Keighley 46-26 South Wales

An early second half burst of tries sealed the win for Keighley Cougars to cement their second place position in the table with player coach, the former Wakefield Super League star Jason Demetriou running the show.

The game was close to being a fairly even affair and the scoreline doesn’t tell the full story of how hard the Welsh side worked in one of their longest toughest trips of the season.

Scorpions started well. Lewis Reece had the first chance to score after good work from Loz Wildbore but he was held up over the line.

And after winning a goal-line drop-out, Wildbore almost got onto the end of Bromilow’s grubber but was beaten to the ball.

But against the run of play, Keighley scored from their first attack when Richard Jones forced with way through. Danny Lawton converted.

Scorpions levelled five minutes later when Aled James intercepted a pass and ran 60 metres to ground. Lewis Reece easily converted.

They took the lead from their next set when Andrew Gay broke through the defence to score under the sticks and Reece goaled again.

But after letting the ball slip away on their own 20-metre in, Scorpions let Cougars in for a second try which was scored by James Hutchinson in the corner. Lawton’s kick levelled things up again.

Player-coach Jason Demetriou broke through from kick-off to give Cougars the lead back while Gavin Duffy followed him over from kick-off with Lawton converting both.

Scorpions attempted a come-back but two grubber kicks near to the half-hour mark came to nothing.

But they crossed the line on the half-time hooter. After Bromilow kicked a 40-20, Lee Williams scored from the scrum but Reece missed the tricky conversion to leave Keighley 24-16 up at the interval.

Keighley had the wind and slope to their advantage in the second half and it was inevitable that they would take control, aided by a better quality surface in the Scorpions’ half of the pitch.

They attacked well from the off and were rewarded with a try just eight minutes in when Demetriou jinked his way through the Scorpions backline. Lawton goaled.

Straight from kick-off, a Ben Sagar try increased Cougars’ lead despite the two previous passes from Chris Baines and James Hutchinson both looking forward.

But there was nothing wrong with the next try as James Feather went in under the sticks. Lawton converted both to bring the score up to 42-16.

Andy Shickell made it look easy as he scored the next try from kick-off but Lawton missed for the first time.

However Scorpions didn’t give up and while it was too late for a comeback, they gave it a good attempt. Curtis Cunningham tried to run on to his own kick down the field but the ball took an awkward bounce on the hard surface and it was picked up.

Then Ashley Bateman was forced into touch as he was diving for the line.

But they did hit back when a Christiaan Roets 80-metre run set up Andrew Gay to score his second which Reece easily goaled.

Cougars were denied 50 points when Ryan Banjafield mishandled a pass when he had a clear run to the line leaving the Scorpions to finish the game on a high, despite the defeat, when Dalton Grant scored in the corner.

Demetriou said that he had a “50-50” opinion of the match.

“I thought we did some good stuff and I thought we did some ordinary stuff as well,” he said. “Credit to Scorpions, they kept coming back but some of our defence wasn’t good enough today.

“Our forwards did well, they dominated the middle of the field and that made it easy to finish off. I think we completed seven of our first ten sets in the second half and scored four tries.”

Scorpions’ Director of Rugby Mark Rowley said: “Overall we performed reasonably well but once again a few silly mistakes cost us the game. We didn’t look after the ball well enough and I think Jason Demetriou ran the show for them. He was outstanding and he absolutely killed us putting people in gaps all afternoon.”

KEIGHLEY COUGARS

7. Ryan Smith
5. Gavin Duffy
4. Danny Lawton
22. Ben Sagar
26. James Hutchison
29. Jason Demetriou
6. Luke Heliwell
8. Andy Shickell
14. Jamaine Well
17. Ryan Benjafield
23. Chris Baines
21. Richard Jones
13. Greg Nicholson

Subs:

9. James Feather
10. Scott Law
20. Rick Barr
25. Jamie Shepherd

Tries: Jones (7), Hutchinson (18), Demetriou (21, 45), Duffy (23), Sagar (48), Feather (54), Shickell (57)

Goals: Lawton 7/8

SOUTH WALES SCORPIONS

2. Lewis Reece
5. Curtis Cunningham
4. Ashley Bateman
26. Lee Williams
24. Dalton Grant
22. Andrew Gay
19. Casey Bromilow
16. Joe Burke
9. Steve Parry
10. Paul Raftery
12. Loz Wildbore
4. Christiaan Roets
13. Aled James

Subs:

14. Tom Burnell
15. Neil Dallimore
18. Chris Davies
11. Lewis Mills

Tries: James (12), Gay (15, 73), Williams (39), Grant (78)
Goals: Reece 3/5

Referee: Peter Brooke
Half-time: 24-16
Attendance: 558

Men of the Match: Keighley – Jason Demetriou, Scorpions – Andrew Gay
Penalty Count: 6-4
Scoring Sequence: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 12-12, 18-12, 24-12, 24-16, 30-16, 36-16, 42-16, 46-16, 46-22, 46-26

Gamestar: Undoubtedly Jason Demetriou as the player-coach ran the show from half-back

Gamebreaker: The first 20 minutes of the second half where the Scorpions barely touched the ball where Keighley dominated for that quarter of the game.

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