Relieved Cougars edge closer to safety

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PAUL March was left delighted as Keighley Cougars took another huge stride towards safety by inflicting a 20th defeat on already-relegated Barrow.

Cougars led in the 18th minute when half-back Paul Handforth scampered through a gap in the Cumbrians’ rearguard.

Eight minutes later, following a penalty for holding down in the tackle, James Haley sent Paul White over in the corner to double the visitors’ lead.

In the 58th minute, Cougars full-back James Craven had an easy try as he touched down under the posts.

Barrow finally hit back in the 62nd minute when a Liam Campbell kick slid through the grasps of two Cougars defenders and Nathan Mossop’s hands before being touched down just inches from the whitewash by centre Max Wiper.

After camping on the Raiders line with minutes remaining, Cougars extended the lead further when Handforth squeezed over to grab his second of the afternoon.

Raiders managed to close the gap to 14 three minutes from time when Bradley Goulding, son of coach Bobbie, crossed after some hard graft by Campbell to grab a try for himself.

After a third successive win, March said: “The try early in the second half which opened up an 18-point gap won us the match, they were in it until that point and sides who have been relegated are more dangerous as they’re playing for pride in the shirt and the badge.”

Barrow Raiders: Shaw, Goulding, Hambley, Wiper, Grant, Karalius, Campbell, Burke, Mossop, Davies, Harrison, Briscoe, Dwyer. Substitutes: Lloyd, Jones, Palmer, Bullock.

Keighley Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Haley, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Substitutes: March, Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Haigh.

Referee: J Cobb (RFL).