Away Days – Keighley Cougars
July 15, 2022
Cornwall RLFC face the longest trip of the Betfred League 1 season when Neil Kelly’s side travel to Keighley Cougars this coming Sunday.
For the Choughs, it will be a first ever visit to Cougar Park or for supporters with longer memories, Lawkholme Lane.
The ground was renamed Cougar Park during the height of ‘Cougarmania’. This halcyon period for the club saw Keighley become the first Northern Hemisphere club to put on pre-match entertainment for fans.
This explosion of interest was the brainchild of current Keighley chairman Mick O’Neil and his then sidekick Mike Smith. The club were rebranded as Keighley Cougars and by 1994, attendances for home games had risen from a few hundred to an average of over 4,000.
Cougarmania was in full swing and under coach Phil Larder, the team began to climb through the divisions and their home base was vastly improved.
Cougar Park hosted one game during the hugely successful 1995 Centenary World Cup with Fiji defeating South Africa 52-6. And five years later, an Emerging Nations World Cup game was also held at Cougar Park as Italy beat Canada 66-6.
During the period between those two national games taking part at Keighley’s home base, much had changed for the club though. After being denied a place in the inaugural Super League, the club’s owners changed hands and this started a downward spiral which only shifted in direction when O’Neil returned to the helm in 2019.
After steadying a heavily listing Keighley ship, the Cougarmania pioneer started to oversee an upturn in fortunes. Money was spent on improving tired facilities and the team on the pitch, under coach Rhys Lovegrove and director of rugby Andrew Henderson, look certainties for promotion to the Championship for 2023.
Cougar Park has accommodation for spectators on all four sides of the ground. The East Stand runs the full length of the field and is uncovered terracing; the South Stand is of a similar design behind one of the goals.
Two sides of the ground are covered with the north terrace, renamed as the Terry Hollindrake stand in 2015, also behind the goal.
The seated Main or West Stand was also renamed in 2015 after the tragic passing of Danny Jones, a Keighley player who collapsed and sadly died in an away match at London Skolars.
Tickets are available in advance for Sunday’s clash and are priced accordingly:
Standing tickets: £15 (adults) and £12 (concessions, proof of age required at the turnstile) Under-16s free.
Seating tickets: £17 (adults) and £14 (concessions, proof of age required at the turnstile) Under-16s free.
TO purchase tickets in advance – Click Here
Keighley’s matchday programme ‘Pride’ will be available to buy in hard copy format from the ground on matchday, priced at £2.50