Keighley Cougars 22 Swinton 24: Atkin’s penalty ends Cougars’ Cup progress

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A dramatic last-minute defeat to Swinton Lions has ended Keighley Cougars iPro Sport Cup hopes.

After a closely contested match, Chris Atkin kicked a last-gasp penalty goal from in front of the Cougars’ posts to send Swinton into the semi-finals.

The Cougars took an early lead when a Danny Jones pass sent Rikki Sheriffe through a gap to score. The Lions hit back with two first-half tries to lead 12-6. Grant Beecham scored first, diving on a Ben White grubber-kick, before Aaron Lloyd’s break set up White to score himself.

Atkin scored the try of the match to extend the visitors’ lead. The full-back made a break down the left, broke three tackles and raced away to score.

The Cougars responded with a long period of possession on the Swinton try line. Scott Law eventually powered over to reduce the lead to six points.

The Lions quickly restored their two-try advantage when Stuart Littler crossed in the corner.

With 10 minutes to salvage their cup run, the Cougars began to offload the ball in their own half and it paid off with two quickfire tries. Captain Brendon Rawlins crossed first, after a Paul Handforth break, before Rawlins turned provider, setting up Jesse Sheriffe to level the scores.

The Lions launched one final attack on the Cougars line and a high tackle from Handforth gifted the visitors the chance to win the game. Atkin kicked the goal to deflate the Cougar Park crowd.

Keighley: J. Sheriffe, Duffy, Lawton, R. Sheriffe, White, Jones, Handforth, Law, Feather, Rawlins, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Substitutes: Cherryholme, J. Sheriffe, Bailey, P. March.

Swinton: Atkin, Robinson, Littler, Rothwell, R. Hawkyard, White, Rowlands, M. Morrison, Ackers, James, Beecham, R. Lloyd, Dwyer. Substitutes: Austin, Gallagher, A. Lloyd, Lever.

Referee: D Merrick (RFL).