Betfred League One: Keighley Cougars 24 Whitehaven 30

KEIGHLEY Cougars fell to an agonising Betfred League One home defeat to Whitehaven, despite a second-half surge that should have seen them take a share of the spoils.

In truth, a sloppy start by the Cougars which allowed their visitors to notch an 18-point lead after just 11 minutes proved the difference.

Haven broke the deadlock when a clever reverse kick underneath the uprights from Dion Aiye was pounced on by Dan Abram.

Abram then went solo for his and his side’s second try, spotting a gap in the Cougars defence and cutting in to race to the line.

Whitehaven player-coach Carl Forster then set Jason Mossop racing down the slope, with the centre unselfishly sending the pass to Aiye, who dived over from close range.

Following the pass to start the move, Forster’s afternoon was ended by a late shot that left Cougars centre Perry Whiteley on report.

The Cougars then got themselves back into the game as Josh Lynam showed great determination to break through two attempted tackles and get over the line.

Matty Beharrell then made it a six-point game as he raced 40 metres to cross after Nathan Conroy's superb delayed short pass.

Haven opened up a eight-point lead at the break though as Abram converted after Keighley were penalised for ripping the ball.

Whitehaven started the second half brightly and scored two tries, the first coming as Danny Green pounced on a Callum Phillips grubber in the corner.

Josh Eaves then burrowed his way over from short range for what would prove the match-winning score as the Cougars clawed their way back to the game.

The comeback appeared to be on as Whiteley kept the ball alive and sent Harry Aaronson scrambling over in the corner.

Cameron Leeming then stretched his arm over the line for his first try for the club to set up a grandstand finish.

Abram missed a penalty conversion to seal the points but the Cougars threw away a potential draw with sloppy play near to the line.