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Doncaster Dons v Keighley.....Dons Kyle Kesik
Doncaster Dons v Keighley.....Dons Kyle Kesik
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THE Dons earned a vital first win in nine league games - 32-12 at home to Keighley Cougars - to move off the foot of the Championship.

It proved a relatively comfortable afternoon for Doncaster against a Keighley side who arrived sitting second bottom in the division.

Though they fell behind early, the Dons took their chances well, particularly in a strong second half performance which also showcased resolute defending.

Keighley looked the stronger side in the early stages and marked a sustained period of pressure with the opening try.

Sean Hesketh powered under the posts from close range with Danny Jones adding the simple conversion.

Hesketh found his way through again on ten minutes only for play to be brought back.

The Dons responded well and levelled the scores with their first proper attack of the game.

Paul Cooke sent a superb rapid pass for Chris Spurr to run on at top speed and crash through the line to score, Stu Sanderson converted.

The Dons began to have the better of the play and missed a great opportunity to take the lead.

Liam Kay collected a Cooke pass on half way and broke but laid off to Sanderson far too early allowing Paul White to slow down the play.

But they did go ahead four minutes from the break after an excellent phase.

The ball was moved superbly down the line with the impressive Danny Cowling sending the final pass out to Dennis Tuffour who dived over in the corner.

Sanderson curled a low conversion home from the touchline. The Dons took command in the early stages of the second half and deservedly extended their lead.

Cowling produced an audacious lay-off to Tuffour who had just enough space on the touchline to run in. Sanderson converted.

The Dons’ spell of dominance crashed to a halt on 58 minutes when Keighley hit back. It was too easy for the visitors as Paul March sent in Olly Pursglove to score with Danny Jones converting.

But the Dons quickly ended the visitors’ fightback.

Sanderson seemed to be the only player on the field who took notice of the adage of playing to the whistle as he reestablished the two score cushion.

The ball was snatched up by the winger when it came loose inside the Dons’ own ten metre zone and while Keighley’s players stood complaining, Sanderson charged the full length of the pitch to score before converting his own effort.

Sanderson added a penalty and the Dons firmly put the game to bed seven minutes from time as Mike Emmett stuck out his arm to ground the ball as he was tackled just short of the line.

A late penalty from Sanderson completed a good afternoon for the Dons.

Dons: Butterfield, Tuffour, Cowling, Kay, Sanderson, Cooke, Fawcett, Waller, Kesik, Castle, Kelly, Spurr, Trout. Subs: Emmett, Carbutt, Scott, Edwards.

Keighley: White, Duffy, Williams, Chandler, Lawton, Jones, March, Hesketh, Feather, Shickell, Sagar, Pursglove, Rawlins. Subs: Parkinson, Law, Sheriffe, Lynam.

Att: 686.