Keighley Cougars 68 Cornwall RLFC 0 – Match Report
July 17, 2022
Cornwall RLFC were beaten by title elect Keighley Cougars in the sizzling West Yorkshire sun.
The home side, which contained a host of big-names with international, Super League and NRL experience ran in 12 tries but Cornwall were spirited and never came close to raising the white flag.
Mo Agoro stole the show for Keighley with a fine hat-trick meaning the Jamaican international winger now has an incredible 25 tries from 14 Betfred League 1 games in 2022.
Cornwall’s cause, which was always going to be a stiff one given Keighley’s unstoppable league form, was not helped by two harsh yellow cards. Firstly centre Tom Ashton was sent to the bin just before the half-time siren and as time ticked down in the second stanza, Myles Tate was also asked to take a breather by merry whistle blower Kevin Moore.
There was also a worrying sight for the Choughs with 15 minutes to go when Sam Gilder was involved in a heavy collision. The Mevagissey raised hooker was attended to by both Cornwall and Keighley medical teams.
And after a prolonged spell of treatment, he left the field on a stretcher and was taken by ambulance to Airedale Hospital. Thankfully, Gilder regained consciousness and after further medical examination, was discharged.
Before his afternoon ended early, Gilder was one of several changes visiting head coach Neil Kelly made to his matchday squad compared to that which was defeated 44-10 by Doncaster.
Liam Whitton (hamstring), Josh Hartshorne (calf) and Jack Ray (unavailable) all missed out and they were replaced in the starting line-up by Jayden Myers, Marcus Green and Myles Tate.
Louis Collinson returned at loose forward after missing the last two games through injury with skipper Jamie Prisk dropping down to interchange alongside Gilder, Sam Snell and recent recruit Jacob Beer.
For Keighley, who look odds on to go the whole season unbeaten, they had the luxury of an extra week’s rest with their scheduled match against London Skolars called off last week because the capital outfit could not arrange the necessary medical cover.
In sweltering conditions, Cornwall started brightly and after defending a repeat set well on their own line, Joe Purcell got the visitors in range with a fine 40/20 kick.
But the Choughs couldn’t press home this promising position and after being penalised for crossing, Keighley scored the opening try. Jake Miller’s long booming pass was gathered well by Junior Sa’u and he made no mistake.
Miller crashed the conversion off the woodwork but Keighley were up and running. Sadly for Cornwall, they never looked back.
Before the 20 minutes had been reached, the Cougars had scored two further tries. Neat footwork from Alix Stephenson put the home five eighth in before Sa’u grabbed his second of the afternoon. Miller kicked two conversions and at 16-0, Keighley were in complete control.
The home side looked threatening every time they got in Cornwall’s red-zone and Charlie Graham was the next man with a Cougar on his chest to breach the visitors’ teal and white wall.
Agoro had a quiet opening to proceedings but he was soon in on the act with a wonderful long-distance score just shy of the half hour mark.
From dummy-half, the powerful home flyer turned on the after-burners to leave the would-be Cornish rearguard for dead.
And Keighley weren’t done yet as before the interval, Miller scored his 11th try of the campaign and followed it up with a fifth conversion from six attempts.
And to rub salt into Cornish wounds, Ashton was then sent to the bin for a high shot when the former Rochdale man appeared to simply hand off his opponent.
At 34-0 down on the scoreboard, Cornwall would play the first nine minutes of the second half a man light and Aaron Levy capitalised on the Cougars’ numerical superiority to dot down.
Back to a full complement, there was no let up for Cornwall as Keighley kept attacking and kept scoring. Debutant prop Kyle Trout forced his way over and Agoro got in on the act for a second time in the match.
Interchange Dan Parker pushed Keighley over the half century before Gilder’s injury halted the game for well over five minutes.
The enforced stoppage took the sting out of the game and when it restarted, Keighley only scored two further tries. Agoro completed his hat-trick and could have had another but for Ashton pushing him into touch with the line begging.
Cornwall kept battling until the death and despite Tate going to the bin for an alleged tip-tackle, they forced successive sets on Keighley’s line but couldn’t break their duck.
The home side then finished with a flourish and scored right on the siren when Charlie Young rounded off a slick move to score under the posts.
Keighley: Young, Agoro, Webster, Graham, Sa’u, Stephenson, Miller, Pettybourne, Feather, Parker, Trout, Levy, Kesik. Interchange: (all used) Murrell, Gaylor, Bailey, Everett.
Tries: Sa’u (2), Stephenson, Graham, Agoro (3), Miller, Levy, Trout, Parker, Young. Goals: Miller 10/12
Cornwall: Aaronson, Trerise, Ashton, Jones-Bishop, Myers, Purcell, Rusling, Tate, Collins, Green, Thomson, Bodman, Collinson. Interchange: (all used) Prisk, Gilder, Snell, Beer.
Sin bin: Ashton (high shot), Tate (tip-tackle)
Referee: Kevin Moore; Touch judges: James Collier and Ollie Maddock; Reserve referee: Josh Pemberton.