MATCH REPORT – Keighley Cougars 24 – 16 Newcastle Thunder

Newcastle Thunder’s up and down season continued in West Yorkshire on Sunday afternoon, as the club’s top five aspirations were dealt a significant blow with a 24-16 loss away to Keighley Cougars.

Travelling in the knowledge that an unbeaten run-in was what was realistically required in order to make the end of season play-offs, the afternoon got off to the best possible start as the visitors built on strong defensive efforts to open the afternoon’s scoring.
Going the length of the field off a long Cougars restart, Evan Simons made the scoring pass to Aaron Ollett with his effort to the left of the sticks converted by Tom Shaw.
Pressing for a second, an error 10m from the home line gave the Cougars a let off before the hosts levelled through Davey Dixon.
Chasing down a neat grubber from Richie Hawkyard, former Thunderman Benn Hardcsstle’s conversion levelled the scores.
Mistakes from both sides were making for a staccato game, with Keighley the next to score as Hardcsstle put Josh Lynam through a gap for 10-6.
The hosts would enjoy a 10-point cushion heading into the break as Lynam turned provider for Keighley’s third try of the day as he played Alfie Seeley in for a converted score, before adding a further two points shortly after the restart as Thunder were penalised for not being square at the ruck.
Another penalty took the Cougars’ lead 14 points before an acrobatic effort from Theerapol Ritson brought Thunder back into the game, though a missed conversion meant at least two converted scores would be needed.
A mistake from the restart however instantly handed the initiative back to Keighley as the ball was worked out wide to Hawkyard for an unconverted try.
Liam Richmond’s converted try in the closing moments allowed Thunder to have the final word in the fixture, but it made no effect to the result, with Thunder now eight points adrift from fifth.
Newcastle Thunder
Theerapol Ritson, Ali Blair, Joe Brown, Lewis Young, Mo Agoro, Remy Marginet, Tom Shaw, Liam McAvoy, Evan Simons, Vincent Rennie, Aaron Ollett, Sam Luckley, Jack Aldous, Harry Aldous, Ben Pointer, Liam Richmond, Conor Fitzsimmons
Try Scorers – Ollett, Ritson, Richmond
Goal Scorers – Shaw 2/3
Keighley Cougars
Hawkyard, Aaronson, Haynes, Leeming, Dixon, Hardcsstle, Gaylor, Moran, Feather, Kenga, Parker, Lynam, Whittle, Law, Cullimore, Levy, Seely
Try Scorers – Dixon, Lynam, Seely, Hawkyard
Goal Scorers – Hardcastle 4/6