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  1. Keighley’s Bold Vision

    By GARETH WALKER of League Express GARRY Schofield says clubs like Keighley Cougars need to act now to secure their long-term future. Schofield is an ambassador for the League One outfit and is working extensively on the commercial side to bring in more revenue, with the ultimate aim of becoming an established Championship club within the next three years. He is heading up a number of new initiatives and says that part-time clubs – amid talk of restructures and central-funding cuts – need to take matters into their own hands. “Clubs absolutely have to do that,” said the former Great Britain star. “If the central funding does go, it could be crisis time at many clubs, and we have to be proactive. “We have to survive somehow, and at Keighley, we want to engage people to be part of this journey and vision that we have. “My aim is to get the town’s supporters and companies, no matter how small or large, back involved with the Keighley Cougars. “The club has got a vision and is on a journey, and we want to be a stable Championship club by 2021 ahead of any changes in the structure there might be. “If we don’t make that journey then the reality is that clubs like Keighley could be forced to go to amateur status. “My target is to engage companies in our 100 Club, where 100 different companies invest £500 a year. For that, two people can come to any game and get the club’s full hospitality package, and they also get two season-tickets for 2019. “For spectators who might not be able to afford the £500, we have our own Squadbuilder, which is £11 a month with £1 going to charity and the rest of it into improving the quality of the squad and the club. “Fans know that their money isn’t going to pay water or electricity bills, it’s all put towards building a quality squad that can get us where we want to be. “We’ve started this journey by signing Darrell Griffin, and we have good quality English coaches here in Craig Lingard and Nathan Graham. “From the top this club has ambition, but at the same time we’re not over-ambitious and this not the new Cougaramania – that has been and gone. “This is a journey to get us where we want to be if there is a restructuring of Rugby League and we want people to enjoy being a part of it.” Schofield is confident that backers of the schemes will get value for money with the Cougars. “The hospitality suite at the club is second to none, and I’ve seen a fair few in the Championship and League One,” he explained. “The quality of service and food at Cougar Park is up there with any of them. “We want people to come and enjoy Keighley Cougars on and off the field, and while doing it, contribute to helping us buy the quality of player that we need. “I’ve been out meeting different sponsors and supporters and I do see the potential here, I’ve told the Keighley people that I’m all about being open and honest. “In the past, some of them have been burnt and let down, but it’s not the same people here now and we want them to come and be part of our club. “If they ask an open and honest question then I’ll give them an open and honest answer. I’ve really enjoyed it, although it is a challenge.” The Cougars are holding two events ahead of the new initiatives. All supporters and companies interested in the 100 Club can attend a function at Cougar Park on Friday, July 6, where Schofield, Lingard and Griffin will help to present the club’s vision. On Friday, June 29, the Cougars will hold the first of a series of luncheons, which are open to all. There will be entertainment from Wigan comedian Jamie Sutherland. Anybody interested in attending the events can contact Schofield at kccommercial@outlook.com View the full article
  2. Newcastle Thunder 14-34 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) KEIGHLEY Cougars returned to winning ways with a 34-14 victory at Newcastle Thunder. After losing the previous week at Oldham Roughyeds, Craig Lingard’s men got their League One campaign back on track with an eye-catching triumph over potential play-off rivals. “The performance the lads put in out there today was certainly the best of the season for me,” said an ecstatic Lingard. “It was certainly the reaction I was looking for after the Oldham defeat and as a group we’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks that we’re almost there. “We’ve been very close in some big games and there was no individual performance that stood out for me because it was an all round team effort. “You can always play when you’ve got a pack that’s on the front foot and as a half-back it’s difficult to play off a slow ruck but our pack was outstanding today and from that our edge players were able to strike which always helps. “It’s important for me though that we’re very realistic about where we are this season, we’ve lost against the two teams that were relegated from the Championship and a York side that is full of current or former Hull Kingston Rovers players. “I understand that some people aren’t particularly pleased with performances