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York Knights v Keighley Cougars - Match Preview

York Knights will be aiming to bring their Betfred Challenge Cup form into the league when they resume Betfred Championship action against Keighley Cougars at the LNER Community Stadium on Friday night (7.30pm).

York won a thrilling Betfred Challenge Cup Fourth Round tie with Sheffield Eagles 24-22 last time out, holding off a second-half fightback from the South Yorkshire club while down to 12 men, following the sending off of back-rower Danny Kirmond after half an hour.

The Knights booked their place in the Fifth Round in the process, where they will host Newcastle Thunder on Friday 21st April (7.30pm).

However immediate attentions now turn back to the Betfred Championship and a chance to overturn successive defeats to Whitehaven (12-14) and Featherstone Rovers (46-4) in the league.

Friday's opponents are Keighley, last year’s unbeaten Betfred League One champions. The Cougars won all 20 of their league matches in 2022, scoring a division-high 989 points and conceding a division-low 194 points as they finished eight points clear of second-placed Swinton Lions.

Keighley were last year guided to the 100 per record by Head Coach Rhys Lovegrove and Director of Rugby Andrew Henderson, who has since departed Cougar Park to take up the top job with the Knights.

Prior to his move to North Yorkshire, Henderson played a key role in overhauling Keighley’s squad ahead of their Betfred Championship return during the off-season.

Mark Ioane arrived fresh from winning promotion to the Betfred Super League with the now-Leigh Leopards while Hull KR outside back Ben Crooks and Wakefield Trinity pair Sadiq Adebiyi and Brad Walker arrived from the top-flight.

Keighley’s marquee signing however was undoubtedly Luke Gale, the former Man of Steel and England international, who featured in the 2017 World Cup Final.

Given their high-profile off-season additions, plenty of expectation was been placed upon Keighley.

Lovegrove’s side failed to start brightly, losing their opening two matches to league leaders Featherstone (0-50) and fourth-placed Widnes Vikings (26-18).

The Cougars have responded by winning five of their following seven matches in all competitions, including a 34-6 rout of rivals Bradford Bulls in their last league outing.

In front of a packed crowd of 4,893, the famous win has left Keighley’s confidence sky high ahead of their trip to the LNER Community Stadium.

Tickets are still available for York Knights' Betfred Championship clash against Keighley Cougars at the LNER Community Stadium on Friday (7.30pm). Blue Light Card Holders and NHS Staff can claim FREE tickets for the match HERE. General Admission tickets are priced at £20 for Adults, £15 for Concessions and FREE for Under-16s. To purchase your General Admission tickets, click HERE. Alternatively, you can call 01904 942232 or head to the Ticket Office (next door to the Club Shop).For full information on Hospitality tickets, please contact #RiseUp | #WeAreYork


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