Coventry Bears 20

Keighley Cougars 46

KEIGHLEY Cougars registered only their second win of the season on the road, seeing off the Coventry Bears in Betfred League One to close the gap on their hosts to three points.

In a match played at Webb Ellis Road in Rugby, Rhys Lovegrove’s side saw off their hosts with a dominant half-hour period in the second period.

“We're getting better at times but there's so many different levels we need to improve on,” said Lovegrove.

“With the limited time we have, we’re doing what we can and to be fair to the boys, they are getting better.

“There are small little gaps within the processes that means we’re switching off or getting things slightly wrong which means that teams can take advantage of us.

“I was disappointed with the two cheap tries we conceded, and I spoke with the lads about that after the game.

“It all kicked off in the corner and some of the boys switched off. Credit to them for defending each other, but we need to learn to switch back on.”

Keighley opened the scoring early when they forced a knock-on and they punished the Bears through Macauley Hallett, the centre forcing his way over close to the line.

Cougars extended their lead when Matt Welham exposed a gap in the defensive line and broke through to put a try on the plate for the supporting Jack Miller.

Coventry then got onto the scoreboard when Sam Davis took advantage of an error from James Feather to burrow his way over from close range.

Bears levelled the scoreboard as, after Keighley were penalised, Elliot Hall rounded the defence to get over next to the uprights.

However, Lovegrove’s side took the lead once more when Aaron Levy turned through a tackle and managed to ground the ball for a try.

Keighley’s fourth try of the game saw 'Buster' Feather make up for his earlier error in defence by rolling back the years with a superb individual 60-metre break that put Welham over beneath the crossbar much to the joy of the travelling Cougars faithful.

Cougars nearly extended their lead shortly before the interval but Dan Parker’s effort was ruled out for a knock-on.

After the restart, Keighley turned the screw with Davey Dixon cutting outside and racing to the corner from 60 metres out after an outstanding defensive effort from Welham to force a Coventry knock-on.

The game was killed off as a contest with just under half an hour remaining as Miller took the two points on offer from in front of the sticks after Harvey Hallas was taken out by a high shot.

Cougars had a roll on and were over once more through birthday boy Jason Muranka, the Serbian international marking his new contract by powering through a tackle and stretching his arm over the line.

Muranka had a second, strolling through a gap in the line to dive over after the Coventry defence was left tied up in knots by an outrageous pass from Miller.

The Bears had fallen apart and it showed from the next try they conceded, Welham touching down for a second after a super crossfield kick by Parker was not dealt with.

The game then had some biff injected to it after the Bears reacted angrily to a misjudged tackle from debutant Adam Allerton.

Coventry had the afternoon’s final say, however, Reece Rance scoring in the corner after the officials missed an obstruction on Hallett in the build-up before Hall went half the length from the restart to go beneath the uprights.

Player Ratings:

Cougars: Seeley 6; Dixon 7; Welham 8; Hallett 7; Allerton 6; Feather 8; Miller 8; Coventry 6; Cullimore 6; Darley 7; Parker 8; Muranka 8; Levy 6. Subs: Moran 7; Bailey 7; Barlow 6; Hallas 6.

Bears: Hall 6; Rance 6; Freeman 5; Pearce-Paul 7; Carter 5; Sheridan 6; Conroy 5; Ray 5; Davis 7; Taylor 6; Williams 5; Jones 5; Kaufman 5. Subs: Whiteley 5; Billingham 5; Purslow 5; Stewart 5.

Cougars: Tries: Hallett (2); Miller (5); Levy (26); Welham (32, 64); Dixon (43); Muranka (54, 60). Goals: Miller (7/9).

Bears: Tries: Davis (11, 80); Hall (22); Rance (78). Goals: Hall (2/4).

Attendance: 345

Referee: Aaron Moore (Wigan)

Betfred League One Results: Coventry Bears 20-46 Keighley Cougars; Hunslet 42-18 North Wales Crusaders; London Skolars 14-15 Oldham Roughyeds; West Wales Raiders 6-68 Newcastle Thunder; Whitehaven 12-12 Workington Town.

Betfred League One Fixtures: Saturday, August 10: Keighley Cougars v Hunslet (6pm); Sunday, August 11: Doncaster RL v London Skolars; North Wales Crusaders v Coventry Bears (2.30pm); Oldham Roughyeds v Newcastle Thunder; Workington Town v West Wales Raiders.