and results but where we are is not a bad place to be because League One is that close and it’s important we get victories against those teams around us.” The Cougars got their rewards early as Darrell Griffin marked his 400th career appearance with his first try for the club after great play by Matty Beharrell to draw a defender out on the inside after a Newcastle onslaught in the game’s opening exchanges. The visitors extended their lead shortly after when Andy Gabriel’s big carry required three Newcastle defenders to hold him off and from the offload, Ryan Wright squeezed his way over from close range. Newcastle then got back into the game in bizarre fashion after Scott Law was judged to have obstructed Aaron Ollett in the act of scoring and, after consulting with his touch judges, the referee awarded an obstruction try rather than a penalty try. The home side then closed the margin at the break to four points as Tom Shaw took the two on offer on the hooter after the Cougars were penalised for holding down in the tackle. Newcastle started the second half the better side, with the help of some dubious refereeing decisions, but Keighley would strike first as Adam Ryder rampaged through a gap in the Thunder defensive line to dive over. The Cougars extended their advantage through the quick hands of Beharrell after the half-back delayed the pass long enough to create the space for Gabriel to weave his way through to cross next to the uprights. A high tackle on Lewis Young from Beharrell then resulted in some handbags from which Ritchie Hawkyard and Conor Fitzsimmons were both sent for ten minutes in the bin. The resulting penalty allowed Thunder what appeared to be a route back into the game as the home side showed quick speed at the ruck to send Ben Calland speeding through to the line. However, Gabriel then sealed the points for Lingard’s side as he scored his second, winning an aerial duel with Mo Agoro from a Beharrell kick before showing great speed and awareness to pluck the ball out of the air and touch it down. Josh Tonks then put the gloss on the victory, showing great strength to turn his way through a tackle to score. View the full article
  3. Newcastle Thunder v Keighley Cougars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) Date: Sunday 22nd April Time: 2:00pm Venue: Kingston Park, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne The Cougars were defeated away at Oldham last weekend on a difficult afternoon at the Vestacare Stadium, but they will be looking for a reaction this weekend as they head out on the road once again, this time north for the re-arranged Betfred League One Round 2 fixture with the Newcastle Thunder. LAST TIME OUT: Newcastle continued their superb away form in 2018 with a 10-30 victory at the North Wales Crusaders. First half tries from Evan Simons, Aaron Ollett, Danny Nicklas and Vincent Rennie gave the Thunder a comfortable lead at half-time, Rennie added a second after the interval to wrap up the victory in an otherwise routine win across the border for Jason Payne and his side. The Cougars threatend a comeback but ended up falling to a 32-18 defeat away at Oldham. After falling 16-0 down after just 11 minutes, tries from Brad Nicholson and Josh Tonks and a Benn Hardcastle penalty meant the gap at half-time was only 2 points between the sides. But a slow start and a number of dubious decisions from the official allowed Oldham to pull away meaning Adam Ryder’s second half effort was nothing more than a mere consolation. TEAM NEWS: Thunder Head Coach Jason Payne has brought Tyler Craig into contention for Sunday’s game as he comes into the 19 man squad with both Rhys Clarke and Niall Sidney dropping out from last week’s away victory in North Wales. Scotland international Dan Turland was named in the original 19 man but has since dropped out, Tuoyo Egodo is unavailable for selection meaning no Castleford players are included on dual-registration. Former Cougar Aaron Ollett is included, meaning he will make his 100th career appearance tomorrow afternoon. Fresh off his debut at Oldham last Sunday, Darrell Griffin continues in the side and will make his 400th career appearance at Kingston Park. Hamish Barnes (Shoulder) is ruled out through injury and drops out of the side along with Davey Dixon and Lewis Fairhurst. Cameron Leeming (Knee) is back from a 3 month injury lay-off and could debut in the north-east with both Harry Aaronson and Brendon Rawlins recalled to the 19 by Craig Lingard. This game comes too soon however for Harvey Hallas (Shoulder), Trae O’Sullivan (Concussion) and Jose Kenga (Ankle). KEY BATTLE: In Lewis Young and Theerapol Ritson, Newcastle boast the reigning winner and runner-up of the League One Young Player of the Year award. Both pose danger with their ball handling skills, frightening speed and versatility which means whether they are at full-back, out on the wing or playing in the halves, the Cougars will have to be on their guard to prevent the youngsters causing too many problems. THE SQUADS: THUNDER: Agoro, H Aldous, J Aldous, Brown, Calland, Craig, Fitzsimmons, Lloyd, Luckley, McAvoy, Nicklas, Ollett, Pointer, Rennie, Ritson, Shaw, Simons, Turland, Young. COUGARS: Aaronson, Bailey, Beharrell, Conroy, Emmett, Gabriel, Griffin, Hardcastle, Hawkyard, Law, Leeming, Lynam, Morris, Nicholson, Rawlins, Ryder, Tonks, Whiteley, Wright. THE COACHES: Newcastle Thunder Head Coach Jason Payne has yet to comment. Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “They’ve got some big, strong and experienced middles. They’ve also got a lot of pace in their backs. “They’ve got Tee Ritson who plays at full back and he’s like lightning. You’ve also got Lewis Young at half back. He scored three tries against us last year and he’s got pace to burn. “They can strike all over the park so we need to make sure we get into the game. We’ve started badly in several games this season and we have to make sure that we don’t give ourselves a mountain to climb early on.” THE REFEREE: The whistle blower for this re-arranged Betfred League One Round 2 fixture at Kingston Park is Billy Pearson from Barnsley. Pearson was also appointed for the original date in early March before ‘the beast from the east’ claimed the fixture as it did many more around the country in all sports over that two week period. SUMMARY: Craig Lingard will be looking for a reaction from his side after last week’s defeat at Oldham against a Newcastle side that his hit form after a slow start to the 2018 season. Jason Payne masterminded two victories over the Cougars last season and has exciting youngsters Lewis Young and Theerapol Ritson running the show behind a solid pack but Benn Hardcastle will be looking to mark his homecoming in style as the Cougars look to get back to winning ways ahead of consecutive home fixtures at Cougar Park. View the full article
  4. Newcastle Thunder Travel Pack by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) After a defeat across the Pennines to the Oldham Roughyeds last weekend, the Cougars hit the road once more this Sunday as they head north for the re-arranged Betfred League One clash with Newcastle Thunder. GAME DETAILS: Newcastle Thunder v Keighley Cougars Betfred League One Round Two Kingston Park Sunday 22nd April, Kick Off: 14:00 Referee: Mr B Pearson ADMISSION: SEATING: ADULTS: £14 CONCESSIONS: £12 JUNIORS: £7 TERRACING: ADULTS: £12 CONCESSIONS: £10 JUNIORS: £5 VENUE: The ground was opened in 1990 when the Falcons, under the name of Newcastle Gosforth first moved into their current home, Kingston Park. The site had been the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Sports Ground prior to this. Since the professional era, Kingston Park has undergone a number of facelifts, firstly with the installation of a temporary stand on the western side of the ground, and most recently the construction of three completely new permanent stands. These are the main West Stand, the popular covered terracing of the South Stand and the uncovered terracing of the North Stand. The East Stand houses the club’s offices and changing rooms, as well as our Hiding Place and Clubhouse bars and the Falcons’ custom built media suite. This stand was the only one present when Kingston Park was originally converted into a rugby stadium by Newcastle Gosforth, and the Ticket Office and Club Shop can also be found here. The sheltered terracing of the John Smiths Stand at the south end of the ground has already carved out somewhat of a vocal reputation for itself, with the noise generated there being heard right across the pitch. The South Stand bar is also a lively post and pre-match venue, with a friendly and sociable atmosphere to greet both home and away fans. The all-seater state of the art West Stand houses some of the best facilities in club rugby, playing host to the club’s corporate clients and Premier Club members. The stadium control rooms are housed in the West Stand, which has three levels of bars and function rooms. The concourse bar on the ground floor runs the length of the field and is the place to grab a pint and a burger on match days, with Players Q&A sessions and live music taking place before and after most home games. The uncovered terracing of the North Stand provides the most easily accessible area of the ground for many fans, with reasonably priced Tickets attracting many newcomers to the game. Plans are in place to add a roof to the stand as part of the stadium’s continual development, as well as further facilities. WHERE TO DRINK: The Kingston Park Stadium usually opens at least 90 minutes before kick off and serves a range of drinks along with burgers, chips and other food. If you are in the area and looking for food or drinks prior to the game the closest pub and restaurant to the ground is the Twin Farms pub, which is 0.4 miles or 8 minutes’ walk from the ground. To get to the Twin Farms head out of the main stadium gates and turn right; follow Brunton Road along and turn right onto Main Street road. The pub is a short distance along the road on your right. Alternatively, there is also a Tesco Superstore, McDonalds, Boots Chemist and a range of other shops