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Betfred Championship EVOGO

Eagles up to 2nd with victory over Cougars


Sheffield Eagles go up to 2nd place in the Betfred Championship thanks to an 18-46 victory over Keighley Cougars at Cougar Park.

Taking advantage of Toulouse’s defeat to Batley a day earlier, the Eagles put on an attacking clinic in the final quarter of the first half - overturning a 6-0 deficit to go into the interval 6-34 in front.

Kris Welham and Ben Jones-Bishop were enjoying stellar first periods while the introduction of Jack Hansen at hooker injected pace into the ruck.

Keighley opened the scoring on nine minutes when Ellis Robson touched down for the hosts. Dane Chisholm converted.

Welham got the Eagles on the board just after the 20-minute mark. The centre provided a superb fend which helped the ginger genius to four points. Cory Aston couldn’t convert.

Then came the barrage with back-to-back-to-back tries for the visitors, who were running away with the game. Almost three tries from as many sets but there was a goal-line dropout thrown in there too. Just not good enough!

Bayley Liu proved too powerful from close range to put Sheffield in front for the first time. Aston added the extras, as he did for the Ben Jones-Bishop double-salvo.

BJB’s first came as he got on the end of a Thackeray kick which looped over the Cougars winger. The former Leeds man, using all his experience, made the angle better for Aston’s kick.

He completed his brace with an acrobatic effort in the corner, having been in the right place to field a Welham offload. Aston’s goals made it 6-22 after 34 minutes but there was still time for two more scores.

Aston performed some magic with a couple of dummies to sneak over out of dummy-half before, on the stroke of half-time, Welham completed his brace following a QLT break and fast play-the-ball. Aston added two more goals. Phenomenal half.

Half-time - Keighley Cougars 6-34 Sheffield Eagles

The first try of the second half went the way of the Eagles as Matty Dawson-Jones scooped up an Aston pass to muscle his way over in the corner. Conversion, once again, successful from Aston.

Keighley did fight back with tries from Alix Stephenson and Mark Ioane but there was no panic within the Eagles ranks.

Vila Halafihi rounded things up 15 minutes from time with a stereotypical hooker’s try from dummy-half. Aston added the extras.

Full-time - Keighley Cougars 18-46 Sheffield Eagles

Another win for the Eagles’ collection as they’re making 2023 a year to remember so far.

Next up: The Summer Bash vs Newcastle Thunder on Sunday 28th May, 1:45pm kickoff.

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman