KEIGHLEY Cougars fell at the first hurdle on the road to Tottenham in the Challenge Cup as they were defeated 22-6 away at Hunslet.

In a game that was low on quality but high on talking points, an ill-disciplined final quarter by the Cougars proved the difference as Hunslet capitalised on the numbers advantage presented to them to secure their passage.

Handling errors from both sides made for a very sloppy opening to the game as both sets of players looked to blow off the cobwebs in their first hit-outs of the 2022 season.

The home side opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

They opted to keep the play alive, and Jack Mallinson’s pass out wide was touched down in the corner by a diving Kiedan Hartley.

Keighley had chances to register their first points of the afternoon, but Anthony Dyne was desperately unlucky on his debut, first finding himself a matter of inches away from a grubber in goal, before the Hunslet defence knocked him into touch.

The Parksiders though extended their advantage through the boot of Jordan Syme, as the loose forward took the two points on offer after consecutive penalties against the visitors.

However, Rhys Lovegrove’s side levelled the scores heading into the break.

With just two seconds left on the clock in the first half, Kyle Kesik broke the line on the back of a turnover and offloaded to Anesu Mudoti, the prop marking his Keighley debut with a try.

Jack Miller extended his scoring streak for the club as he successfully converted from the tee.

The half-time interval though presented problems, as Billy Gaylor failed a head injury assessment and as a result, was ruled out of the remainder of the game.

Keighley began the second half slowly and were punished on the back of a penalty.

Jason Mossop tried to burrow his way over and though the defence began to drag the centre into touch, he managed to free himself and force his way over to put Hunslet back into the lead.

Both sides had plenty of chances, but also made plenty of errors, with the best chance for the visitors to get back into the game coming through an 80-metre break from Charlie Graham, who was eventually denied by the recovering Jack Render.

Moments later, Dan Parker collided off the ball with Dave Gibbons, which gained the attention of the touch judge.

After deliberation between the officials, Cameron Worsley brandished a yellow card to give Parker a 10 minute breather.

The numbers advantage for Hunslet eventually caught up with Keighley, as the home side extended their lead further.

Harvey Whiteley went through from dummy half and managed to squeeze himself over the line to put Hunslet 14-6 in front.

And just before Parker’s sin-bin period ended, Whiteley bounced off a would-be tackle and raced over for his second try to kill off the game as a contest, Mallinson converting to make it 20-6.

The closing stages of the game resulted in tensions boiling over and as a result, the Cougars finished the afternoon with only 11 men on the field.

Spencer Darley was dismissed first, the referee ruling that the prop had used his head in the tackle.

And just moments later, Kesik was also shown a red card after the officials deemed the hooker had used his knees in the tackle.

Mallinson called for the kicking tee and converted the game’s final two points to put further gloss on to the scoreline, as the side from south Leeds progressed into the third round of this season’s Challenge Cup.