KEIGHLEY Cougars brought their pre-season campaign to a close with a competitive 18-18 draw against the Sheffield Eagles at Cougar Park.

The hosts took the lead on three occasions, but were pegged back each time by their Championship opponents.

Both sides had chances to snatch victory late on, but a draw seemed like the fairest outcome in the end.

Cougars opened the scoring on 10 minutes. Jack Miller chipped the ball over the top, with Jake Webster kicking the loose ball through to the line for the onrushing Taylor Prell, who dived on to the ball for the score.

Keighley then went a man down when a challenge that resulted in an Eagles penalty sparked handbags in midfield and the official decided that Lewis Wray’s involvement merited ten minutes in the bin.

Sheffield made the man advantage count instantly, Zack McComb taking advantage of the numbers on the overlap to cross for the visitors.

The second half began with Keighley, carrying a team warning from the first half, being reduced to 12 men once more, as Louis Sheriff was sin-binned for leading with the elbow as he broke down the field.

However, the visitors didn’t make the most of the extra man, as Prell intercepted on his own 10-metre line and raced the remaining 90 metres in front of him to slide over to the left of the uprights.

Josh Guzdek then marked his return to Cougar Park with a try for the Eagles.

He stepped round a tackle and raced through, before outstretching his arm to touch the ball down, despite the best efforts of Steven Hayes to deny him close to the line.

The home side took the lead once more though, after a Sheffield man played at a Benn Hardcastle chip over the top and gave the Cougars a fresh set of six.

But the kick chase was there ready and waiting, and Matt Welham took the ball and popped it out to Hayes. The Keighley trialist raced 35 metres to cross and restore the six-point advantage.

The hosts then thought they had the game won, but Jason Muranka was pulled back by a suspect forward pass call that enraged the Cougar Park faithful.

From the scrum, Sheffield earned a penalty and they levelled the scores for a third time, as another former Cougar, James Davey, found space to burrow his way over in the corner.

Menzie Yere then appeared to win the game at the death for the Eagles, but his effort was ruled out for a forward pass close to the line.

Billy Gaylor then nearly snatched it for Keighley, but his drop goal effort struck the upright.