Cougars off the bottom after stunning win against Skolars

Keighley Cougars are off the bottom of League One after a stunning performance to beat second placed London Skolars 38-26 at Cougar Park.

A Neil Thorman penalty had given the Skolars the lead, but then they were second best for most of the first half.

Tries from Jordan Fitzpatrick-Henry, Jason Muranka, Jordan Aitcheson and Jack Miller, all of which were converted by Benn Hardcastle to put the Cougars 22 points ahead.

The Skolars, who had the chance to go top, albeit temporarily, with a win, then got the last word of the first half as Illiess Macani managed to get over. Thorman scored the conversion to give the capital side something to build on in the second half.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Skolars had pulled another one back as Macani grabbed his second. Thorman scored the conversion to bring them back to within 10 points.

But the Cougars scored two more tries to put the game beyond their visitors as Ryan Wright and James Feather added their names to the scoresheet. Hardcastle converted both tries to put the Cougars back in control at 22 points ahead.

With 20 minutes to go, London threatened to make it interesting as Liam Scott scored a try. James Barran added the conversion to bring them back to within 16 points.

A Hardcastle penalty with 10 minutes to go then made sure of the game for the Cougars, as they climbed off the bottom for the first time this season.

The last word would go to London however as Mike Bishay was able to score right at the end. Barran scored the conversion, which was academic as they had still lost by 12 points.

The Cougars will be hoping it is the start of a new era for them as Rhys Lovegrove picked up his first win as their new Head Coach. He will be hoping they can build on this when they travel to North Wales Crusaders next Sunday.

As for the Skolars, they will see this game as a chance missed to keep the pressure on Whitehaven at the top. They face the league leaders in a top of the table clash at the New River Stadium next Saturday.

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