KEIGHLEY Cougars claimed a vital victory in their bid for survival as they defeated promotion hopefuls Batley Bulldogs at Cougar Park yesterday afternoon.

A brace from Mo Agoro and solo efforts from Kyle Kesik and Ellis Robson helped the hosts to a valuable two points despite a late rally from the visitors.

James Meadow reduced the scores to 26-20 with one minute remaining of the fixture, but Cougars held on to what could be a season defining victory.

Keighley needed a fast start and they got just that, with Oscar Thomas sending the ball over the posts following a penalty situation to put the home side 2-0 ahead.

Six minutes later (8’) and Cougars were 8-0 up after some brilliant attacking play. Thomas Doyle was held up over the line, but he managed to feed the ball to Roby who found Kesik via Sa'u and he pounced to give the hosts some breathing space.

However, their eight-point advantage didn’t last long as McGowan went over from close range. Meadows lined up the conversion attempt to reduce the deficit to just two points; 8-6.

Storey was then sent to the sinbin for a professional foul, but the hosts still managed to successfully add to their total despite being reduced to 12 men.

Robson touched down after arriving onto off a beautiful Kieran Rush kick, as Thomas converted the extras, 14-6.

Shortly after the interval, McGowan pulled one back after Thomas had the ball stolen from his clutches, while the ball appeared to have been knocked on, however the try was given but the conversion attempt was missed. 14-10.

Agoro then ran the full length of the pitch for a converted try to put Keighley ten points ahead, before Dale Morton squeezed over for the visitors to bring the scores to 20-16.

Keighley’s wingman then crossed for his brace in the corner to restore the host’s ten-point advantage, and barring a late Batley try, Cougars held on to a precious 26-20 victory.