Keighley Cougars, who made some statement signings before 2023 like former Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC star Luke Gale, former Hull KR centre Ben Crooks and others, have been relegated from the Betfred Championship.
The Cougars took on London Broncos today and stormed 10-0 ahead before halftime with former Leigh Leopards star Mark Ioane getting a crucial try.
But they were blown away by the Broncos in the second half who ran in five tries to pick up the win.
That defeat alone wasn’t necessarily enough to condemn them to relegation but the shock win for Swinton Lions was.
The Lions went into today’s game on the same points difference as the Cougars and the same points but they stunned Halifax Panthers 22-12.
They led 18-4 at the break but despite two tries from star Lachlan Walmsley in the second 40, the Lions clung on to a 22-12 win over the Panthers.
This ends former Warrington Wolves star Simon Grix’s time in charge on a bitter note as the club miss out on the play-offs.
It is a bitter day for Keighley too who return to League One after being promoted last year following an unbeaten league campaign.
The club showed great ambition at the start of the year but after being involved in a staunch stand against IMG they have struggled and have now succumbed to relegation tonight.
The Cougars will be replaced by Doncaster who defeated North Wales Crusaders today in the League One Play Off Final to secure promotion alongside Dewsbury Rams.
Newcastle Thunder had already been relegated from the Championship.
Swinton Lions live to fight another day and Whitehaven, who played yesterday and started today in the relegation zone, are also safe despite having the disadvantage of giving Keighley and Swinton an exact formula of how to stay up today which would have been unfair but they have seen their survival confirmed.