within walking distance of the stadium. To get to the retail Park exit the main gates of the Kingston Park rugby ground, turn left and then immediately right onto Windsor Way. Follow this road around to the left and turn right at the traffic lights. Continue straight ahead taking care when crossing the Metro train lines; you will see Boots, Greggs and Marks and Spencer to your right and Tesco, McDonalds and a number of other shops to your left. Please note that there is also a petrol station at Tesco Kingston Park. WHERE TO PARK: Parking is available on site on a matchday and is FREE of charge. Local parking restrictions mean that anyone parking on the main road or in the housing estates near to Kingston Park will receive a parking ticket. TRAVEL: BY CAR, POSTCODE FOR THE SAT NAV: SUGGESTED ROUTE: (2h 15 min, 105 miles) Head east on Royd Ings Ave toward Alston Rd. Turn right onto Alston Rd. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Hardings Rd/A650. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A629. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Keighley Rd/A6034. Continue to follow A6034. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Silsden Rd/B6160. Continue to follow B6160. Turn left onto Bolton Rd/B6160. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A59. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Otley Rd/B6161. Turn left onto Ripon Rd/A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon Rd/A61. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Ripon Rd/A61. Continue to follow A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Ripon By-Pass/A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Ripon By-Pass/A61. Continue to follow A61. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A1(M) ramp to Mesham/Pickhill/B6267/A1 North/Londonderry. Merge onto A1(M). Continue onto A1. Continue onto A1(M) (signs for Darlington/Newcastle/Airport). Keep left at the fork to stay on A1(M). Continue onto A1. Take the A696/A167 exit toward Jedburg Airport/City (Centre). At Kenton Bar Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Ponteland Rd/B6918. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Brunton Ln. Go through 1 roundabout. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Belvedere Pkwy. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit. Turn left. Destination will be on your left. View the full article
  5. Head Coach Craig Lingard has today announced his 19 man squad to face Newcastle Thunder in the re-arranged Betfred League One Round 2 fixture. Fresh off his debut at Oldham last weekend, Darrell Griffin is in line to make his 400th career appearance at Kingston Park this Sunday afternoon. Cameron Leeming is included for the first time in the 2018 season after fully recovering from the knee injury he sustained during pre-season that ruled him out of action for three months. Harry Aaronson, who featured for the English Universities side on Wednesday evening, is brought back into the 19 man squad after missing out last Sunday at Whitebank as is Brendon Rawlins. Hamish Barnes (Shoulder) is ruled out through injury with both Davey Dixon and Lewis Fairhurst dropping out of the side that lost in Lancashire last weekend. James Davies and Harvey Hallas (both Shoulder) have both recovered from injury but this Sunday’s trip to the north-east comes too soon for the Prop pairing. 19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE NEWCASTLE: 1 – Ritchie Hawkyard 2 – Andy Gabriel 4 – Adam Ryder 7 – Matty Beharrell 8 – Scott Law 9 – Nathan Conroy 11 – Josh Lynam 12 – Brendon Rawlins 13 – Mike Emmett 15 – Ryan Wright 17 – Cameron Leeming 18 – Josh Tonks 19 – Matthew Bailey 23 – Benn Hardcastle 28 – Harry Aaronson 29 – Brad Nicholson 34 – Perry Whiteley 35 – Darrell Griffin 37 – Ben Morris View the full article
  6. Reserves Game Postponed

    This evening’s Reserves fixture with Bradford Bulls has been postponed. This is due to the Bulls having players unavailable due to the Under 16 and Under 19’s fixtures taking place over the next two nights. We will announce a new date for this fixture in due course. View the full article
  7. The Keighley Cougars Squadbuilder have announced they are to hold a race night to raise for the fund. The race night will be held in the Executive Suite at Cougar Park on Friday 15th June with a start time of 7pm. Entry into this event is free and there will be a pie and pea supper available to those in attendance, priced at £2 per person. The Squadbuilder fund helps the Cougars attract players to the club and this season the fund is helping towards Brendon Rawlins and Harvey Hallas. For more information contact the Squadbuilder on Facebook or Twitter or ring Margaret Proctor on 07980 893003. View the full article
