Defeated Eagles are struggling to settle on return to Owlerton

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Keighley ended a run of three league defeats as they gave Sheffield another bout of ‘home’ sickness.

Only two wins in the league since the move to Owlerton Stadium – after their eviction from the doomed Don Valley Stadium – have blighted the Eagles’ season.

It started so well for Eagles with a try after only 29 seconds from full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae but that momentum was lost as Keighley’s half-backs Danny Jones and Paul Handforth took control.

On the back of a penalty Cougars drew level with James Haley weaving his way over and Jones adding the goal.

Keighley edged ahead with a penalty in front of the posts kicked by Jones. The Handforth-Jones combination then sent Josh Lynam crashing over to increase the lead. Eagles reduced the margin with Duane Straugheir twisting out of a tackle to touch down from a pass by Andrew Henderson but Keighley took a 14-10 lead in at half-time.

Eagles failed to raise their game after the restart with Cougars going further ahead as James Craven crashed through tackles after they lost the ball at a scrum 20 metres out.

A 40-20 kick by Handforth set up possession for Sean Hesketh to blast over. Eagles put the restart kick dead and Jones took advantage of the short Owlerton pitch to kick the penalty.

Michael Knowles, Eagles’ outstanding player, took Dominic Brambani’s kick for a try with Walker adding the goal. The consolation of a losing bonus point was denied as Jones put over a field goal four minutes from time to add to his six successful place kicks.

Defeat sent the Eagles down to seventh in the table – just above the Cougars on points difference.

Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Garside, Taulapapa; Aston, Brambani; Lillycrop, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Walker. Substitutes: Owen, Battye, Green, Gonzales-Trique

Keighley Cougars: Craven; Barnett, Haley, Lawton, Williams; Jones, Handforth; Hesketh, Feather, Rawlins, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Substitutes: Jode Sheriffe, Sagar, Cherryholme, Haigh.

Referee: J Cobb (RFL).