The very spooky symmetry of Doncaster RLFC's defining games against Keighley

Sport has a habit of throwing up some very strange quirks of fate but how about this one involving promotion-chasing Doncaster RLFC?

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 1:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 2:11 pm
Liam Johnson, left, celebrates his last gasp try at Keighley to level the scores. Picture by Howard Roe/

The Dons are preparing for their biggest game in almost a decade at Workington Town in the Betfred League One play-off final on Sunday.

Richard Horne’s side have so far beaten Hunslet, North Wales Crusaders and Keighley Cougars in the play-offs.

And it was last weekend’s incredible last gasp win over at Keighley which produced a weirdly familiar outcome to the league meeting between the same two sides just a few weeks earlier.

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Ironically, both games ended in exactly in the same scoreline: 28-26 to the away side.

But the bizarre symmetry goes way, way beyond that.

Doncaster had trailed for the entirety of last Sunday’s game until Jake Sweeting slotted over his match-winning conversion with the last kick of the game.

Similarly, Keighley had been behind for 75 minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium before winning it at the death.

But there’s more!

And this is where it gets really strange – because the scoring pattern in both games was virtually identical.

Incredibly, both games saw the home team lead 12-0 and then 14-12 at half time.

Weirdly, both home teams then went 26-12 up before losing 26-28.

How about that for coincidence? Or was it fate?

Ben Cockayne was harshly sent off and Doncaster had to play the majority of the game at the Keepmoat with 12 men. His red card was later rescinded.

The Dons had every right to feel aggrieved at the defeat which saw them drop to fifth in the final table and handed them a much tougher route in the play-offs.

So perhaps it was written in the stars for last weekend’s comeback victory to play out in remarkably familiar circumstances. Or perhaps it was just plain spooky.

Doncaster will certainly be hoping history repeats itself this weekend. They beat Workington twice during the regular season, winning 26-24 at Derwent Park in May.