Jake Webster said goodbye to rugby league yesterday, as his current side Keighley Cougars took on one of the 40-year-old’s former teams, Castleford Tigers, in his farewell match.

It was Cas’ first run out of the season and a first game in charge of the Tigers for former Keighley head coach Craig Lingard.

The ex-Batley boss named a strong squad for the game at Cougar Park, and in a match between a League 1 side and close to full-strength Super League outfit, there was only ever going to be winner.

Castleford showed their class by winning 54-0, but there was plenty to be satisfied about for Keighley, not least debuts for Aaron Brown and Lewis Hatton, as well as a first appearance of pre-season for arguably their star player, former Leigh prop Mark Ioane.

Keighley News: Mark Ioane is likely to be key to Keighley's hopes of gaining promotion from Betfred League 1 in 2024.Mark Ioane is likely to be key to Keighley's hopes of gaining promotion from Betfred League 1 in 2024. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

The visitors made a lightning start, with Josh Simm and Charbel Tasipale both crossing to score in the first 10 minutes, Luke Hooley converting the latter’s try.

Castleford’s mood was dampened by a nasty-looking knee injury to one of their key men, former Bradford Bulls back-rower Alex Mellor, early on, which looks set to keep him out of action for several weeks.

With the Tigers rocked by that, Keighley went on the attack, and Webster came close to a champagne try on his farewell appearance, only to be held up by the visiting defence as he attempted to crash over the line.

Innes Senior soon scored a third try for Cas, but Keighley should have hit back at the break, only for Brandon Pickersgill to drop the ball with the line at his mercy.

Keighley News: Brandon Pickersgill came agonisingly close to getting Cougars on the scoreboard.Brandon Pickersgill came agonisingly close to getting Cougars on the scoreboard. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Keighley did well to restrict the Tigers to 14 points before the break, but the visitors put them to the sword in the second half.

Josh Hodson, Jacob Miller and Liam Horne all scored within the first 15 minutes of the second half, with the now warmed up Hooley landing all three conversions.

Luis Johnson and Hodson then scored two converted tries in quick succession, before Jason Qareqare went over with seven minutes to go.

Hooley failed to add those extras, but that was his only miss of the second half, and he converted Senior’s late try from the touchline, as Cas romped to a 10-try victory.

With Webster now officially retiring and returning his full focus to his director of rugby role at Cougars, he will be watching the club’s next game from the comfort of the sidelines or the stands.

But there was a lovely end to the day for him, as his final match-worn shirt fetched £1,000 at the post-match auction, which will go towards his testimonial/farewell fund.

Cougars' next game, for which they cannot call upon Webster, rolls around quickly, with Keighley hosting Halifax Panthers in their third friendly of pre-season this coming Sunday.

Kick-off for that Cougar Park encounter will be at 1pm.