  8. COUGAR pies for Cougars tries is the slogan as local butcher C&L Herd Family Butchers sponsor the Keighley Cougars and their mascot Freddie Cougars for the 2018 season. The sponsorship will see the Queens Road butchers produce on sale at Cougar Park as well as their brand on both club staff wear and mascot Freddie with the business also donating a new Freddie suit to the club. Speaking about the sponsorship, C&L Herd owner and local councillor Chris Herd said: “We’ve been trading for 21 years now and we pride ourselves on being a family run local business. “We feel it is important to be part of the local community and we have already shown that by producing our own meat on our Oxenhope farm to sell in the shop, plus meat we don’t rear ourselves is sourced locally, and also employing 8 staff. “A big part of Keighley as a community is the Keighley Cougars and that is why we felt it was important as a business and as locals to Keighley to support the club. “Our sponsorship of Freddie Cougar was vital to us as we use the ‘Cougar pies for Cougars tries’ initiative to continue to publicise the club. “Our aim is to take Freddie Cougar into the schools to hand out sausage rolls to children and promote the club, the business and sport as a whole locally. “The club implements superb local initiatives such as the free entry to all games for Under 18’s. “This means children get into the games for free which allows the club to build its profile in the community and build its supporter base for the future. “It also encourages families to come to the game as parents can bring their children down to the game and not have to pay through the roof and Rugby League as a sport and Keighley Cougars as a club is a fun day out for all the family.” You can sample some of C&L Herd’s produce and see Freddie Cougar in action at the Cougars next home game against Whitehaven on Sunday 29th April. View the full article
  9. Oldham RLFC 32-18 Keighley Cougars Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) KEIGHLEY Cougars fell to a defeat on the road at Oldham Roughyeds after failing to recover from a slow start to the game. Oldham scored three tries in the opening ten minutes to set themselves up for the win. And the performance of his side left Craig Lingard understandably frustrated as did the performance of the officials. “It was a real hit and miss performance today and we’ve thrown away the two points really,” admitted Lingard. “We put ourselves into a real difficult position with our start to the game and left ourselves with a mountain to climb. “But once we got into the arm wrestle and started doing the things we’ve been working on all week in training, we got ourselves into the game. “Things started to change when we got 50% off the ball because we were in a good position and we were the fitter, stronger and probably smarter team once we started to get possession. “The lads were all energised and buzzed up at half-time but then we did a similar thing in the second half where we just started slow and gave too much possession to Oldham. “I’m left scratching my head though about the official and where he got some of his decisions from today, we were on the end of a 5-0 penalty count in the second half until the last minute when he gives us two soft penalties. “I can complain all I want to referee’s commissioner Steve Pressley because you can do that every week but when players perform badly they get dropped, when coaches perform badly they get sacked but referee’s get another game the week after.” They opened the scoring after the ball was worked across to Dave Eccleston on the right wing on the back of a penalty. Lee Kershaw then cut inside to race round on his Oldham debut, although the officials seemingly missed an obstruction on Ryan Wright in the build-up. Kershaw scored his second just moments later after Kieran Gill exposed space in the defensive line. The Cougars would score 14 unanswered points though to go into the interval trailing by only two points. Brad Nicholson powered his way over first after being held out just short moments before. Matty Beharrell and Benn Hardcastle would then show superb passing, with balls flowing through hands to Josh Tonks, who stormed through to the line. Hardcastle would then take the two points on offer after Lingard made the call with less than a minute on the clock. The first score of the second half went to Oldham after Andy Gabriel was contentiously penalised for tackling a man without the ball and from this, Gill scored after the home side found numbers on the overlap. Paul Crook then took the two on offer from a penalty that resulted from a dropout despite Gabriel being tackled in the air in the in-goal area. Cougars would not go down without a fight and got back into the game through Adam Ryder, as the centre raced through to cross from 20 metres out. Tonks was then placed on report for a dangerous challenge, after him and debutant Darrell Griffin ended Adam Neal’s afternoon. Liam Bent scored the afternoon’s final try as he crossed from close range after Gareth Owen had sold the Keighley defence a superb dummy. Crook took another two points after Keighley were penalised for ripping the ball out in the tackle. The game would end on a comedic note though as Kershaw spectacularly blew his hat-trick by incorrectly grounding the ball after breaking 85 metres to the line. View the full article
