DEWSBURY RAMS 29 – KEIGHLEY COUGARS 22.
As most true Dewsbury supporters know only too well, days like today don’t come around that often. As far as I’m concerned, today’s performance by The Rams was the best I’ve seen from them this season by a country mile. Judging by some of the performances Keighley have put in this season, it was always likely to be a difficult game, but all too often the words ‘difficult’ and ‘entertaining’ don’t seem to appear in the same dictionary. Thankfully, on this occasion, they did.
Almost from the moment the Cougars kicked off we had excitement and end to end football. For me this was Rugby League at its best. Playing out the first set in their own half, Rams kicked deep and after collecting the bouncing ball sent Ryan Esders racing over in the corner only to have the ball ripped clear as he was touching down.
These early moments were dominated by the Rams, and eventually the pressure told, winger Michael Wainwright cutting inside from the right to touch down for the opening score, and Patch Walker adding the conversion to edge them into the lead. Edging was all that it was however, because a few minutes late, Cougars second row Ollie Pursglove was over on the left, and a good, touchline conversion from Danny Jones levelled the scores at six apiece.
At the other end a good break from James Craven was halted, though the ball went out right for Esders to supply the inside pass that sent Rob Spicer in for the Rams second try, again goaled by Walker, albeit via the post.
It wasn’t all one way traffic though, the Rams defence was being sorely tested, and twice in as many minutes they were forced to drop out from under their own posts. Cougars couldn’t make the breakthrough though, and it was Dewsbury who were next to score; Austin Buchanan leaping high to collect Walker’s cross kick and race round behind the posts for their third try. Patch’s conversion extended their lead to 18 – 6, which at that point probably didn’t reflect how even the game was.
Sure enough, the Cougars came back, Semi Tadulala raced through only to be hauled down short, but finally the pressure told, fellow centre James Haythornthwaite going over on the left and another good conversion from Jones narrowed the gap to 18 – 12 at half time.
The second half opened in a similar manner to the first, though this time it was the Cougars who dominated matters, full back Craig Moss racing though for their third try out on the right. Allowing high kicks to bounce is always a risky business, and this time it was the Rams who paid the price, Moss notching up his second try and Jones’ conversion edging them into the lead for the first time at 18 – 22.
It was the Cougars fans who were making all the noise at this point, but the game was still a long way from over, and the Rams fought back. Andy Smith was on now, and several times he drove back the Keighley defence, finally going over for Dewsbury’s fourth try to level the scores.
The game was end to end, but both defences were holding firm, and it took a drop goal from Walker to edge the Rams into the lead at 23 – 22. With time running out and only a single point in it both sides were going for the win. The exchanges were getting fiercer, but finally it was Dewsbury’s scrum half Scott Spaven who broke the deadlock, squeezing over for a try out on the left. Walker’s conversion gave them the 7 point margin which they held until the final hooter sounded.
Final Score :- Dewsbury Rams 29 – Keighley Cougars 22.
DEWSBURY RAMS :- 1. James Craven; 2. Michael Wainwright; 3. Ryan Esders; 4. Ayden Faal; 5. Austin Buchanan; 6. Patch Walker; 7. Scott Spaven; 8. Ben Jones; 9. Liam Hood; 10. Steve Crossley; 11. Rob Spicer; 12; Dwayne Barker; 13. Josh Tonks. Subs :- 14. Brad Singleton; 15. Matty Nicholson; 16. Andy Smith; 17. Luke Blake.
KEIGHLEY COUGARS :- 1. Craig Moss; 15. Richie Barnett; 3. James Haythornthwaite; 4. Semi Tadulala; 5. Gavin Duffy; 6. Danny Jones; 7. Sam Obst; 8. Richard Jones; 9. James Feather; 10. Neil Cherryholme; 11. Ollie Pursglove; 12. Lewis Read; 13. Jy-Mel Coleman. Subs :- 14. James Davey; 2. Jason Demetriou; 16 Jode Sheriffe; 17. Michael Korkidas.
Referee :- Ronnie Laughton.
Attendance :- 992
Man of the Match :- Steve Crossley.
A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH STAND.
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