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Player-coach helps Keighley Cougars march on
Whitehaven 18, Keighley Cougars 52
Paul March led the way with a brilliant hat-trick as Cougars destroyed Whitehaven to secure an emphatic victory.
The player-coach touched down twice in the first half and again after the break to ease his side’s Kingstone Press Championship relegation fears and encourage hopes that a play-off spot may yet be within their grasp.
Keighley were 34-0 up at the break after a remarkable display of attacking rugby league which simply blew their Cumbrian hosts away.
Cougars scored seven first-half tries as March bossed proceedings and showed all the class which once made him a Super League star.
Ritchie Barnett opened the scoring for the visitors with a well-taken effort in the fourth minute, and then Josh Lynam added a second six minutes later.
Cougars continued to probe and scored again through Barnett in the 14th minute to cap a breathless opening.
The game was already beyond the hosts and Cougars began to run amok, with Danny Lawton scoring in the 20th and 34 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
It was soon time for March to claim centre stage, with the player-boss crossing the line twice in quick succession before the break to make it 34-0.
Whitehaven replied after the break through Joe Greenwood but March soon completed his treble and Lynam’s second, coupled with Joe Chandler’s late effort, meant scores from Lee Doran and former Bulls half-back Cain Southernwood were immaterial.
Cougars are now just five points outside the play-off places with a game in hand – which they will play at Workington on Wednesday in another long trip to Cumbria.
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