Keighley Cougars get the message to avoid Challenge Cup shock

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: TRY-SCORER: Danny Jones touched down for Cougars as they reached the fourth round TRY-SCORER: Danny Jones touched down for Cougars as they reached the fourth round

Siddal 14 Keighley Cougars 30

A stern half-time team talk did the trick as Cougars avoided a third-round upset against Siddal at Huddersfield YMCA today.

The National Conference Div-ision One side threatened to cause a shock when they led 6-0 and 8-6 in the first half.

Richard Lopag broke the Cougars line for Shaun Garrod to cross in a length-of-the-field opening try for the hosts, which Gareth Blackburn converted.

Lewis Reed responded by touching down for Keighley but Siddal added a penalty to leave the visitors sweating.

A try from Danny Jones gave Keighley some relief to go in 12-8 ahead at half-time but boss Paul March called on his side to up their game in the second half.

And his words paid off as Cougars ran in three quick tries, including two from Scott Leathbarrow, to kill off Siddal’s hopes.

March said: “In the first half, I don’t think we respected them enough.

“They were always going to throw everything at us early on but we didn’t fight fire with fire and they deserved their 8-6 lead.

“At half-time the message seemed to get through. We stuck to the simple stuff and the game-plan, and three quick tries killed them off.”

Elsewhere, York City Knights scored a last-minute try to avoid an upset at the hands of St Helens amateur team Blackbrook at Langtree Park. The Knights trailed 24-20 before Tommy Carr scored from the last play of the match as York snatched a 26-24 victory.

Tomorrow’s fourth-round draw is on BBC Radio 5 Live at 3.30pm.

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