Doncaster RLFC's promotion hopes dented by Keighley defeat

Doncaster RLFC led for 75 minutes against Keighley but lost 26-28 – and the defeat has serious ramifications on the play-offs.

Action from Doncaster RLFC v Keighley. Photo: Rob Terrace
Action from Doncaster RLFC v Keighley. Photo: Rob Terrace

Richard Horne’s side dropped from third to fifth in the final Betfred League One standings as a result of losing the last game of the regular season.

They must now host Hunslet in a play-off eliminator next weekend.

Had they finished third or fourth they would have played in the play-off qualifier – knowing that the loser would still get a second bite of the cherry against the winner of the eliminator in the semi-finals.

The Dons burst out of the blocks with Oli Greensmith touching down after two minutes and Tom Halliday then going over to help the home side establish an early 12-0 lead.

However, Ben Cockayne was sent off for an incident in the tackle and Keighley’s numerical advantage would eventually prove to be telling.

Cougars fought back to trail 14-12 at half time and, despite Jake Sweeting scoring twice in quick succession to extend Doncaster’s lead to 26-12, the visitors piled on the pressure and went over three times in the final 12 minutes to claim an impressive comeback win.

Keighley will now travel to North Wales in the qualifier.

Barrow have been promoted as champions, while second-placed Workington will face the winners of the qualifier in the other semi-final.