  10. Oldham RLFC v Keighley Cougars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) Date: Sunday 15th April Time: 3:00pm Venue: Vestacare Stadium, Whitebank, Oldham The Cougars made it back-to-back wins for the first time in 2018 with victory over Hemel last Sunday but are fully aware of the test that awaits them this weekend as they head to a traditional bogey ground, Whitebank, to face an Oldham side looking for momentum ahead of their Challenge Cup tie against Hull KR. LAST TIME OUT: Oldham suffered a shock second consecutive home defeat as they were beaten 16-24 by Hunslet RL. Oldham Coach Scott Naylor labelled the performance “unacceptable” as tries from Dave Hewitt, Danny Langtree and Gareth Owen gave the Roughyeds a 16-6 lead but after Craig Briscoe saw his effort ruled out for a knock-on, Hunslet went onto score 18 unanswered points to seal the two points. The Cougars ran in 14 tries as they routed the Hemel Stags 80-10 at Cougar Park. Adam Ryder, Ritchie Hawkyard, Lewis Fairhurst and Josh Tonks all registerd a brace apiece with further tries on the afternoon coming through Harvey Hallas, Andy Gabriel, Nathan Conroy, Ben Morris, Matty Beharrell and Mike Emmett. Benn Hardcastle as always helped himself to some points with 12 successful conversions. TEAM NEWS: Following defeat last Sunday, Scott Naylor has brought in Wakefield duo Luke Hooley and Lee Kershaw in on loan along with Castleford’s Kieran Gill and all three are brought straight into the Roughyeds side. Salford Prop Daniel Murray also comes in on dual-registration with Kyran Johnson, Jack Holmes, Matty Wilkinson and Adam Jones the four who make way from the team that was beaten by Hunslet. Craig Lingard brings new signing Darrell Griffin straight into the side after his arrival earlier this week following a spell in Rugby Union. Hamish Barnes (Shoulder) and Brad Nicholson both return from injury with Brendon Rawlins and Harry Aaronson dropping out of the side along with Harvey Hallas (Shoulder) who joins Jose Kenga (Ankle) and Emmerson Whittel (Knee) as Lingard’s only injury concerns. KEY BATTLE: Oldham are well known for their big pack that dominates the opposition up the middle of the pitch, especially at the Vestacare Stadium, and this should be no different this Sunday. The likes of Phil Joy, Adam Neal, Craig Briscoe and Salford DR man Daniel Murray will test the Cougars defence but can expect a fierce contest as new signing Darrell Griffin and the returning Brad Nicholson partner up with the ever dependable old guard of Scott Law and Matthew Bailey. THE SQUADS: ROUGHYEDS: Bent, Bridge, Briscoe, Crook, Eccleston, Gill, Hewitt, Hooley, Hughes, Joy, Kershaw, Langtree, McComb, Murray, Neal, Nelmes, Owen, Reid, Spencer. COUGARS: Bailey, Barnes, Beharrell, Conroy, Dixon, Emmett, Fairhurst, Gabriel, Griffin, Hardcastle, Hawkyard, Law, Lynam, Morris, Nicholson, Ryder, Tonks, Whiteley, Wright. THE COACHES: Oldham RLFC Head Coach Scott Naylor: “Keighley will come full of confidence and expecting to win, given that they won at Hunslet, who then came to our place and beat us. “They’ve just signed ex-Super League prop Darrell Griffin too which shows they’re ambitious and mean business. “If anyone in Oldham thinks Sunday’s game will be anything like the pre-season friendly then they’re sadly mistaken. This is going to be a real tough game and we’ve got to put things right. “What we’ve been doing isn’t working in this division. We’ve got to do better and be better in every game, starting against the Cougars.” Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: We have three tough games coming up now; Oldham and Newcastle away and Whitehaven at home. We have targeted Whitehaven as a win especially. “Oldham came down from the Championship last season, so it is a really tough ask for us to go there and win. “Oldham will be smarting from their defeat last week. It might mean they are behind where they expected to be at this stage of the season. “So it will mean it is a toss of a coin which Oldham side we get on Sunday. They know they have to win, but all we can do is concentrate on ourselves. “We have had a tough start to the season with our fixtures, but we have done well. The squad is full of confidence.” THE REFEREE: The whistle blower for this Betfred League One Round Seven fixture at the Vestacare Stadium, Whitebank, is Liam Staveley from Bradford. Staveley’s previous Cougars appointment was the fiery Joe Phillips Memorial Trophy defeat to Bradford in February where he sent Ritchie Hawkyard and Samir Tahraoui to the sin-bin before also showing Tahraoui and Ryan Wright a red card. SUMMARY: The Cougars are on a real high after three solid performances since last month’s defeat to Bradford which in turn has seen the latter two bring victories and continued the high this week with the addition of Darrell Griffin. Oldham will be hurting from defeat to Hunslet and will be looking for the bounce back and a victory that will give them momentum ahead of their Cup tie with Hull KR next weekend. It promises to be a real cracker that can’t afford to be missed come 3pm tomorrow across the pennines. View the full article
