Skolars and Cougars play out entrhalling draw
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Betfred League One: London Skolars 18 Keighley Cougars 18
London Skolars were held to an enthralling 18-18 draw at home to Keighley Cougars in Betfred League One.
Skolars gained a league point, but will be ruing missing out a win having led by 12 at half-time.
Keighley’s only first half points came from a London error when Craig Mullen picked up the ball in his own in-goal area and his pass to Joe Brown glanced off the post protector, with Benn Hardcastle racing to touch the ball down for an easy try.
Mullen soon made amends, brushing off the defence to open the scoring for Skolars.
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London went ahead when Neil Thorman’s short pass saw Dan Hindmarsh break the defence in his own half, racing 50 metres before releasing Brown to score.
Thorman had a tough conversion from the touchline against the wind, but he managed to drift it between the posts.
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Both sides were reduced to twelve men for ten minutes when Mike Greenhalgh and Josh Lynam were sin-binned for throwing punches in an otherwise good-natured game.
Skolars extended their lead two minutes later when Jordan Williams raced onto Richard Wilkinson’s grubber kick into the in-goal area, with Thorman’s conversion put the home side 18-6 up at the break.
London gave away a couple of penalties after the restart and it took some good defence to hold Jason Muranka up over the line.
When Jack Miller swerved his way past the defence to score under the posts, Hardcastle’s conversion put Keighley firmly back into contention.
Skolars used the wind better than the Cougars had done in the first half, forcing two goal-line drop-outs, but they missed a couple of opportunities where a drop-goal may have been better.
London did have a good chance to score outside, but the final pass drifted in front of Jacob Ogden.
Cougars scored their third try when Aaron Levy crashed over after taking a pass from Hardcastle, who added the conversion to level the scores with five minutes remaining.
Skolars tried for a drop-goal, but James Meadows’ attempt was deflected by a Cougars’ hand as the match ended in a draw.