Keighley returned to winning ways in Betfred League 1 after a comfortable 30-10 victory at North Wales Crusaders yesterday.

Cougars’ promotion push had suffered a setback last time out when they suffered a surprise 26-18 home defeat to Hunslet.

That was their first loss in the league all season, and leaves them playing catch-up with leaders Oldham.

Only the side finishing top will be automatically promoted to the Championship for 2025, while second to sixth will take part in the play-offs.

Whoever wins those will then have to take on the third-bottom side in the Championship, with the victorious side in that match sealing their spot in the second tier for next season.

Cougars will want to avoid all that by winning the league, but they started yesterday’s match on the back foot in Colwyn Bay, as Matt Reid scored for the hosts after a strong play from Toby Hughes.

After that, the game was evenly matched for the first quarter, as both teams traded sets.

The Cougars then opened their account for the afternoon as a wonderful break down the left edge was finished off by Brandon Pickersgill, Jack Miller’s successful conversion giving them the lead.

Keighley News: Jack Miller kicked well for Cougars on a sweltering afternoon in Wales.Jack Miller kicked well for Cougars on a sweltering afternoon in Wales. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

The Cougars’ left edge was then called upon again as Billy Walkley crossed for a try, with Miller adding the extras.

Keighley finished then half strongly, as the side went into the dressing room with a 12-4 lead.

Crusaders then started the second half like they started the first, with a try, moments after Cougars centre Adam Ryder was forced off with a knee injury.

A Keighley error allowed Kieran Taylor in to score, and Dan Coates added the conversion to put his side just two points behind.

The Cougars hit back on 54 minutes, as Oscar Thomas found his way over to score after a penalty.

Miller’s conversion made the score 18-10 to Keighley, allowing them some breathing space again.

The match got even better for the Cougars when Walkley extended their lead just after the hour mark, as he crashed over for his second converted try of the afternoon.

Keighley News: Young Cougars winger Billy Walkley was too hot for North Wales to handle.Young Cougars winger Billy Walkley was too hot for North Wales to handle. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

The try scoring was rounded off with debutant George Flanagan running the length of the field after picking up a loose ball on his own tryline.

Miller rounded off a perfect afternoon from the kicking tee by adding the extras to wrap up a 30-10 win.

Keighley will look to build on the victory this coming Sunday at Cougar Park against early league leaders Oldham, as they look to regain top spot in League 1.