Dewsbury Rams 29
Keighley Cougars 22
By Andrew Hunt
DEWSBURY Rams turned in a superb display to overcome Keighley in a terrific Co-operative Championship clash last Sunday.
It was Dewsbury’s best display of the season and arguably their best in Warren Jowitt’s reign as coach.
The Rams deservedly led 18-12 at half-time but Keighley fought back with two tries soon after the break to edge 22-18 ahead.
Dewsbury weren’t to be denied though as Andy Smith barged over to level matters after 61 minutes and set up a grandstand finish.
Patch Walker held is nerve to edge Dewsbury ahead with a drop-goal eight minutes from full-time before Scott Spaven sealed victory with a 79th minute try which Walker converted.
The win saw Dewsbury jump to third place in the table, just a point behind leaders Halifax and level with second-placed Batley.
Steve Crossley has been Dewsbury’s best player this season and the powerful prop gave another outstanding display.
Dewsbury bombed two excellent early chances before taking a ninth minute lead.
Ayden Faal sliced through the defence but with a huge overlap on the inside his pass was knocked down by Keighley full-back Craig Moss.
From the scrum, Dewsbury moved right and winger Michael Wainwright raced over, with Walker converting.
Keighley hit back as Ollie Pursglove burrowed over in the corner and Danny Jones landed a superb touchline goal.
James Craven broke through to set up another great Rams attack but he lacked support and Keighley recovered but Dewsbury regained the lead after 25 minutes when Walker, Spaven and Josh Tonks linked before Ryan Esders looped a lovely pass back inside for Rob Spicer to score. Walker converted.
Jowitt switched Austin Buchanan from the left to the right wing and the move worked to perfection for Dewsbury’s third try.
Walker hoisted a huge kick to the right and Buchanan leapt above Richie Barnett to gather before side stepping the last defender to score between the posts. Walker again goaled.
Tonks produced a wonderful try saving tackle on Semi Tadulala, James Haythornwaite was spun onto his back over the try line by Faal, while substitute Michael Korkidas was held up by the posts.
However, the Rams defence were finally undone when Haythornwaite broke through again and over for a try which Jones converted.
Keighley scored again at the start of the second half Jones kicked a 40-20 and Moss met a pass at pace and charged over for an unconverted try.
Dwayne Barker got on the end of another Walker kick but although referee Ronnie Laughton appeared set to award the try, he ruled it out after consulting a touchjudge.
Keighley then hit the front as Tadulala looped a pass inside for Moss to gather and storm behind the posts and the try was awarded despite strong Rams claims for a forward pass. Jones goaled and the Cougars led 22-18.
A towering Walker kicked looked to be sailing straight into touch but Keighley winger Gavin Duffy chose to catch the ball and stepped into touch.
It gifted Dewsbury possession and having kept the ball alive, Craven slipped a pass inside to Smith, who carried three defenders to the line and planted the ball down to set up a pulsating finale.
Walker launched a 40-20 to set up another attack and having driven close to the line, Walker landed a crucial drop goal.
Solid defence repelled the Keighley attack and Dewsbury then moved back onto the attack. They appeared to be setting Walker up for a drop goal attempt but on the last tackle, Spaven nipped over from acting half-back.
Walker landed a superb touchline goal.