KEIGHLEY Cougars opened the scoring and rounded it off at the Sheffield Eagles in the Betfred Championship on Friday night.

But unfortunately, the South Yorkshire side proved why they are on the cusp of a home play-off by dominating otherwise, the hosts recording a 38-10 win.

The result leaves third-bottom Keighley two points above the drop zone, with tough games against top-six contenders Halifax Panthers and London Broncos to come.

Second-bottom Swinton Lions host fourth-bottom Whitehaven this coming weekend, with that result potentially having a big say in which of the trio goes down alongside already-relegated Newcastle Thunder.

Cougars opened the scoring in Sheffield after only three minutes.

They worked the ball right, and full-back Lewis Young fooled the home defence with a neat shimmy, before planning the ball down to score.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lewis Young (ball in hand) gave Keighley a good start in South Yorkshire.Lewis Young (ball in hand) gave Keighley a good start in South Yorkshire. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Harvey Spence’s conversion made the score 6-0 and that was how things remained until the 15th minute.

Though Jack Hansen spilled Anthony Thackeray’s grubber when a try looked likely for Sheffield, Keighley were the ones on top in the early stages, forcing a couple of goal-line drop-outs.

But Sheffield levelled in fortunate circumstances, when Thackeray’s dab through hit the post, allowing Cory Aston to collect and score.

Aston added the extras, and he soon landed another conversion, after Ross Oakes went over from a short ball on the right to give Sheffield the lead.

The Eagles grabbed a vital third try right on the half-time hooter, as former Cougars full-back Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e tipped the ball on to James Glover to cross the line in the corner.

Aston was unable to land the difficult conversion, as the Eagles took a 16-6 lead into the break.

Sheffield forced a couple of goal-line drop-outs early in the second half, and that pressure paid off when Jesse Sene-Lefao spun over the line after a short ball from dummy-half.

Aston added the extras, before Mo Agoro batted down a pass to deny the home side another certain try.

Sheffield were turning on the style, and went further in front when Ben Jones-Bishop leapt on to a beautiful chipped kick from Thackeray to score in the corner.

Aston failed to add the extras, but to Keighley’s credit, they hit back well in the following 20 minutes.

Some good defending from the likes of Young and Charlie Graham was backed up with some attacking pressure of their own, as they forced a couple of goal-line drop outs in quick succession.

But a costly knock-on from Keighley after a dangerous spell put an end to any hopes of a remarkable comeback.

Instead, the Eagles won the ball back after a Cougars error 10 metres out, and they soon went over again through Aaron Murphy from close range.

Izaac Farrell made the conversion to put Sheffield 32-6 up, before Laula-Togaga’e scored a superb try.

Belying his 38 years of age, he scythed through Keighley’s defence like a hot knife through butter to cross the line, with Farrell tagging on the two points.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former Cougars star Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e (left) put the final dagger in Keighley hearts on Friday.Former Cougars star Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e (left) put the final dagger in Keighley hearts on Friday. (Image: Stephen Barnes.)

Young had the final say for Keighley with a minute to go, finishing in the corner just moments after captain Ellis Robson had been held up over the line.

Oscar Thomas was unable to make the conversion, as Keighley fell to a heavy defeat.

Barrow’s win over Swinton yesterday surely means they will be playing Championship rugby league next year, but for Haven, Swinton and Cougars, it remains a fight to the finish.