Distington Coach Carl Hewer was left proud of his player’s efforts in their battling Challenge Cup defeat to League One side Keighley.

Bar a 15-minute spell in the second half where Keighley blew Distington away to seal their victory, the amateur side matched their semi-professional opponents throughout the game.

And Hewer felt that the performance by his players put in is one they can be proud off going into the rest of the season.

“The boys were absolutely outstanding from 1 to 17 today and put their bodies on the line for 80 minutes.

“We came here with a goal to curb the betting handicap of 44 points and in the end were disappointed we didn’t come away with the victory,” he said.

“The goal now is to make sure that we don’t have a back up from this game similar to Wigan after the World Club Challenge.

“We’ve got a big game against our nearest rivals next week in Ellenborough and the goal is to keep going, win the league and qualify for the cup next season so we can have more days like today.”

The Distington coach also heaped praise on Keighley’s former Great Britain international forward Jamie Thackray, who he felt changed the game when Distington had the Cougars rattled.

“We felt that [ex-Workington Town] Jamie Thackray made a big impact off the bench for Keighley in the first half other than that I don’t feel that there was much in the game.

“The lads don’t get the opportunity to play against legends of the game who have won everything like Jamie so to step up and match the Keighley players is something we can be extremely proud off.

“So for a small amateur team like us to push a pro team all the way like that is a great achievement for everyone involved with Distington.”