Cornwall RLFC


Keighley 56 Cornwall 12 – Match Report

March 17, 2024

Cornwall RLFC try scorer Harry Aaronson – JT Sports Media

Ellis Robson bagged a fine treble as Keighley defeated a spirited Cornwall side, with the visitors’ endeavours not reflected on the scoreboard.

After sitting out of the 1895 Cup and exciting the Challenge Cup at the first hurdle, it was of little surprise that Cornwall started the game sluggishly, with Keighley scoring four times in the opening 15 minutes.

But the hosts grew into the game as it progressed and, on another day, with a little more luck and the 50/50 calls from referee Andrew Sweet going in their favour, the Choughs would have scored more than just 12 points.

For Keighley and their coach Matt Foster, an instant return to playing Championship football in 2025 is their undoubted target. And although they demonstrated promotion credentials at times against Cornwall, the Cougars will need to improve as the season progresses, if they are to pip title favourites Oldham on this evidence.

Robson started the ball rolling for Keighley after just four minutes when he burst onto Jack Miller’s flat ball to score. Miller bagged the first of eight conversions, from ten attempts.

Winger Billy Walkley was next in on the act when he snuck home in the corner, despite the attentions of Cornish winger Harry Aaronson.

During the early exchanges, Cornwall were the architects of their own downfall by getting on the wrong side of referee Sweet and a six-again resulted in Keighley’s third try.

Dan Parker went in near the posts and with the game nor even 15 minutes old, Cornwall then suffered a double blow.

Away skipper Adam Rusling suffered a nasty leg gash in the build-up to another Keighley try, with the former Hull Kingston Rovers man needing stiches and a trip to Airedale Hospital, before Robson doubled his own personal tally.

However, Cornwall dug in and scored next through winger George Mitchell as he picked up Cameron Brown’s kick, which bounced off a home defender, to score. Brown nailed a fine conversion from the side line to improve Cornwall’s tally.

And the Choughs, just as they appeared to be getting a foothold in the game, saw Brown harshly sent to the sin bin as frustrations at Mr Sweet’s inconsistent decision making got the better of the visitors.

However, a clear demonstration of Cornwall’s improvement as the game progressed saw just one try, scored by Oscar Thomas, whilst Keighley had a numerical advantage.

At the start of the second half, the Cougars put the game beyond Cornwall with three tries in quick succession as Adam Ryder got in on the act before Robson completed his hat-trick.

Brandon Pickersgill, who was always a threat, then chimed into the three-quarter line to score, but any threat of Keighley running riot was once again quelled by Cornwall.

It was Mike Abbott’s men who scored next with arguably the try of the game, as a wonderful flowing move was finished of acrobatically by Harry Aaronson, against one of his former clubs.

And then, for the final 20 minutes, Cornwall were the better side, but couldn’t add to their tally, with Keighley having the final word as the outstanding Pickersgill scored under the sticks after the hosts chanced their arm, on the final play.

Cornwall: Nichol, Aaronson, Simpson, Ashton, Mitchell, Brown, Rusling, Ross, Collins, Boots, Cullen, Weetman, Dimech. Interchange: (all used) Lloyd, Trerise, Bannister, O’Callaghan.

Tries: Mitchell (19), Aaronson (60)

Goals: Brown 2/2

Sin bin: Brown (29) – dissent

Keighley: Pickersgill, Ryder, Graham, Sa’u, Walkley, Thomas, Miller, Maher, Brown, Ioane, Robson, Lanskey, Parker. Interchange: (all used) Bishop, Kesik, Hatton, Schofield.

Tries: Robson (4,50), Walkley (7), Parker (13), Sa’u (15), Thomas (32), Ryder (46), Pickersgill (53,80), Bishop (65),

Goals: Miller 8/10

Referee: Andrew Sweet

Attendance: 971