Newcastle Thunder secured their second win of the season in a dramatic Betfred Championship clash at Kingston Park.

Cougars led 12-10 at the break but Thunder fought back to claim a vital two points in a game that could have gone either way.

There were 4 debutants for Keighley today in Huddersfield loanees Jack Bibby and Kieran Rush along with Luca Atkinson and Cole Oakley on loan from Halifax Panthers.

Thunder opened the scoring after just six minutes player through Curtis Davies. After some good work on the edge from captain, Alex Foster, the hooker dived over after collecting from the base of the ruck. Nikau Williams failed to convert but Thunder were 4-0 in front.

The Cougars were next on the scoreboard following some neat build-up play. Centre Robbie Storey collected a kick-through to dive over on to the right of the posts. Kieran Rush added the extras and Keighley move ahead leading 6-4.

In a bizarre turn of events, Alex Donaghy hit the upright straight from kick-off and Thunder regained the ball.

Moments later prop forward Ted Chapelhow crossed under posts, collecting a short ball from the base of a ruck. Williams was able to convert and Thunder lead once more 10-6.

Momentum looked to be in Thunder’s favour with some good positive yards made in carries and fronting up in defence. The North East outfit were unable to convert their own chances and were left to pay when Keighley crossed once more.

Failing to defend a kick-through, Keighley’s Kieran Rush was first to the loose ball, diving emphatically to score his first professional try just before the ball went dead. Unable to convert his own score the tie was level at 10-points apiece after 28 minutes.

Little action took place following this, but Keighley would regain their lead just before half-time, securing a penalty goal through Dane Chisholm following a late hit.

The Cougars went into half-time 12-10 up.

Thunder started the second half as they did the first and after 47 minutes found themselves in front once more. Working the ball out wide and exploiting the space, winger Alex Clegg was able to dive over for his seventh try of the season.

Williams was unable to convert the touchline conversion, but Thunder were now 14-12 up.

Extending their lead on 58 minutes, Thunder crossed once more through back rower Brad Gallagher. After some excellent build-up play from Hull FC loanee Nick Staveley, breaking tackles and making huge metres. The ball was work out wide before Williams kicked through for Gallagher to collect a cross unopposed.

Unusual for the half-back, Williams failed to convert the easy kick, but Thunder now lead 18-12 with just over 20 minutes remaining.

The latest score seemed to light a fire in the Keighley side who piled the pressure on the Thunder defence. Although putting up a good fight, the pressure would soon prove too much when Keighley scored once more.

Centre Charlie Graham crossed in the corner after the ball was worked wide, taking the tie to within two points.

Chisholm taking over the Keighley kicking duties, failed to convert from out wide and the atmosphere at Kingston Park grew tense as both sides battled to take home the points.

There looked to be last minute heartbreak for Thunder right at the death as Keighley looked to have crossed in the corner.

With less than 10 seconds left to play winger Mo Agoro dived to score in the right corner but was judged to have knocked on when placing the ball.

Thunder restarted with seconds left and the full time whistle blew.

The final score stood 18-16 in the host’s favour in what was a rugby league classic at Kingston Park.