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Keighley Cougars slip again after 'disgraceful' first half
Keighley Cougars 30, Batley Bulldogs 34
Keighley were subjected to their third straight defeat but did secure a vital bonus point against Batley in the Co-operative Championship.
The game looked to be well and truly over for Cougars 30 minutes before half-time but a fightback, including Sam Obst and Richie Barnett’s late tries, got them to within four points at the final hooter.
Player-coach Jason Demetriou was not happy with how his team performed, though.
He said: “The performance in the majority of the first half was disgraceful for a team like us.
“We’ve worked real hard on defence this week and that showed in the second half, but some of the lines we were running were so poor.
“We absolutely dominated the game later on.
“We knew we could score points on their vulnerable edges but the confidence is down at the moment and you could really see that in the first half.
“Hopefully, we can take away some positives going into our game at Hunslet next week because we really need a win to get ourselves back on track.”
The Bulldogs got off to a flying start, as Danny Maun, Alex Brown, Alex Bretherton, Gareth Potts and Johnny Campbell put them 30-0 up inside 30 minutes.
The only thing that seemed to be keeping Cougars in this one was the shrill of Ronnie Laughton’s whistle, with the Bulldogs giving away far too many penalties for a team so far in front.
And it eventually caught up with them after a calamitous last ten minutes before half-time somehow revived the game. Jessejoe Sheriffe and Obst touched down and Keegan Hirst got himself a spell in the sin-bin just before the hooter sounded, to give Keighley slim hope as they trailed 30-12.
Jy-mel Coleman crossed for the home side after the break but Mark Applegarth ended any hopes of a comeback when he got himself an easy-looking four-pointer.
However, two late tries from Obst and Barnett earned Cougars a vital bonus point.
Cougars: Moss, Duffy, Barnett, Lawton, Jesse Sheriffe, Coleman, March, Korkidas, Obst, Cherryholme, Pursglove, Rawlins, Shepherd. Subs: Smith, Demetriou, Shickell, Jode Sheriffe.