Keighley Cougars v Saints
Saints made the picturesque trip over the Pennines to Cougar Park to play the Cougar Reserves for the second time in six weeks. This time it was a team of solely Saints players who made the trip but the end result – 74-6 – was largely the same, writes Graham Henthorne.
The Saints managed to break the home side’s resistance in half the time of the previous encounter as Aaron Smith crossed for the first of his side’s 13 tries after only 12 minutes.
Two more in the next two sets to firstly Ricky Bailey and then Jonah Cunningham put the Saints ahead of the clock.
Five more tries in the second quarter highlighted the dominance and professionalism of Coach Ian Talbot’s side this time round which well and truly put the game beyond doubt.
Jake Spedding, Liam Cooper and Calvin Wellington all scored in another three try burst and when Adam Walker and Bailey again scored in successive sets before the break it looked like the Saints would eclipse their previous score.
However, as is often the way half time breaks the spell and despite Spedding scoring on the Saints first drive of the second period they found it harder to replicate their dominance.
In fact the home side registered their only points of the game at this point but you could hardly say the comeback was on.
Ben Morris celebrated his return to action after another injury lay-off with a try to resume normal service.
Cunningham and Wellington scored their brace’s as the steam ran out of the Saints and it fell to Bailey to crown another sound spell as custodian with his hat-trick score before the end.
Danny Richardson failed to match his 100% contribution from the boot from the last game only managing 11 from 13 this time (mock booing from the touchline notwithstanding!).
One sided this contest may have been, on the scoreboard at least, but as ever valuable contributions will have been made in what was a very physical contest.
The likes of Matty Lees, Josh Eaves, Mike Weldon and Evan Bullen, getting his first taste at this level, who’ve all been up against it so far this season in the U19s will have gained in confidence from playing in a winning team which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their campaign.
The rest of the team benefit from time on the pitch playing together as part of a dominant outfit, which hopefully they will take into the first team when and if their call comes.
Tries: Barker (44).
Goals: Brook 1 from 1
Tries: Aaron Smith (12), Ricky Bailey (15, 36 & 76), Jonah Cunningham (16 & 58), Jake Spedding (21 & 41), Liam Cooper (26), Calvin Wellington (29 & 69), Adam Walker (34), Ben Morris (48).
Goals: Danny Richardson 11 from 13.
Half Time: 0-46
Full Time: 6-74
Darville; Davey, Casey, Lawton, Barker, Smithson; Brook, Hutchinson; Walters, Welsh, Pickering, Reed, Kelly.
Subs: Brown, Adams, Scully, Price
1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Jordan Gibbons; 19. Jack Owens, 6. Danny Richardson; 8. Adam Walker, 9. Aaron Smith, 22. Matty Lees, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Jack Ashworth, 13. Jonah Cunningham.
Subs: 8. Josh Eaves, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Mike Weldon, 24. Ben Morris.