Keighley Cougars 28 Whitehaven 29: Cougars pipped by drop goal to hand the points to Whitehaven

IT was almost down to the wire as both relegated teams went head-to-head with the Cumbrian visitors stealing the show with 10 minutes to go.

Keighley didn't show up in the first half, which reflected in the scoreline with only one try from Chris Baines, Danny Jones missing the conversion.

Whitehaven, however, were focused and were playing textbook rugby league as they ran in all of their five tries in the first half, through Loz Hamzat, Dylan Skee, Dexter Miller, Shane Ackerley and Spencer Miller. Skee converted four of the tries which gave them a 28-4 lead at the break.

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The Cougars came out a new side for the second period, which included player-coach Barry Eaton after he dropped Johnny Presley at the last minute.

They came out and began attacking the Whitehaven line straight away and it wasn't long before Will Cartledge scored, followed a few minutes later by Gavin Duffy. Jones tagged on the goals.

Baines then scored his second of the game, with Hutchinson adding his name to the score sheet five minutes after. It was Jones who levelled the score with the conversions at 28-28.

It looked like the Cougars were going to do what they had done twice this season against Sheffield and Toulouse, but unfortunately for them, Whitehaven beat them to it when in the 70th minute Danny Barker landed a drop goal to give them the one-point lead.

The Cougars were up for it but all their efforts were buffered by the visitors' defence.

The only time they came near was with a minute to go when Jones threw a long pass out to Hutchinson but it brushed his fingertips and went out of the field of play.

Keighley: Sheldrake, Duffy, Baines, Burton, Hutchinson, Eaton, Jones, Shickell, Feather, Law, Cartledge, Pursglove, Nicholson. Substitutes: Wray, Haythornthwaite, Benjafield, Rawlins.

Whitehaven: Ackerley, Rossi, D Miller, McAvoy, Hamzat, Skee, Dalton, Thornley, Mattinson, Shackley, Barker, S Miller, Joe. Substitutes: Smith, Fox, Hill, Wilton.

Referee: C Halloran (RFL).