KEIGHLEY Cougars were brought crashing back to earth after last week’s ‘plus one party’ with a 14-6 defeat on the road at North Wales Crusaders.

Having finally wiped out their 12-point penalty with a win over London Skolars, which put them on one point in League One, Rhys Lovegrove's side failed to gather momentum.

Both sides had opportunities to open the scoring with Matt Welham knocking-on for Keighley before Joe Ryan was held up over the line and Matt Reid’s break for the home side was halted by Taylor Prell.

The visitors then opened the scoring through a superb 70-metre solo effort from Prell as the full-back left two defenders in his wake after great work from Benn Hardcastle out of the scrum.

North Wales then levelled up the scoreboard as Earl Hurst took advantage of a missed tackle from Dan Parker before handing off Prell to score.

Former Cougar Ben Stead then extended the lead to two points shortly before the half-time interval after taking the penalty goal on offer, Ryan Wright having been harshly penalised for a late shot.

The start to the second half was a nightmare one for Lovegrove’s men as, after the kick-off from Hardcastle went out on the full, North Wales worked their way up the field and Karl Ashall turned through a tackle to crash over out of dummy half.

Hardcastle was then the victim of what looked like a crusher tackle and, after a stop in play to allow him to receive treatment, the incident was placed on report by the referee.

The game then began to get scrappy, but the Cougars nearly got over twice in the corner through Welham. However, after being tackled into touch, he was then unable to get to a Wright grubber minutes later.

The Crusaders thought they had broken to score what would have been the try to secure victory but Reid’s effort was pulled back for a forward pass in the build-up.

The Cougars right edge was thwarted once more as Prell tried to work his way through for a second but was bundled into touch by some tenacious defence.

Keighley did have one final opportunity to score on the back of a 40/20 and a dropout but both came to nothing as they fell to defeat.

Steve Roper then went to put icing on the cake for the home side but knocked the ball on as he went for the drop goal attempt.