Match report courtesy of Joe Drury
This was a much improved performance from the young Wildcats following last week’s defeat to Dewsbury with the game showcasing some very promising Wildcat stars in the making and also giving head coach Tony Drury some selection headaches approaching the new season. The Wildcats attack looked incisive throughout and their defence was resilient against a strong Keighley side.
It was a scrappy opening to this game with both sides eager to gain the upper-hand, which resulted in several handling errors been made. But it was the Wildcats who looked the more threatening and it wasn’t long before the scoreboard reflected this when on 8 minutes Jake Joynt powered over by the side of the posts for the opening try of the game.
However directly from the restart the Wildcats try scorer lost the ball in the impact of the tackle and gifted the Cougars great field position, which Sean Kelly capitalised upon when he forced himself over from dummy half and brought the scores level.
The Wildcats regained their six point advantage after 15 minutes when Tom Henderson slid through a perfectly weighted grubber kick which Kyle Trout collected and scored with Mathew Wildie adding the extras. That is how the score remained for the next twenty minutes of the game as both sides came up with some great defensive efforts to keep out their opposition. On 37 minutes the Wildcats extended their lead to 18-6 courtesy of an Andy Tate try after he found a gaping hole in the Cougars defence to stroll through virtually untouched for his first try for the club, capping off an imposing first half for the young Wildcats.
The second half saw a number of new faces with a combination of under 18’s and trialists given their chance to stake a claim for a reserve team shirt which they grabbed with both hands in a very impressive second period.
The half began well for the Wildcats as they were instantly gifted good field position after the Cougars came up with a forward pass twenty metres from their own line. On 45 minutes Mathew Wildie cut open the Cougars defence with a scampering run and put in Josh Hardcastle, who was in support, to score beneath the posts.
The try of the game came on 50 minutes when Chris Annekin showed a touch of astuteness to break from the base of the scrum on his own ten metre line and tear open the cougars defence down the blind side before showing some lightning pace to break away and offload the ball to Ricky Williams who was in support on his inside.
On 54 minutes the Wildcats lack of experience was highlighted after they overplayed on their own line and came up with the handling error that would gift Keighley their second try of the game in the far corner bringing the score to 30-12.
Rugged defence from both sides ensured there wasn’t to be another try until the 72nd minute when Chris Annekin exploited a hole in the Cougars defence to power his way over for his second try of the game and mark the start of a Wildcats onslaught that would produce an astonishing 22 point haul in the final 8 minutes of the game effectively putting the game to bed. The Wildcats wasted no time in adding another when straight from the restart some preposterous speed and footwork from Josh Hardcastle gave the Wildcats momentum in attack which ended in Tom Harrington going over beside the posts. The next try came when some dazzling footwork from Tom Henderson opened up the defence and he put away Joynt for his second try of the game. The final try of the game came on 79 minutes when Wildie sliced open the Cougars defence with a testing run and darted away before putting in Hardcastle for his second try of the game, capping off a fine personal performance and making the final score a convincing 54-12.
WILDCATS-54 Colleran,Cruikshank,Cowling,Walshaw,Potts,Wildie,Henderson,Pettman,Annekin,Joynt, Slater,Trout,Tate,Harper,Murphy,Parkinson,Gledhill,Hudson,Harrington,Williams,Hardcastle
TRIES- Joynt 2,Trout,Tate,Hardcastle 2,Williams,Annekin 2,Harrington
GOALS- Wildie 7
Reardon,Jack Copperwaite,Cawood,Joe Copperwaite,Aitcheson,Leatham,Chapman,Knapper, Kelly,Shabir,Broadley,Geoghan,Hall,Stead,Snowden,Ireland,Ross,Lynam,Eccleston, Stephenson
TRIES- Kelly, Joe Copperwaite
GOALS- Joe Copperwaite 2