Keighley Cougars recorded their first win back in the Championship with 44-24 scoreline against Newcastle Thunder.

Charlie Graham, Keenen Tomlinson, Nathan Roebuck (2), Brad Walker, Robbie Storey (2) and Mo Agoro scored for the Cougars in an afternoon which goes to show Keighley Cougars could be a formidable force in the Betfred Championship.

Dane Chisholm added six conversions in a game which saw the hosts always keep Newcastle at arm’s length.

Former Bradford Bulls hooker Tom Doyle make his debut for Keighley, but there were still several big names missing.

Ben Crooks and Ellis Robson, both of whom started a week earlier, were ruled out with a dislocated thumb and hamstring tear respectively.

The knee issue Kyle Trout picked up in the defeat to Featherstone is set to keep him out for another couple of weeks at least, while Lloyd Roby is not far off a return to action after the ACL injury he suffered last year playing for Widnes.

But Cougars dealt with those absences well with Graham opening the scoring with a try in the corner on six minutes.

Tomlinson was next to cross after a clever dummy from Chisholm, while Roebuck strolled in under the posts for try number three.

Evan Lawther pulled a score back for Newcastle, before Walker flew over from close range under the posts.

Jack Johnson grabbed the visitors’ second try, before Storey crossed five minutes for the break.

Connor Bailey was yellow carded for a late hit on the stroke of half-time, and Cougars made the most of their man advantage when Storey notched his brace.

Alex Clegg went over on the right wing to give Newcastle a glimmer of hope, but Keighley killed the contest with 11 minutes to go with Roebuck’s second try.

Last season’s top try scorer, Mo Agoro, got his first score of the current campaign with a try in the right-hand corner in the final five minutes to make the score 44-18.

Johnson went over in the final seconds to grab Newcastle a consolation try.

The win moves Keighley off the bottom of the 14-team table and up to 10th, meaning only Cumbrian duo Barrow and Whitehaven remain winless after the opening three rounds.

Cougars’ next game is on Sunday at surprise early strugglers Batley Bulldogs, who reached the Million Pound Game last season, but have only won once in 2023 so far.

Attendance: 1,658

Full match report to follow