Doncaster 29 Keighley Cougars 20

KEIGHLEY Cougars surrendered a 14-point lead as they fell to defeat at Doncaster in an end-to-end match in South Yorkshire.

Keighley had far the better of the opening exchanges and got their rewards as Benn Hardcastle threw a lovely reverse pass to Matthew Bailey, who marked his 100th career appearance with a walk-in try under the sticks.

Hardcastle then had two penalty conversion attempts from bang in front of the uprights. After uncharacteristically missing the first effort, he had no problem slotting over the second.

The visitors extended their lead just moments later as Brad Nicholson powered his way beneath the posts from close range with his first carry after coming from the interchanges bench.

But the home side got themselves on the scoreboard from a short kick through on the last as Jordie Hedges broke the Keighley line and sent Jack Sanderson diving over in the corner.

And Doncaster closed the gap at the interval to just two points as former Cougar Charlie Martin broke an attempted tackle to dive over.

The momentum that the hosts had picked up shortly before the interval carried into the second half and they drew level threw a Hedges penalty after the Doncaster half-back found himself on the end of a right hook from Ritchie Hawkyard.

The South Yorkshire outfit then took the lead for the first time as Sam Doherty beat Andy Gabriel in the air from a kick on the last to touch down in the corner.

Richard Horne’s side were on the front foot and extended their lead further as Russ Spiers burst through and offloaded to Kieran Cross, who raced to the line from 30 metres out.

Cougars coach Craig Lingard was cutting a frustrated figure on the sidelines but his side got back into the arm wrestle thanks to Adam Ryder as the centre broke through and marauded to the try line.

But Doncaster sealed the two points in this topsy-turvy encounter as Jordan Howden slotted a drop goal over from 20 metres out before converting a penalty on the hooter.