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With several of the places in the quarter finals of the 1895 Cup already decided on the results of the opening two rounds, one game which demanded interest was the derby encounter between the Keighley Cougars and the Bradford Bulls with the winners progressing in the competition while the losers would be eliminated.

Both sides had already defeated the Dewsbury Rams earlier in the competition, but it was the Championship side the Bradford Bulls who were the clear favourites to take the win against last season’s relegated Keighley side.

Barrow Raiders and Swinton Lions both had a rest weekend but were safe in the knowledge that they were already in the quarterfinals and one of the teams with a BD postcode would be joining them at the end of today’s game.

Mark Ioane was held up in goal on seven minutes in the first scoring opportunity of a penalty strewn opening to the game. Within a minute Sam Hallas made the Cougars pay for conceding two quick penalties as he span over the line to open the Bulls account. Jordan Lilley added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Neither side could put their stamp on the game with abundant penalties causing a stop-start affair. Nit on twenty-eight minutes an Oscar Thomas kick was collected by Lachlan Lanskey for an equalising score. Jack Miller added the conversion for a 6-6 scoreline with ten minutes remaining in the first forty.

The Bulls were back in front with a few minutes left until the interval when McGowan took the pass wide to go through the Cougars defence and ground. Lilley added the conversion for 12-6 with five minutes of the half remaining.

It went from bad to worse for Keighley as George Taufua went over for the third Bulls try of the half and although Lilley was unable to add the extras this time the Bulls took a commanding 16-6 lead into the interval. Two quick tries in four minutes devastated the Cougars.

Four minutes after the restart, Jordan Lilley went through a gap to ground in the corner after great work from Aidan McGowan. Lilley attempted to convert his own try but was wide with his attempt.

A great forty metre solo effort from Kevin Appo, on the back of a Ben Okoro break, silenced the home support as Bradford stretched the lead to eighteen points. Lilley added the conversion to leave the home side needing four converted tries. The Bulls were dominating the game and ensuring their progress in the 1895 Cup.

Charlie Graham grabbed a lifeline for the Cougars with seventeen minutes of the game remaining as he crossed for the second try of the day for the home side. Miller added the conversion from wide on the touchline.

Three minutes later Mark Ioane went in to further reduce the arrears and when Miller kicked the conversion the margin was down to eight points with twelve minutes remaining.

But the Bulls defence held strong in the dying seconds as the four thousand crowd witnessed a Bulls win which turned out to be much tougher than it should have been.

The Bradford Bulls join seven other sides in the quarter final draw. The Swinton Lions and Barrow Raiders had already qualified before today’s games and were also joined this afternoon by; Sheffield Eagles, Wakefield Trinity, York RLFC Knights, Batley Bulldogs and Oldham.

Keighley Cougars: Pickersgill, Graham (T), Ryder, Sa’u, Walkley, Thomas, Miller (3G), Maher, Brown, Ioane (T), Robson, Lanskey (T), Parker.  Subs: Schofield, Stead, Lynam, Kesik. 18th Man: Dean.

Bradford Bulls: McGowan (T), Myers, Arundel, Gill, Taufua (T), Jowitt, Lilley (T, 3G), Dord, Souter, Lawrence, Davies, Butler, Hallas (T). Subs: Okoro, Smith, Appo (T), Flanagan. 18th Man: Oakes.  

Half-Time: 6-16.

Full-Time: 18-26.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-6, 6-10, 6-12, 6-16 : HT: 6-20, 6-24, 6-26, 10-26, 12-26, 16-26, 18-26 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Bradford -  Square – Bradford.

Referee: Cameron Worsley.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Feb 2024 4:44 PM | Views : 3643 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES