second.

Leatherbarrow converted to secure the losing bonus point and then kicked a last-gasp penalty to add further respectability to the scoreline.