Keighley 28 York 12: Cougars find feet after break to deny Knights

Keighley Cougars put a mixed pre-season behind them, opening their League One campaign with a convincing win.

After a closely-fought first-half, three unanswered second-half tries saw the hosts ease to an opening day victory.

The visitors took an early lead when scrum-half Pat Smith finished off a Liam Cunningham break from inside his own half.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Two tries from winger Paul White saw the Cougars fight back to take the lead midway through the first half. A fantastic cut-out pass from stand-off Danny Jones set White away for his first, before some excellent quick passing from the Cougars created the space for the speedy winger to cross again.

The Knights quickly regained the lead through former Keighley favourite Jonny Presely. Cougars full-back Jesse Sheriffe failed to deal with a routine kick upfield, gifting the visitors possession in the hosts’ half and the stand-off raced away to score from the resulting scrum.

Man-of-the-match Josh Lynam was first to cross for the Cougars in the second-half. The back-rower picked a great line to burst through the defensive line and score from close range.

On-loan centre Rikki Sheriffe increased the hosts less than 10 minutes later. White fumbled a Jones cross-kick backwards into the arms of the former Bradford player, who dived over.

Scott Law completed the scoring on the hour mark. After a period of possession close to the Knights line, the front-rower crashed over to put the game out of reach.

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

York City Knights: Haynes, Morrison, Minikin, Cunningham, B. Dent, Presley, P. Smith, Applegarth, Brining, Aldous, Tonks, E. Smith, Pickles. Substitutes: Roche, Leary, Iley, Nicholson.

Referee: G Hewer (RFL).