Cougars took home the spoils 32-24 at the LEL Arena against Whitehaven in a pulsating Championship clash.

It was a tight contest which could have gone either way and it was Keighley’s defence which, in the end, made the difference.

Haven had to make a late change when skipper Karl Dixon was forced to drop out and teenager Oscar Doran, signed in mid-week, came in for his debut.

Initially Haven had put on the pressure and both Dave Ecclestone and Guy Graham were excellently bundled into touch by Cougars defence.

But it was Keighley who scored the first try after forcing a goal-line drop-out. Hooker Tom Doyle dummied his way through to score under the sticks and Dane Chisholm converted.

Then James Newton was held-up on the line as Whitehaven responded and they were rewarded with a try on 15 minutes from Guy Graham which Josh Rourke converted.

Whitehaven looked as though they would follow-up but Keighley were put back on the attack by a fine 40-20 from Chisholm.

As a result Mark Ioane drove over by the posts and Chisholm added the extras.

They scored again after 25 minutes when they established field position with a penalty and centre Ben Crooks went over on the left edge.

Haven got themselves back in the game when Eccleston followed-up a fine kick from Jamie Doran to get the try which Rourke converted.

But late in the half two more Keighley tries from Crooks, both converted gave Haven a mountain to climb in the second-half as they trailed 28-12.

They made a good start to the second half with a try in the 48th minute from Curtis Teare which Rourke converted to cut the deficit to ten points.

Ten minutes later with a simple two points on offer from a penalty Chisholm pops over the kick.

When Haven were caught offside nine minutes from time Chisholm took the opportunity put over another penalty for a 32-18 lead.

There were five minutes left when Haven scored a try through Graham, converted by Rourke.

Although they staged a big finish, and had strong pressure on the Cougars defence they couldn’t get over again.