Rugby League: London Skolars suffer defeat at Keighley Cougars in Betfred League One
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Betfred League One: Keighley Cougars 26 London Skolars 18
London Skolars were unable to hold on to a first-half lead as they lost 26-18 at Keighley Cougars in Betfred League One on Saturday.
After weathering some early pressure, some strong runs by Sam Nash and Eddie Mbaraga gave Skolars good field position.
Jake Melling chased a Neil Thorman grubber kick and his tackle of the Cougars’ full-back dislodged the ball over the tryline.
Thorman was next in the chase and was the first to the loose ball.
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Keighley levelled the scores when Adam Ryder broke through the right side defence. London had a couple of penalty opportunities to kick for goal, choosing to tap with the swirling wind against them.
The visitors were rewarded on the second tap when Ryan Burroughs burst through to score.
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Thorman added the conversion and, with half-time approaching, kicked a penalty to put Skolars 14-6 up at the break.
A further penalty kick extended the lead, but a break by Andy Gabriel saw the Cougars winger race 90 metres to score.
Three minutes later it was Matt Nicholson who forced his way over, but with Matt Beharrell missing both conversions, London were still two points ahead.
Nash made a break from deep in his own half, but Skolars couldn’t make it count and Keighley created a two-man overlap on their right for Perry Whiteley to score. Another penalty for Thorman levelled the scores, but the next set saw Vinny Finigan sin-binned for his part in a spear tackle.
With London a man short and tiring in the heat, Cougars again created an overlap with Gabriel scoring his second try.
Beharrall finally found his kicking range with two late penalties to put the hosts out of reach.
Skolars are next in action at home at home to Hunslet on June 9 with a 3pm kick-off at the New River Stadium.
It means London can enjoy a two-week break before their next outing in Betfred League One, while the Parksiders host Whitehaven this Saturday.
Skolars will hope the break works in their advantage.