Keighley 26 – 12 Oldham RLFC

Date published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We put up another highly-spirited performance in holding Championship side Keighley Cougars to 26-12 at Cougar Park in our fourth and final Northern Rail Cup game of 2012. We failed to qualify for the sudden-death last eight, but our main priority this season must be to win promotion from Co-operative Championship One, which starts for us at Workington on Sunday (3pm kick off).

[singlepic id=1097 w=320 h=240 float=left]Nevertheless, we went down fighting at Keighley where we scored tries by Sean Robinson and Miles Greenwood, both of them converted by Jamie Dallimore, who again impressed in the half-back role.

With one eye already on Workington, coach Tony B rotated his 17, leaving out Neil Roden, Danny Whitmore and Michael Ward and bringing in Jack Reid (to partner Dally at half-back), Martin Roden at hooker and Paul Smith on to the bench.

Also out through injury were Valu Bentley, Mark McCully, Lucas Onyango, Matthew Fogarty, Paul Ballard and Luke Stenchion but it isn’t yet known how many of those, if any, will be available for selection this weekend.

Keighley fielded a strong side which included former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats stars Jason Demetriou (player coach), Paul March, Michael Korkidas and Sam Obst. They had first use of the slope and led 18-6 at half-time with two tries by Obst and another by Richard Jones, all converted by Danny Jones.

Roughyeds’ first try was scored by Robinson after a long-range interception run by John Gillam, who turned defence into attack. Two play-the-balls later, with the Cougars defence still in disarray, Robbo came inside looking for the ball and backed himself in a determined dash to the line in which he beat three defenders.

It would have been no more than Roughyeds deserved had they turned round only six points in arrears, but on the very stroke of half-time they conceded their third try to turn round 18-6 down.

Oldham had a lot of the play down the hill in the second half, but they couldn’t turn pressure into points before Cougars struck back to score further tries out wide in the corners by wingers Gavin Duffy and Richie Barnett.

Near the end we took a quick 20-metre restart which caught Keighley on the hop. Greenwood spotted the gap and turned on the gas to go the length of the pitch and score under the posts, giving Dally an easy conversion.

Our defence was solid and sturdy throughout and everyone can take great heart from that. the score certainly did not reflect the effort our boys put in and, as Tony B said after the game, we can now look forward to the start of the league campaign with renewed confidence.

Scorers: Keighley — goals, D Jones (3); tries, Obst (2), R Jones, Barnett, Duffy; Oldham — goals, Dallimore (3); tries, Robinson, Greenwood.

Keighley: Haythornthwaite; Duffy, Parata, Normington, Barnett; D Jones, March; Korkidas, Obst, Rawlins, Pursglove, Clough, R Jones. Subs: Sheriffe, Shickell, Demetriou, Coleman.

Oldham: Greenwood; Robinson, Cookson, Brocklehurst, Gillam; Dallimore, Reid; Boults, M Roden, Gilchrist, Clarke, Noone, Thompson. Subs:  Smith, Clough, Ellison, Johnson.

Referee: Ronnie Laughton; Att: 827.