Date: Sunday 31st May
Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley
After a fortnight’s break following the defeat to Swinton, the Cougars return to action this Sunday in a top of the table clash against the Oldham Roughyeds.
Last Time Out
The Cougars succumbed to a first league defeat of the year so far as they fell at the hands of the Swinton Lions.
Despite tries from James Feather, Oliver Pursglove and Sean Kelly losing Buster and Rikki Sheriffe to concussions was always going to hurt Keighley and a man-of-the-match performance by Andy Ackers guided the Lions to a 29-16 triumph.
Oldham regained top spot in the division with a comfortable victory over fellow early pacesetters, Newcastle Thunder.
Adam Clay crossed for a hat-trick with further tries coming from Steve Roper, Gareth Owen, Danny Langtree, Steven Nield and Lewis Palfrey.
The Cougars are expected to give loan signing Adam Brook his debut after arriving from the Bradford Bulls on loan. Rikki Sheriffe (Concussion) and brother Jode (Knee) will both return but club captain James Feather (Concussion) will require a head test before being cleared to play.
League leaders Oldham will be without the trio of Gareth Owen, George Tyson and Josh Johnson who are all suspended meaning Kenny Hughes and Adam Files will both come in to the seventeen,
The full backs could be two to watch in this one. Oldham’s Steven Nield is a key player for the visitors and a regular try scorer for his side but Jesse Sheriffe has come into his own over the season and is proving more of a threat as the year goes on.
What The Coaches Say
Keighley Cougars Player-Coach Paul March: “There were a lot of tired bodies mentally and physically going into the Swinton game,” he said. “It was good to give the lads a week off from training; they paid their respects at the funeral and spent some time with their families at home. They’ve come back in this week re-charged and ready for the tough challenge ahead.
“Oldham are one of the sides who have been up there for a number of years. It’s going to be a tough battle down the middle and one which our forwards will relish, then it’s up to us to take the opportunities when they come around. We let ourselves down at Swinton so we’ve got a point to prove this week in front of our own crowd.”
Oldham Roughyeds Head Coach Scott Naylor: “It puts us on the back foot going to somewhere like Keighley but it’s a test, a good challenge for the lads.
“We’re looking forward to it, they’ve got a lot of good lads and are one of the teams that came down last season and are the kind of club we’re looking at to perform well against and want to challenge ourselves against. We played really well in our last game. They are obviously going through a tough time themselves so it will be an interesting game.”
It should be a close, tense and gripping encounter between two of the early leaders and with Oldham missing some key players through suspension, it could just give Keighley the edge on this one. – Keighley by 8.