Keighley Cougars 27, Barrow Raiders 18

Two tries from Danny Lawton helped Keighley continue their good run of form with victory over bottom-of-the-table Barrow today in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Cougars, who were still without their player-coach Paul March, were not at their fluent best but still managed to hold on for a triumph which extends their winning run to five games.

Keighley performance director Paul Royston was quick to praise his side’s fighting spirit against a resilient Raiders.

He said: “I think that we made hard work of it to some extent but I you’ve got to give them credit because they’re a much improved outfit under Bobbie (Goulding) and they came here with a definite game-plan.

“Conditions were difficult. It was greasy which made it very difficult to control the ball but our completion in the first half was excellent and I think that was why we had the advantage at half-time.

“It wasn’t quite as good in the second half but once again our attitude and desire to get the victory was superb.”

Cougars started brightly and, after Raiders conceded a penalty, they made no mistake when opening the scoring.

Danny Jones put in a crossfield kick which Paul White latched on to and then touched down in the corner.

They were in again five minutes later. This time Paul Handforth put a grubber kick behind the defensive line, with Lawton pouncing on the ball in-goal.

Barrow hit back, though, as Dan Toal barged his way through on the right.

Keighley managed to extend their lead after Jones dropped a goal after the hooter to make it 13-6 at the break.

A moment of magic then saw Barrow pull themselves right back in the game.

Ryan Shaw managed to dance his way around two tacklers and break 60 yards downfield before stabbing through a kick to Dalton Grant, who crossed.

But Cougars were next in as a swift passing move saw James Feather, Jones, Handforth and James Craven whip the ball out wide to Richie Barnett, who dived in at the right corner.

Keighley then went in again as Hesketh powered his way over on the same side, Jones converting  the latter to make it 23-12.

Barrow managed to cross again to keep the game alive in the dying minutes through Toal once again but it was Cougars who had the last laugh as Lawton went in for a late second to make sure of victory.

Cougars: Craven; Barnett, Lawton, Haley, White; Danny Jones, Handforth; Cherryholme, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Sagar. Interchange: Sheriffe, Graham, Lee, Peltier.

Barrow: Evalds; Shaw, Walton, Wiper, Grant; Speakman, Campbell; Dawson, Mossop, Danny Jones, Harrison, Toal, Dixon. Interchange: Low, Butler, Bullock, Govin.

Referee: Warren Turley (Leigh)

Attendance: 812