In a game which had more swings than an adventure playground – and nearly as much drama as an episode of Happy Valley – both teams will have thought they deserved to win what was an utterly enthralling and engaging contest.
There was even a stage, with five minutes left, where both sides – who both had to cope with late sin-bins – would have been left with just a point apiece.
But the mercurial Dane Chisholm’s nerveless drop goal gave the Cougars a slender advantage, at 22-23, against 12-men Batley who had fought back courageously in the second half.
And that perseverance showed in the dying seconds with Morton flying over in the corner to ensure the Bulldogs returned to winning ways in spectacular, unbelievable fashion.
The opening exchanges were nervy, as both sides made a number of errors, although the lively James Meadows was proving a constant threat for the Bulldogs.
The same could be said for Luke Gale, the former Man of Steel and, arguably, Keighley’s star signing of the season, who Craig Lingard had insisted before the game that his players needed to “reduce the space and time he has on the ball.”
However, going up the hill in the first half, it was the Bulldogs, courtesy of Meadows, who edged in front as the stand-off was rewarded for his bright individual start with his first try of the season.
And it was all his own doing, scampering clear of a couple of Keighley players before a drop of the shoulder, and a swivel, allowed him to force over the line. He even added the extras himself.
Meadows soon made it 8-0 after Dane Manning received a high shot and he could have had an exquisite assist to his name as well had Kieran Buchanan got on the end of his diagonal kick towards the corner.
After two miserable defeats to Swinton Lions and Sheffield Eagles following their impressive opening day win in London, the early signs here were that, just maybe, the Bulldogs’ fortunes were starting to change.
However, this was as good as it got for the Bulldogs in the first half against a Cougars side who are steadily improving following defeats in the opening two rounds against highly-fancied Featherstone Rovers and Widnes.
Robbie Storey clearly hadn’t read the script of Batley wanting to return to winning ways as he got the Cougars back into the contest after jumping highest and touching down for his fourth try of the season.
The momentum had swung, with the visitors now in the ascendancy. And their sustained pressure told four minutes before the hooter. A quick Keighley move involved an intricate Gale and an elusive Brenden Santi before Charlie Graham finished well in the corner.
Chisholm kicked a penalty on the hooter to give them some breathing space before Lewis Young extended the lead 20-8 at the start of the second half.
That first win in London since 1988 in the opening round was seeming like a lifetime ago, as Lingard was losing the battle with his former assistant at Keighley Rhys Lovegrove – who led the Cougars to the League 1 title, and promotion, last season.
However, write Batley off at your peril. Samy Kibula barged over to start the comeback and although Meadows missed the conversion, the pendulum swung firmly in Batley’s favour when Gale was sin-binned with 18 minutes remaining following a pull-back on Aidan McGowan.
Keighley survived the first set while down to 12 men. But they were soon defending another set of six, which ended with Buchanan going over on the far side. Meadows converted to make it 18-20 before Buchanan, mesmerisingly, struck again with ten minutes left to put Batley back in front.
But the drama was far from over. Chisholm made the game all square with a penalty before the game, seemingly, swung back in Keighley’s favour when Lucas Walshaw was sent to the sin-bin.
The away side, and Chisholm, took advantage with a precise drop-goal as they looked for a second successive Championship win after a great win against Newcastle last week.
However, astonishingly, there was still time for Morton to grab his first try of the season with the last play as the Bulldogs got their season back on track.
Batley: McGowen, Johnson, Kear, Buchanan, Campbell, White, Meadows, Leak, Gledhill, Brown, Manning, Walshaw, Reilly
Substitutes: Morton, Kibula, Flynn, Ward
Tries: Meadows, Kibula, Buchanan (2), Morton
Conversions: Meadows (2)
Keighley: Young, Graham, Roebuck, Storey, Agoro, Chisholm, Gale, Everett, Doyle, Levy, Tomlinson, Adebiyi, Walker
Substitutes: Kesik, Santi, Ioane, Parker
Tries: Storey, Graham, Young
Conversions: Chisholm (3)