KEIGHLEY Cougars continued to claw back their 12-point deficit with a hard-earned 18-18 draw at London Skolars.

After a poor showing in the first half, the Cougars rallied after the interval in a dominant second-half display that saw Craig Lingard’s side snatch a point.

The visitors opened the scoring in comical circumstances.

Skolars captain Iliess Macani, who had a spell with the Bulls, threw a wild pass on his own line from which the ball collided with the post protector.

Cougars skipper Benn Hardcastle was the quickest to react as he pounced on the loose ball before adding the extras from the boot himself.

London then applied a period of relentless pressure on the Keighley line but despite the resilient defending, the hosts finally got through to level the scores as Craig Mullen showed grit and determination to fight his way over.

The Skolars then took the lead on the half hour mark as, from a grubber kick on the last, Dan Hindmarsh-Takyi broke and raced 60 metres before offloading to Joe Brown, who raced home next to the uprights.

Josh Lynam and Mike Greenhalgh were then sin-binned shortly after when both men exchanged blows following an incident in back-play.

And from the resulting penalty, Richard Wilkinson put a grubber through that Jordan Williams collected to extend the home side's lead.

Keighley came out firing in the second half and, after Jason Muranka was held up over the line, Jack Miller zig-zagged his way through the London defence to score.

Davey Dixon then thought he had brought the Cougars level when he cut inside and raced to the line but the referee ruled that Will Cooke’s pass was forward.

With five minutes remaining, Keighley earned their point when Hardcastle delayed his pass to draw in the defender before sending Aaron Levy through the gap to cross and spark wild celebrations amongst the healthy travelling Cougars support.

Both teams then had a late opportunity to steal the two points with a Cougars hand first denying Neil Thorman a one-pointer.

Then with less than a minute left on the clock, Hardcastle dragged his drop goal attempt agonisingly wide of the uprights.

The draw left Keighley on minus nine points following their deduction after a change of ownership in the off-season.