Cougars 38, York Knights 26 - A SUPERB opening 40 minutes from the Cougars laid the foundation for their fourth successive victory -- and keep them on the top of the league.

They are the only undefeated team in NFP2 and it looks like being Keighley's best season for five or six years.

They faced a struggling York side who have yet to show their best, given the depth of talent and experience packed into the new team. In fact the final scoreline flattered the Knights after 16 points in the last 10 minutes gave the scoreline an air of respectability they probably didn't deserve. Quite simply the Cougars never looked like losing.

Several of the Cougar players are improving week by week as the team continues to grow in confidence. Oliver Wilkes had a tremendous game in defence, Matt Firth created three tries, and his halfback partner Adam Mitchell kicked seven goals from seven attempts and also shone in both attack and defence.

Mitchell opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a penalty, and added the conversion after the old master, Jason Ramshaw opened the York defence to send Dave Foster powering to the line.

Another player improving each week is Matt Foster. He adds class and quality finishing to the Cougar back line. He also added two tries to his brace at Chorley last week. His first came in the 27th minute and was probably the try of the game.

Firth supplied the ball which created half a gap and Foster crashed through three tackles on an angled run to the line.

Firth was mastermind behind the next score using ;his perfected cross-field kick to outfox the York Defence for skipper James Rushforth to pounce.

The final try of the half saw matt Foster race under the posts after taking Firth's inside pass and ghost through a statuesque York line. Mitchell's fifth goal made it 26-0 at the break.

The only sign of Cougar weakness was that they did not follow up their domination to totally stamp their authority on the game. The big Knights side were determined not to be humiliated and came out with new determination in the second period.

They opened the scoring when Leigh Deakin juggled the ball on a 50-metre run down the line, Danny Brough scoring the conversion.

Cougars hit straight back. Mitchell landing a penalty before a superb set of six tackles got Simeon Hoyle the field position to dart over from acting half. Their scoring was completed in the 73rd minute when Firth's kick was pounced on by Gareth Hewitt.

Lapses in concentration allowed York to run in four further tries. Wilkes' indiscipline got the better of him and, directly from the penalty, Mark Cain pounced on a bobbling kick.

Former Wakefield centre Neil Law added two late tries. He is probably the only centre big enough and strong enough to power over Dave Foster, scoring his first in the 70th minute. His second came six minutes later when he pinched the ball off Gareth Hewitt to race 50m unopposed. In the dying seconds Aussie hooker Trevor Krause darted in from acting half, Brough adding his third conversion to complete the scoring on the final hooter.

Coach Gary Moorby wasn't too unhappy with the final 10 minutes: "By then we had the points in the bag and we had achieved our objective, which was to remain unbeaten and stay top of the league. But when we learn to be consistent over a full 80 minutes we're going to give somebody a real good hiding.

"We have not quite clicked yet, but I thought our first half performance was a good as we've played all season."

He still thinks there is improvement to come and the more they play together the better they look.