  11. Keighley Cougars WRL 0-36 Dundee Dragons WRL Match Report by Mathew Micklethwaite Following on from the snow causing cancellations across many of the opening weekend of wheelchair RL fixtures, including our scheduled season opener versus Hull during March it then led to Dundee becoming our first league game of 2018. A Home fixture that last saw the Cougars leaving with an embarrassing 96 point loss. With that in mind we have really knuckled down and focused on our defensive structure and discipline as well as protecting and retaining the ball on attack. From the kick off we hit the intensity level we needed and really came out firing on all cylinders, closing down Dundee with some strong defensive efforts and really holding the ball well in attack. Dundee, who had 5 Scotland internationals within their ranks on the day countered this well and drove back at us with matching intensity and focus. This led to Dundee getting on the scoreboard and by half time the visitor’s led 32-0. The Cougars where in high spirits at half-time despite the score line, having really hit the required intensity level and put some solid pressure onto Dundee on both sides of the ball. We played through the second half with just the same passion for the club and became a solid unit on the defensive front, only allowing Dundee one try throughout the second half. Our attack also saw much improvement as our attacking lines and pace on the ball upped a level with a good retention of the ball, completing sets and driving hard at the Dundee line. The game finished in a 36-0 loss for the Cougars, and looking back this is a huge step forwards and a massive positive for us as a team. We looked great on both sides of the ball, and despite having key areas of development we are very happy with the game and our performance. Moving forwards our aim heading into our next game will be our defence out on the wings as we got caught out in this area on may occasions. As always it was a pleasure to face the Dundee squad and they are a great team that offered some fantastic feedback and praise towards our development. Our team on the day was Mathew Micklethwaite (player-coach), Gavin Dobson, James Kaye, Jemima Croft, Samuel Stebbings, Becky Chapman and Alan Ackroyd. Our next game will be on the 21st April as we face tough opposition in premier league side Mersey Storm in a plate cup game again at the University Academy Keighley. Wheelchair Rugby league is an all inclusive sport and we welcome new players wishing to try out this great sport. For more information contact head coach Mathew on 07740585531 or email mathewmwrl@hotmail.com. Please also take the time to like and share our Facebook page – Keighley Cougars Wheelchair Rugby League View the full article
  12. The Keighley Cougars Wheelchair Rugby League team roll into action for the first time in 2018 tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Mathew Micklethwaite’s side open their league campaign as Dundee Dragons make the long journey south from Scotland to the University Academy Keighley. The game will serve as the Cougars opener after the ‘Beast From The East’ postponed the original league opener away at Hull FC last month. The game is an 11:30pm kick-off in the UAK main sports hall and admission is completely free! The address for UAK is: University Academy Keighley, Greenhead Road, Keighley, BD20 6EB. View the full article
  13. Head Coach Craig Lingard has today named his 19 man squad for Sunday’s trip to Oldham RLFC in Round Seven of Betfred League One. As expected, new signing Darrell Griffin comes straight into the squad after joining the club on Thursday morning following a spell with Morley Rugby Union. Brad Nicholson also comes into the squad after recovering from the injury that ruled him out of last Sunday’s comprehensive victory over the Hemel Stags. Hamish Barnes is also back in the squad after missing both the victories against Hunslet and Hemel with a shoulder injury picked up in the defeat to York last month. This means that both Brendon Rawlins and Harry Aaronson drop out of the 19 man squad from last weekend with Harvey Hallas (Shoulder) joining Jose Kenga (Ankle) and Emmerson Whittel (Knee) on the treatment table as the only 3 injury concerns for Linners. Speaking in the Keighley News yesterday ahead of today’s squad announcement, Lingard said: “It is great to have everyone back and in full training. There is real competition for places now. “Now everybody is ready to play and get a place in the squad. I know there will be 12 or 13 players knocking on my door saying ‘why haven’t I been picked?'” 19 MAN SQUAD TO FACE OLDHAM: 1 – Ritchie Hawkyard 2 – Andy Gabriel 3 – Hamish Barnes 4 – Adam Ryder 5 – Davey Dixon 7 – Matty Beharrell 8 – Scott Law 9 – Nathan Conroy 11 – Josh Lynam 13 – Mike Emmett 15 – Ryan Wright 18 – Josh Tonks 19 – Matthew Bailey 20 – Lewis Fairhurst 23 – Benn Hardcastle 29 – Brad Nicholson 34 – Perry Whiteley 35 – Darrell Griffin 37 – Ben Morris View the full article
  14. Travel Pack – Oldham RLFC

