Sheffield Eagles fight back to draw with Keighley Cougars in final pre-season clash
A late James Davey converted try saw Sheffield Eagles draw 18-18 against Keighley Cougars as Mark Aston’s side completed their pre-season preparations.
The Eagles warmed up for Sunday’s Championship curtain-raiser at Halifax with another competitive test, with Davey striking late against the League One side in a highly entertaining showdown.
Aston was handed a pre-match boost with Oliver Davies fit for selection, but there was no place for Connor Bower or Anthony Thackeray who both played last week at Doncaster. Trialist James Mulvany was again involved as Aston continues to monitor the young forward.
After kick-off was delayed because of a ‘technical issue’, it was the hosts who were quicker out of the blocks, opening the scoring on 10 minutes. Taylor Prell latched onto a grubber kick on the last as he touched down for a converted score.
A friendly it may have been on paper, but tempers flared following a high shot on 18 minutes which eventually resulted in Lewis Wray going to the bin after some handbags, and the Eagles profited immediately from the extra man as Zack McComb crossed, with Izaac Farrell converting.
After the interval, ex-Eagle Louis Sheriff was also sent to the bin for leading with an elbow, but it was the hosts who re-took the lead when Prell intercepted Josh Guzdek’s pass to run 90 metres to touch down for another converted try.
Guzdek redeemed himself with a terrific individual try soon after, with Izaac Farrell levelling the contest by adding the extras.
Back came Keighley, when Benn Hardcastle’s kick hit an Eagles player, allowing Matt Welham to feed Steven Hayes for a try, converted by Hardcastle.
Jason Muranka had an effort chalked off for a forward pass, before Davey struck for the Eagles and Izaac Farrell converted for a level game.
There was still time for Menzie Yere to score, but again the try was ruled out for a forward pass, whilst the Cougars were denied at the death when Billy Gaylor’s drop goal hit the upright.
Eagles: Guzdek; Worrincy, Yere, McComb, Millar; Makelim, I Farrell; Dixon, G Burns, P Burns; Mariano, J Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Davey, Davies, Ward, Broadbent, Taylor, Mulvany.