Impressive Fieldhouse leads from back as Cougars lose to Halifax

Full-back Ryan Fieldhouse shined for Halifax as they maintained their 100 per cent record in the Championship with a 30-20 derby success over Keighley.

Karl Harrison’s side were never behind against their local rivals, leading 14-12 at the break and 
30-12 with 15 minutes remaining, although the Shay boss admitted it had been a “frustrating day at the office”.

Halifax made an impressive start, scoring after only three minutes when Scott Murrell carved a hole in the defence and sent Ross Divorty over with an inside pass.

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Steve Tyrer kicked the conversion for a 6-0 lead, before Cougars replied through former Halifax prop Sean Hesketh on their first real foray downfield.

Scott Leatherbarrow kicked the conversion to level at 6-6, but Halifax were over again when Ben Heaton scored on the quarter hour, but Tyrer missed the conversion.

Halifax increased their lead when Paul Handforth produced a gem of a short pass for Fieldhouse, who romped away to the try line. Tyrer missed again, this time from even closer to the posts, a miss that looked potentially more costly when Keighley scored again just before half-time.

Home winger Rob Worrincy opted to push up into the line, Danny Jones spotted him and rolled the ball in behind for Paul White to touchdown, Leatherbarrow kicking a perfect conversion to leave the Cougars trailing just 14-12 at the break.

Fax spent the early minutes of the second half pounding the Keighley line – Anthony Thackeray going particularly close – before Dane Manning put them 18-12 ahead, Handforth faring no better with the boot than Tyrer had done before the interval.

Gradually though, their sheer weight of possession began to wear Keighley down, allowing Thackeray to dance under the posts, Handforth converting before he sent in Craig Ashall with 15 minutes remaining.

White then scored a second, Leatherbarrow almost missing the conversion from in front, to leave his side in bonus point territory at 30-18.

There was brief fracas on the final whistle, after which Keighley elected to kick the subsequent penalty to cut their deficit to 10-points.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Tyrer, Heaton, Sheriffe; Handforth, Thackeray; Ambler, C. Ashall, Bracek, Robinson, Divorty, Murrell. Substitutes: Tonks, Manning, K. Ashall, Casey

Keighley Cougars: Jones; White, Barnett, Williams, Duffy; March, Leatherbarrow; Shickell, Feather, Hesketh, Chandler, Martin, Emmitt. Substitutes: Sheriffe, Smith, Law, Sagar

Referee: J Leahy (RFL).