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1st Jul, 2022

RUGBY LEAGUE - Midlands Hurricanes suffer agonising late defeat against leaders Keighley

MIDLANDS Hurricanes conceded two tries in the final four minutes to suffer an agonising 29-18 defeat against league leaders Keighley Cougars.

Tries from Jack Dawson, Brad Clavering and Matty Welham put the Hurricanes in contention heading into the last few minutes before two tries from Mo Agoro inflicted a fourth straight defeat on the Midlands club at Cougar Park.

The result means the Hurricanes sit eighth in the Betfred League 1 table with just two wins from their opening eight matches.

Interim Head Coach Rich Scott took charge of the Hurricanes for the first time and saw his side fall behind to Charlie Graham’s try on six minutes before Jack Miller added a penalty to extend the home side’s lead.

And a try from Nathan Roebuck on 32 minutes saw Keighley pull further clear after Benn Hardcastle had been sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.

The Midlands club finished the half well and finally troubled the scoreboard on 36 minutes when Dawson squeezed through the defence to score with Ben Stead adding the conversion.

And the Hurricanes were controversially denied a second try when Hardcastle’s effort was ruled out before Roebuck touched down his second of the afternoon on 53 minutes after the visitors had Hayden Freeman sent to the sin bin.

The away side finally scored their second try through Clavering on 67 minutes before Kieron Lawton was denied a score moments later after he was deemed to have knocked on.

And a drop goal from Dane Chisholm rubbed salt into the Hurricanes’ wounds before Welham scored in the corner on 72 minutes with Hardcastle’s conversion making it a one-point game.

However, Agoro ran in two tries at the death to ensure Keighley maintained their perfect start to the season with eight wins from as many matches.

Interim Coach Scott said: “The group played very well across the park and showed a lot of resilience – particularly in defence when Keighley put us under pressure.

“We showed patience and composure on the opposition goal line and were happy to build pressure which eventually turned into points.

“We were the better team for large parts of the game and had a few decisions gone the other way then we would have been celebrating a victory against arguably the best team in the competition.

“We can take great confidence from the performance moving forward.”

The Hurricanes are next in action at home to West Wales Raiders on Sunday, June 5 with kick-off at 3pm at Portway.

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