James Haley hat-trick helps Keighley Cougars down Doncaster

James Haley hat-trick helps Keighley Cougars down Doncaster

James Haley is all smiles after scoring one of his three tries for Cougars. Picture: Charlie Perryt

Scott Law touches down for Cougars against Doncaster

Ash Lindsay puts in a big hit for Cougars

Neil Cherryholme on the charge for Keighley

First published in Sport

Keighley Cougars 44 Doncaster 32

JAMES Haley's hat-trick helped Keighley move out of the relegation zone with an exciting win over high-flying Doncaster.

The game was up for grabs as the lead constantly changed hands until three consecutive second-half tries saw Cougars clear for the victory.

It was a timely win for the hosts, who had slipped into the relegation zone after a dip in form.

Despite the victory, player-coach Paul March was not fully satisfied with his side’s performance.

He said: “I thought we were slow starting but I knew we just had to stick in the arm-wrestle.

“Doncaster are always going to play for 80 minutes and they’re a team that never go away.

“But if we had performed like we did in the second half before the break we could have had a runaway score.”

The Dons drew first blood as Kyle Kesick fooled the Cougars defensive line and raced in for the opener.

Haley touched down in the corner to hit back for the hosts.

Doncaster were quick to put themselves back in control, with half-backs Scott Spaven and Rick Wilkinson combining for the score.

Keighley were quick to respond with two tries from Scott Law before the break.

The Dons were back level shortly after half-time with tries from Mark Castle and Nev Morrison.

Another Dons kick saw the visitors relinquish their lead. March thumped the ball into the bottom right corner, with James Craven winning the foot race for the try.

The advantage changed hands for the final time as Haley took advantage of Morrison knocking on a high bomb to go in for his second.

Danny Jones capitalised on the tiring Dons defence to touch down through the middle.

A swift combination between Kesick and Ben Crooks saw the pair send through Sanderson to the line to restore hope for Doncaster.

A 40-20 from Paul Handforth eased pressure on Cougars though, as it laid the platform for Barnett to go over from the resulting set. Jones then fed Haley back on the inside for the centre’s hat-trick.

Crooks went in for a late reply and Sanderson later kicked a penalty to make sure the visitors went home with a bonus point.

Keighley Cougars: Craven; Barnett, Lawton, Haley, White; Jones, Handforth; Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Subs: March, Law, Cherryholme, Haigh.

Doncaster: Scott; Morrison, Welham, Crooks, Sanderson; Spaven, Wilkinson; Carbutt, Kesick, Robinson, Starling, Snitch, Emmett. Subs: Spiers, Castle, Waterman, Dunn.

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