Keighley Cougars 32

Workington Town 26

KEIGHLEY Cougars' remarkable season continued as James Feather rolled back the years to inspire a dramatic victory over Workington Town in Betfred League One.

Despite racing into a 16-point lead early into the game, the Cougars trailed 18-26 heading into the final 10 minutes before two late Feather tries completed a last-gasp turnaround to move Keighley within a win of positive points.

And without their 12-point deduction for the issues that dominated the off-season, the Cougars would now sit top of League One, and head coach Craig Lingard was quick to reflect on what had unfolded in the second-half.

He said: “Workington taught us a lesson in the second-half, but the boys dug deep again and managed to come out with the win.

“We came out in the second-half knowing we were coming down the hill and expected Workington to roll over for us and that attitude nearly cost us.

“Rhys Lovegrove came back off the field after the Workington penalty conversion and said that the lads looked blown and this was going to be their first real test of character.

“The boys just kept working and got a little bit smarter towards the end, managed the game a little bit better and got their rewards.”

Keighley opened the scoring through the boot of Benn Hardcastle after Danny Tickle was penalised for a high tackle.

After Matt Welham was fingertips away from touching down a Hardcastle cross-field kick, Hardcastle himself scored the afternoon’s first try when he intercepted a Jamie Doran pass before racing 80 metres to the corner.

The Cougars extended their lead further as Dan Parker burst down the middle of the park before the ball was worked quickly through hands to Taylor Prell, the winger diving over under pressure.

Parker himself crashed over when he went through the space created by Feather, who delayed his pass to draw a defender inside from the line.

Workington got onto the scoreboard however shortly after as Stevie Scholey got the ball out of the tackle with the visitors using the numbers game to their advantage with Sam Hewitt walking the ball in from close range.

Hardcastle then converted another penalty goal after Caine Barnes was put in the sin-bin when the Town man was sold a dummy that resulted him tackling Parker, who did not have possession off the ball.

The second-half began as an even affair with Jason Muranka falling a fingertip short of extending the Keighley lead in the only real scoring attempt but when Carl Forber talked his way into a spell in the sin-bin, the game swung in Workington’s favour.

Two quick-fire tries levelled the scores with Hewitt diving home in the corner for his second before James Worthington powered his way through an attempted tackle to force his way over for the score.

The turnaround was complete for the Cumbrian outfit with 13 minutes remaining as former Cougar Oliver Wilkes was sent over next to the uprights after supporting Forber when he stepped through the line.

Forber converted a penalty goal after Izaac Farrell was on the receiving end of a high shot to open an 8-point advantage.

However, the Cougars rallied, and they got back within two points as Feather shot over the line from dummy half.

From the restart, Aaron Levy broke through the Workington line and in the process won a penalty for offside from which Hardcastle converted to level the scoreboard up once more.

Then Feather blew the roof off Cougar Park as he again came racing out from dummy-half and fought his way over the line for what would prove to be the winning try.


COUGARS: Seeley 7; Welham 6; Cooke 5; Hallett 5; Prell 5; Miller 6; Hardcastle 8; Bailey 7; Feather 8; Coventry 7; Levy 6; Muranka 6; Wray 5. Subs: Thackray 5; Gaylor 5; Parker 7; Arnold 5.

TOWN: Farrell 6; Worthington 5; Hewitt 7; Singleton 5; Walsh 5; Doran 5; Forber 6; Wilkes 7; Penkywicz 6; Moimoi 5; Maudling 5; Barnes 5; Tickle 5. Subs: Scholey 6; Dawson 5; Curwen 5; Hopkins 5.

COUGARS: Tries: Hardcastle (12); Prell (22); Parker (27); Feather (73, 77). Goals: Hardcastle (6/8)

TOWN: Tries: Hewitt (36, 53); Worthington (56); Wilkes (67). Goals: Forber (3/3); Farrell (2/2). Sin Bin: Barnes (40 – Dangerous Play); Forber (52 – Dissent)


REFEREE: Stephen Race (Wakefield)