IT WAS a Ricoh Arena debut to remember for Coventry Bears who but on a brave fight against Keighley Cougars but ultimately fell short following a 16-36 defeat.
In front of a record crowd of 1,097 for a Coventry Bears game, the home side fell behind with 14 minutes played after Adam Brook registered the first points of the game before Vinny Finigan made it 8-0 to the second-placed Cougars on 26 minutes.
The pressure was beginning to show for both sides and the game changed when Bears’ Joel James and Cougars’ Liam Darville were sent to the sin-bin.
The resulting penalty went to the away side and they scored a crucial try through Ash Lindsay before the game was put to bed moments later when Paul White crossed and Hamish Barnes rounded off the scoring for the Cougars.
Brook converted two of the three late tries to add a gloss to the final scoreline but it was a performance the Bears could be proud of on a ground-breaking day for the sport in Coventry.