North Wales 34 Keighley 10: Cougars knocked off top spot

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Keighley Cougars were knocked off top spot after suffering only their second league defeat of the season.

The Cougars’ loss, coupled with Oldham’s win at Gloucestershire All Golds, left player-coach Paul March to rue a disappointing afternoon.

North Wales led when Scott Turner, Lee Hudson and Rob Massam went over for tries.

Cougars replied through winger Paul White and the Crusaders found themselves down to 12 men when Tommy Johnson was sin-binned.

Towards the end of Johnson’s stint, Paul Handforth’s 40/20 kick paved way for White to send Rikki Sheriffe over the line.

From the restart, Scott Law knocked on and Jono Smith used brute force to fight through to reopen the two-try advantage, before Turned scored his second.

March tried in vain to get the Cougars back into the game but his grubber missed the fingertips of the onrushing Danny Lawton.

Joe Burke had the final say of the afternoon on the hooter when raced 40 metres to score.

Crusaders: Johnson, Turner, Dulien, Peet, Massam, Ashall, Dallimore, Walker, Hudson, Burke, Smith, Wild, Middlehurst. Substitutes: Roets, Wright, Duffy, Davies.

Keighley: Jesse Sheriffe, Gabriel, Lawton, Rikki Sheriffe, White, Brook, Handforth, Law, Feather, Cherryholme, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Substitutes: David March, Bailey, Paul March, Tahraoui.

Referee: D Merrick (RFL).