KEIGHLEY Cougars have moved back to the summit of Betfred League 1, but their Pride fixture at home to Rochdale Hornets did not bring them the result they wanted.

A dramatic game at Cougar Park saw Matt Foster’s side fall 12-0 behind against their third-placed visitors early on, hit back to lead 18-14 after an hour, before having to settle for a 20-20 draw.

The result leaves Keighley a point ahead of second-placed Oldham, but Sean Long’s men have a game on hand, having not played at the weekend.

The afternoon had begun with the new Cougars Women side beating Newcastle Thunder 34-30, before some pre-match entertainment as part of the annual Pride fixture celebrations.

Kick-off was delayed in the League 1 game until 3:15pm due to a medical emergency among the crowd.

When it did get underway, Keighley had a disastrous first 12 minutes, conceding tries to Duane Straugheir and Daniel Nixon, while also having hooker Kyle Kesik sent to the sin-bin.

And when Martyn Ridyard later added a penalty to his conversion from Straugheir’s try, Cougars were staring down the barrel.

Crucially, they got on the board when a looping pass let winger Billy Walkley in for a try on 32 minutes, Jack Miller converting to ensure the Hornets only led 12-6 at the break.

An early second-half penalty from Ridyard stretched Rochdale’s lead, but then two brilliant driving runs from Mark Ioane saw him smash through the visiting line to score a brace.

Mark Ioane's power turned the game on its head in the first 20 minutes of the second half.Mark Ioane's power turned the game on its head in the first 20 minutes of the second half. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Miller converted both scores to ensure Keighley held an 18-14 advantage, but that was always looked vulnerable in such a tight game between two of the top sides in the division.

Rochdale retook the lead when Emmerson Whittel’s try was converted by Ridyard, before Miller’s penalty levelled things up with 10 minutes to go.

Neither side could find a late winning score, meaning Cougars will drop to second if Oldham win next Sunday at home to North Wales Crusaders.

For Keighley, it is a bye weekend, with their next game coming at Oldham on Sunday, July 21, which would see the winner taking a giant stride towards winning the title and with it, automatic promotion.