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After falling victim to storm Ciara last weekend, the hastily re-arranged all Championship One  game between the Keighley Cougars and Newcastle Thunder took centre stage on Saturday afternoon.

A fourth round tie away at Siddal Rangers awaited the victors and with a great chance of progress against the amateur opposition a change of a fifth round game against one of the big Super League clubs was a real possibility.

It took just five minutes for the visitors to overcome the poor conditions and open the scoring when Reece Dean supplied Colton Roche who crashed through the defence to score. Dean added the conversion from close to the uprights, the perfect start for Newcastle. In the aftermath of the try Dalton Desmond-Walker was determined to have fouled the scorer, and was shown the yellow card.

After a ‘coming together’ on fourteen minutes the referee read the riot act to the skippers but it counted for nothing as on the next tackle it erupted again. This time referee Staveley red carded Newcastle’s Colton Roche after he ran into the affray. It had certainly been an eventful opening to the game.

The twelve men extended their lead on the half hour mark when Dean fed Kieron Gill who pushed his way over the line to ground.Dean was unable to add the conversion, Newcastle 10-0 ahead.

In the closing seconds of the half, Dean accepted the opportunity to kick a twenty metre penalty to signal the end to a half where the loss of their second rower hadn’t caused too many problems for the Thunder.

Keighley laid seige to the Newcastle line as the second half started, the half time words of Rhys Lovegrove ringing in their ears. On forty-seven Josh Lynam finally broke the Newcastle defensive line and forced the ball down onto the line. Benn Hardcastle added the conversion and the home side were back in the game, trailing by just six points.

The second half was one-way traffic but last ditch defending from Thunder kept the Cougars at bay, in what had become a mudbath, but against the run of play it was Newcastle who added to their score from the boot of Dean with just five minutes remaining.

Two minutes from time Aaron Levy finally found a gap and went over for Keighleys second of the afternoon, Hardcastle added the conversion for 12-14. But it was too little too late.

Dean added a late penalty, after the final hooter, for a 16-12 final score.

This was not one for the neutrals. It was a slog in very demanding conditions with little attacking flair on show as the ball proved almost impossible to keep control of. Thunder took the win and will go on to play Siddall in the next round as Keighley will now focus on their Championship One season.

Cougars: Seeley, Agoro, Welham, Sheriff, Hallett, Miller, Hardcastle (2G), Parker, Kesik, Desmond-Walker (SB on 8), Lynam (T), Wray, Levy (T). Subs: Coventry, Feather, Bailey, Darley.

Thunder:  Young, Donaghy, Brown, Gill (T), Clegg, Laulu-Togagae, Dean (4G), Santi, Beswick, Wood, Lawton, Roche (T, SO after 20), Walker. Subs: Simons, Blake, Luckley, Aldous.

Referee: Liam Staveley.

Half-Time: 0-12.

Full-Time: 12-16.

Attendance: 402.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Feb 2020 3:42 PM | Views : 2333 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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