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Haven crush Cougars

By Frankie
Date: 9/4/2001

Haven 17-4 Keighley
Few would have predicted this win for Haven, yet a thousand followers turned up on a very cold and windy afternoon to show solidarity with their team who have been giving their all recently and who have suffered cruelly.

Also read Dave Farrell's action report
Poor Chris Campbell and the unlucky Fats were remembered as Haven ran onto the pitch with steely determination. Nothing was going to stop them from winning this one! By the end of the match the Cougar fans were folding away their giant flag having been blown away.
Despite all the injuries Haven looked reasonable on paper, but would they have enough experience in the backs and enough power in the pack to beat these high fliers? Answer "yes" to both questions.All seventeen gave their all as a tribute to Paul Cullen's fine coaching and to their missing team mates.
Craig Murdock was outstanding for Keighley. His passing was superb and with his prompting they were fast and skillful and they were a big powerful team. They had trounced Town earlier in the season and no doubt they and their fans were expecting victory.They were made to think again!
From the kick off Keighley received the ball and went through a good set of six.Then it was Haven's turn and they were all over them in the first 15 minutes, but could not turn pressure into points. Rocket man Spencer Miller was tackled just short from a Kirkbride dummy and break. Then Keighley showed how to take a chance when high stepping Danny Seal ran through to score from half way.They missed the kick so it was 4-0. Mark Cox was magnificent and when he had the ball stolen Kirkbride made it 4-2.Seal crossed again but the linesman's intervention resulted in it being disallowed.Linesmen have a vital role and a duty especially with regard to dangerous play.
Two minutes from half time Mr. Silverwood finally spotted a Keighley forward pass.The resultant scrum saw Leroy dash diagonally at high speed and then turn it inside to Jonathan Wignall to zoom in for a splendid try. Leroy is a fantastic passer of the ball and a strong tackler. He made some telling kicks also, one of which resulted in Keighley being tackled under their own posts as the half time hooter sounded.
In the second half the Cougars put Haven under sustained pressure but they never buckled. Wesley Wilson suffered a late hit from number 5 Jason Lee in the sixtieth minute and he was carried from the field and hospitalised! Lee was sent off. Kiddie came on at fullback and was fast and sharp. A few minutes later Keighley fumbled the ball. Lester, who had led from the front with his non stop running and tackling, scooped it up and was off on an 80 yard run. He made it with a zig zag at the end before raising his arm in a victory salute and diving in. It was 12-4 and from then on it was all Haven.The Cougars tried to break out but they were caged. A Leeroy kick on the line bounced off a big Keighley forward, near the end, into the arms of Devlin who dived in at the corner and then Kirkbride cleverly dropped a goal to make the final score 17-4.
Forget televised sport.This was the real thing.All Haven's players were great especially the fast and classy Seeds and few will forget Aaron's length of the fielder. Haven gave their all and the fan's stayed back to applaud this victory of sheer determination.
By Dave Farrell
Date: 10/4/2001

Haven put a run of three consecutive defeats plus a mounting injury list behind them to record this welcome and well deserved victory over High flying Keighley Cougars.
Injury problems there may be but the team that ran out stil looked useful , wesley wilson back after a month,Steve Kirkbride in tandem withLeroy , Dean Vaughan at last getting a start in place of Fats plus Ian Devlin in his accustomed roll in the pack.
For the first 20 minutes it was all Haven as a determined Cougars defence countered all that the Haven could muster, and it was against the run of play when Cougars danny Seal broke from within his own half to put the visitors ahead . After that the visitors grew in confidence and it was only a forward pass that denied Seal his second try ..
Having weathered the storm Haven hit back just before the interval when Leroy opened up the Cougars defence with a reverse pass to Wignall, who finished well from 10 yards out .A Steven Kirbride goal gave haven a narrow but just about merited 6-4 half time lead.
Both sides cam eout in the second half looking for the points and it was Keighley who made the early running, Haven being pinned on their line for almost 10 minutes. However when Keighley made a mess of things on the last tackle Aaron Lester gathered a lose ball 10 yards from his own line and outpaced the Keighley defence to score under the posts at the Kells end of the ground.Krkbride added the goal points and Haven had a useful 12-4 lead
The Haven then grew in confidence and took the upper hand , the visitors became increasingly desperate and made a string of handling errors surrendering the initiative, and it was no suprise with 10 minutes leftwhen Devlin collected a kick through to score a try and seal a tremendous win for the Haven. Kirkbride could not add the points but landed a field goal right on time to seal the result and send haven into Fridays derby game in good heart.
Some experts would have us believe that the inform Town will take the spoils , but on this display Haven will fear no one. Certainly it would be a brave man or a fool to predict the outcome .


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