By Ian Golden at Caerphilly RFC
Keighley Cougars’ automatic promotion hopes hit another blow after suffering their fourth defeat in a row, this time 32-24 to South Wales Scorpions in Caerphilly as the Welsh secured a vital win, their first in three games.

In one of the most exciting games of the season, despite the Scorpions taking a commanding lead, the result was in doubt until the last ten minutes. The Cougars kept up the pressure on the home side but the Scorpions’ defence was just as crucial as their attack today with all 17 players doing well in leading them to the win.

The Scorpions gave former Scotland rugby union Six Nations star Tom Philip his debut after training with the club for the last few weeks, and was delighted to get back into professional rugby.

Philip picked up a serious injury seven years ago and has been constantly going through rehabilitation but he believes that finally with the Scorpions, this is his chance to shine.
“I wanted that,” he said. “I was really delighted to be part of the team and not only that, the win.
“I prefer Rugby League, I’ve always said that. I’ve only played a handful of games, despite swapping a couple of years ago.
“I love being in South Wales. Phil Davies has been great in bringing me down here. He’s been very supportive and I get on well with all the other players. There would have been easier options playing up north but the way Phil and the guys have accepted me has been outstanding. It’s a great club to be involved with.”

While Philip and the Scorpions were delighted with the victory, Cougars’ coach Jason Demetriou was less happy.
“We gave ourselves too much to do,” he said. “We were dreadful in the first half, borderline embarrassing. Some of the errors we came up with was disgraceful. Scorpions did well, they completed their sets and credit to them the way they shifted the ball. Some of our errors were amateurish to be honest. Training was awesome this week but it’s the same players making the same errors week on week and it’s costing the team dearly.”

Cougars actually took the lead on five minutes. New signing George Elliot intercepted a pass and ran 70 metres to the line for a perfect start to his debut. Danny Lawton missed the kick.

Scorpions hit back straight away when Steve Parry went over from close range. Jamie Murphy converted to make the score 6-4.

Parry performed heroics in defence when he took advantage of a slow play-the-ball to intercept and prevent a certain try. James Haythornthwaite fumbled the ball from the final tackle of that set giving Scorpions a good scoring position but they failed to take advantage.

But as soon as they regained the ball, they scored. Jamie Murphy made the break from the 20-metre line, offloaded to Christiaan Roets who ran home unmarked. Loz Wildbore goaled.

And they extended their lead straight away. Dalton Grant running from the half-way line for an excellent individual try. Murphy failed to convert.

Cougars almost got a try back through their Super League loanee’s but Jake Normington’s pass to fellow Leeds Rhino George Eillot was forward.

Scorpions worked their way upfield and following a fine set of six, an Andrew Gay try extended their lead with Lewis Reece converting.

Reece failed to extend Scorpions’ lead just before half-time, missing a close range penalty attempt at goal.

Murphy and Wildbore held Jason Demetriou up over the line but from the next move, James Hutchinson grounded in corner after a move involving Ben Sagar and Danny Lawton, the latter missing the following conversion.

Scorpions restored the balance straight away after Casey Bromilow charged down a kick and ran 50 metres to the line. Reece converted to give them a 20-point advantage.

But after a fumble from kick-off, Ben Sagar was allowed in to score another Keighley try. Lawton again missed the conversion attempt.

Player coach Jason Demetriou followed that up with a fine individual score and Lawton converted from in front of the sticks to bring the score back to 28-18

Cougars kept attacking. Curtis Cunningham and Jamie Murphy did well to catch high bombs from the final tackle of two Keighley sets.

Scorpions turned good defence into attack and were rewarded when Jamie Murphy cruised through the Cougars defence with ease to score in the corner but failed to land the tricky kick.

Once again the Welsh defence continued to excel. Man of the match Murphy holding James Feather up over the line.

But they finally cracked with ten minutes remaining as substitute Ryan Benjafield scored from dummy half with Lawton converting.

Scorpions wanted to extend the lead further but were unlucky. Curtis Cunningham had an excellent chance to put a seal on the game when he kicked a loose ball upfield, but it trickled into touch before he was able to follow up despite desperately sprinting upfield.

Another chance was wasted when Grant made an individual run for the line, but he failed to notice the in-space Bromilow before he was brought to the ground.

But in the end, the chances were irrelevant as the Scorpions held on for a vital win.

Before the game, a nine-team primary school tournament, which was played where Narberth School beat Parc Y Twyn School from Burry Port, Llanelli, by three tries to one.


27. Jamie Murphy

24. Dalton Grant

19. Tom Philip

4. Ashley Bateman

5. Curtis Cunningham

1. Andrew Gay

7. Casey Bromilow

16. Joe Burke

9. Steve Parry

10. Paul Raftery

3. Christiaan Roets

21. Rhodri Lloyd

13. Loz Wildbore


2. Lewis Reece

15. Neil Dallimore

8. Chris Clough

18. Chris Davies

Tries: Parry (8), Roets (13), Grant (16), Gay (32), Bromilow (50), Murphy (62)

Goals: Murphy 1/3, Wildbore 1/1, Reece 2/3


18. James Haythornthwaite

26. James Hutchinson

4. Danny Lawton

33. Jake Normington

32. George Elliot

29. Jason Demetriou

6. Luke Helliwell

8. Andy Shickell

9. James Feather

10. Scott Law

11. Will Cartledge

12. Olly Pursglove

22. Ben Sagar


36. Jy-Mel Coleman

21. Richard Jones

16. Brendan Rawlins

17. Ryan Benjafield

Tries: Elliot (5), Hutchinson (47), Sagar (51), Demetriou (54), Benjafield (70)

Goals: Lawton 2/5

Referee: Peter Brooke

Half-time: 22-4

Attendance: 505

Men of the Match: Scorpions – Jamie Murphy, Keighley – Jason Demetriou

Penalty Count: 7-7

Scoring Sequence: 0-4, 6-4, 12-4, 16-4, 22-4, 22-8, 28-8, 28-12, 28-18, 32-18, 32-24

Gamestar: Jamie Murphy who ran, passed, kicked, caught and scored. He played a perfect full-back’s game.

Gamebreaker: Only when there was three minutes to go did Scorpions know that the game was won.


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