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Keighley Cougars unable to secure safety in Halifax defeat
Keighley Cougars 4 Halifax 34
Cougars’ Championship survival hopes remained in the balance as they were comfortably beaten by Halifax at home tonight.
The play-offs were still an outside possibility before the game but, after Swinton climbed out of the bottom two with a 22-0 win over Barrow, Keighley now enter their final game needing a result at the Cumbrians to guarantee their second-tier status.
Cougars are just two points clear of the Raiders and player-coach Paul March looked a despondent figure at full-time.
However, he still expects his side to stay up, saying: “I’m obviously disappointed. I felt like we were chasing the game from early on and quality sides like Halifax punish you.
“It’s always been in our hands and if we pick a win up we’re safe.
“There was a lot of effort out there but the way we played in that first half really cost us. The result didn’t really reflect what the players put into it.
“I’m not concerned. You’ve got to back your own ability and we’ve done that all year. We’ve got to do that again and make sure we come away with some points.”
Fax opened the scoring with Ryan Fieldhouse’s offload sending Steve Tyrer over, the scorer adding the extras.
Halifax extended their lead when Scott Murrell’s cut-out pass put in Wayne Rettie in the corner. Tyrer converted and the centre went in for his second after Jesse Sheriffe fumbled a Murrell kick.
Fieldhouse was next to cross just before half-time to put the visitors 22-0 up at the break after Tyrer’s conversion.
Cougars hit back as Scott Law and March combined to get the ball away to Danny Jones, who brilliantly battled his way to the line.
But any chances of a comeback, or even a bonus point, were put to bed, with Fieldhouse going in again on the back of Dane Manning’s reverse pass and Rettie went in for a late second. Tyrer goaled both to put the icing on the cake for Karl Harrison’s side.
Keighley Cougars: Moss; Jesse Sheriffe, Williams, Chandler, Barnett; Jones, March; Shickell, Feather, Jode Sheriffe, Lynam, Pursglove, Rawlins. Subs: Kelly, Hesketh, Law, Sagar.
Halifax: Fieldhouse; Rettie, Tyrer, Paterson, Rikki Sheriffe; Murrell, Handforth; Tonks, Ashall, Davies, Manning, Robinson, Adamson. Subs: Ambler, Bracek, Casey, Divorty.
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