    Oldham RLFC Travel Pack by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport) This Sunday, the Cougars look to continue their winning run in an extremely competitive Betfred League One season with a trip to Vestacare Stadium, Whitebank, to face Oldham looking to get one over on their hosts after a hammering at the hands of Scott Naylor’s side in January’s pre-season friendly. GAME DETAILS: Oldham Roughyeds v Keighley Cougars Betfred League One Round Seven Vestacare Stadium Sunday 15th April 2018, Kick Off: 15:00 Referee: Mr L Staveley ADMISSION: SEATING: ADULTS: £16 CONCESSIONS: £14 JUNIORS: £5 TERRACING: ADULTS: £14 CONCESSIONS: £12 JUNIORS: £2 VENUE: The Vestacare Stadium (Whitebank) was the home of the Oldham Roughyeds from 2010-15 and will become the Roughyeds home once more ahead of the 2018 Betfred League One campaign following relegation from the Championship The ground has undergone a mass transformation under the stewardship of new tenants Avro Football Club who secured funding from the FA to revamp the stadium whilst Oldham played their home games in Stalybridge following their League One Promotion Final victory over the Cougars in September 2015. During their two seasons away from Whitebank, the Roughyeds home has undergone a transformation under tenants Avro FC with the grounds famous sloping pitch being replaced by a state of the art 4G surface. Other improvements to the ground has seen the clubhouse fully refurbished with a new heating system and new ceilings, furniture and bars installed as well as new outdoor toilets, renewed floodlighting and a general sprucing-up of the stadium as a whole providing a better experience for supporters of both Oldham and the opposition. WHERE TO DRINK: There is a large clubhouse located at the Vestacare Stadium which welcomes both supporters of Oldham and the opposition. WHERE TO PARK: There is parking available on site at the Vestacare Stadium, there is also street parking available in limited spots near to the ground. TRAVEL: BY CAR, POSTCODE FOR THE SAT NAV: OL8 3JH SUGGESTED ROUTE: (48.1 miles, 1h 6min) Head east on Royd Ings Ave toward Alston Rd. Turn right onto Alston Rd. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Hard Ings Rd/A650. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A629. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A629. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Station Rd/B6172. Turn right onto Main St/A6068. Continue to follow A6068. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Windsor St/A6068. Continue to follow A6068. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Vivary Way/A6068. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto M65 heading to Nelson/Burnley/Preston/Manchester/M66. At junction 8, take the A56/A6068 exit to M66/Bury/Manchester/Clitheroe. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Accrington Bypass/A56. At Rising Bridge Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Haslingden Bypass/A56. Continue to follow A56. Continue onto M66 (signs for Bury/Manchester). Keep right to continue on M60. At junction 22, take the A62 exit. Turn right onto Hollinwood Interchange/Manchester Rd/A62. Continue to follow Manchester Rd/A62. Turn left onto Hollins Rd/A6104. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Hollins Rd/A6104. Turn right onto Oak Rd. Go through 1 roundabout. Turn right onto Elm Rd. Turn left onto White Bank Rd. Destination will be on your left. View the full article
  15. Keighley Cougars are this morning delighted to announce the signing of Darrell Griffin for the remainder of the 2018 season. The former England international arrives at Cougar Park following a brief spell in Rugby Union with Morley following his departure from the Featherstone Rovers in January. The Oxfordshire born Prop began his career with Wakefield Trinity after joining from Harlequins Rugby Union before moving on to join the Huddersfield Giants where his performances earned him an England call-up for the 2010 Four Nations where he would go on to earn two caps for his country. In 2012, Griffin joined the Leeds Rhinos and in his sole season at Headingley won both the World Club Challenge and Super League, coming off the interchanges bench in both games, and was also a part of the side that lost that season’s Challenge Cup Final. Darrell then joined the Salford Red Devils following their takeover by Marwan Koukash and would spend three seasons at the AJ Bell Stadium before leaving the club and dropping down a division to sign with Featherstone Rovers. In both his seasons in Featherstone, Griffin helped the club achieve back-to-back top four finishes in the Championship which allowed Rovers to compete in The Qualifiers for promotion into the Super League. The Cougars can confirm we have allocated the veteran forward the number 35 jersey and that he will be in contention for Sunday’s Betfred League One visit to Oldham. The club are delighted to secure Darrell’s services for the remainder of the season and we look forward to seeing him in action for the Cougars. View the full article