KEIGHLEY Cougars’ season came to a devastating end as they were defeated at the death by Doncaster in the League 1 preliminary final.

Just a week after the golden point defeat to Workington, a last-gasp Liam Johnson try and Jake Sweeting conversion saw the visitors break Keighley hearts and seal a place in the promotion final with a 28-26 win.

The Cougars started the game brightly and found the first points of the afternoon.

On the last tackle, Scott Murrell put a well weighted grubber kick in behind the line and Jack Miller raced through to pounce before adding the extras himself.

Continuing on the front foot, Keighley extended their lead through Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e, as he weaved his way through the Doncaster defence to get himself over.

The Dons though grew into the game and came right back into the arm wrestle with two quickfire tries to level the scores.

Alex Holdstock registered the visitors’ first points after he buried over beneath the crossbar on the back of consecutive penalties.

The Cougars nearly restored their two-score advantage but were denied by a last-ditch tackle from Sam Smeaton on Alix Stephenson in the corner.

Doncaster then went the length of the field and Matty Beharrell fought his way over before converting to bring the sides back level.

Keighley took the lead into the half-time interval through the boot of Miller, after Josh Lynam was caught by a swinging arm.

Miller’s successful penalty came just after Con Mika had made a massive tackle to deny Ross Whitmore a certain four pointer.

As the second half began with the score at 14-12 in Cougars’ favour, you could feel the nerves and tension around the ground.

Some of those nerves though were quickly eased after Keighley pressured the line and forced their way over through Murrell.

Charlie Graham then created breathing space between the two sides as he intercepted a loose pass over the top and avoided the interests of Tom Halliday to race 80 metres and send the home faithful into raptures.

Doncaster got back into the game once more when a Misi Taulapapa grubber bounced around and eventually fell into the arms of Johnson, who walked through the open space to dive over under the sticks.

After the visitors went close twice, the grandstand finish was on when Jason Tali went through the gaps left in a scrambling defensive line to score after Sweeting broke 60 metres on the back of his own kick.

Then on the back of the penalty, the hooter sounded, and Doncaster kept the ball alive, allowing Johnson to score in the corner, before the boot of Sweeting won the game.

The scenes of away jubilation were countered with heartbreak among the home players and supporters.