Posts Tagged ‘Keighley Cougars’

London Skolars 10 – 28 Keighley Cougars: A Mini Photo Essay

August 29, 2009

So the Skolars had their now-traditional pre-Challenge Cup friday night game last night, and I fulfilled my tradition of attending each year. It was a very entertaining evening, with a lively crowd, some exciting play on the field, and some absolutely bizarre weather.

The game was won by Keighley, and fairly comfortably in the end, but only after a very competitive first half in which the Skolars scored a nice little try through Olu Iwenofu against the run of play and proceeded to do a good job of holding out the Cougars for a while. However, when Daley Williams went over for Keighley’s first try, that opened up the floodgates somewhat and the Skolars went on to concede another three tries in the first half, at least two of which were pretty soft. The second half deteriorated in quality somewhat as the weather began to take its toll on the players (and the spectators). Although Iwenofu again was able to finish off a pretty nifty team move, there was never really any threat of a comeback. 

Anyway, I took some dodgy quality pictures with my camera phone, to forever record this momentous day in posterity.


I can’t tell if the blurryness of this photo is due to the quality of the camera or to the horizontal rain that began once I began snapping pics. With the pitch up top and the church behind the stadium, New River can be a pretty dramatic backdrop to a Rugby League game. It does really need proper floodlights for games like this though. 


A picture of the crowd. It presents a slightly misleading image of the crowded intimacy of the game because everyone ran (literally) to the back of the stand once the rain started, leaving the front of the stand empty.


See? Told you.


Say what you want about Super Skolar, but whoever was in that suit was probably padded with enough foam to actually keep them dry, unlike the rest of the stewards (Skolars local legends the Hann clan). Once again, I’d like to point out the need for proper floodlights for this game.


Alistair Campbell and the Keighley Cougars

May 25, 2009


Maybe I shouldve added more about the Cougars after all...

"Maybe I should've added more about the Cougars after all..."

Very interesting piece in the Times over the weekend by Alistair Campbell, former king of spin doctors for Labour, about a visit he made recently to Keighley Cougars. Campbell is a Keighley native, and accepted an invite from the Cougars to revisit a club he hadn’t seen play in over forty years. He presents a story of a club who have to make do without the perks of full professionalism but manage to find a way, all because of a love of the game.

Campbell does a very good job of painting the scenario that faces many clubs in the Championships: smaller crowds, limited resources and semi-professional players who have to back up playing with full-time jobs (I imagine there’s a significant number of amateur players who find it hard enough to do this, let alone having to cope with the demands of semi-professionalism) and yet he’s far from patronizing. Indeed, he shows the passion and energy that those at this level of the game exude (read Barry Eaton’s pre-match speech). He also does a good job of showing the contribution Keighley make to the local community, and the difficulties and rewards of outreach programmes for these clubs. The people at the club realise it’s not easy, but they still love doing it anyway. 

Oh, and although it’s barely related to the article, I thought I’d bring it up anyway: Keighley Cougars will be playing London Skolars in the traditional Friday Night Lights game the evening before the Challenge Cup final. If you’re in London for the final and are looking for something to do the night before, come on down. Perhaps the Skolars should invite Campbell?