Robinson steps in at the death to put Keighley up

Sheffield 11 Keighley 13
Click to follow
The Independent Online

A dramatic late try from Andy Robinson gave Keighley victory in the National League Two Grand Final and a promotion triumph that recalls their exciting times in the 90s.

The Cougars were trailing by two points when Robinson took a pass from Oliver Wilkes after a sustained period of pressure.

The video replay eventually showed that Robinson had defied a two-man tackle to touch down before being forced into touch, but his coach, Gary Moorby, could not watch. "I honestly thought it was a try and I couldn't understand why he was taking so much time,'' he said. "We aren't used to the big screen in the National League.''

Keighley were the more inventive side in the first half, their smaller, more nimble players looking the more likely to create chances. They claimed the only try, after six minutes, when Matty Firth kicked for the corner and Matt Foster leapt to catch, juggle and touch down.

Paul Ashton converted that try and kicked a penalty, while Firth added another point with a drop goal that scraped the bar.

Sheffield had the edge in size and experience, but could not make it count, with their only points coming from two Gavin Brown penalties. The closest they came to breaking through was when Tom O'Reilly lost the ball in Richard Mervill's tackle as he went over the try-line.

O'Reilly seemed to have made up for that miss when he took Gavin Brown's excellent pass to go over for the converted try that put the Eagles into the lead early in the second half.

Peter Reilly doubled the lead with a drop goal, but the Eagles could not hang on and their player-coach Mark Aston, will now have to delay his retirement as they try to reach National League One via a play-off with Batley on Saturday.

Sheffield: Poynter, Weller, Goddard, O'Reilly, Hurst, G Brown, Aston, Howieson, Stanley, Laughton, Raleigh, C Brown, Flynn. Substitutes used: Reilly, Tillyer, Turnbull, Stringer.

Keighley: M Foster, Tomlinson, D Foster, Rushworth, Robinson, Ashton, Firth, Stephenson, Hoyle, Ekis, Wilkes, Sinfield, Patterson. Substitutes used: Wainwright, Mervil, Durham, Ramshaw.

Referee: P Taberner (Wigan).