Elliot Hall raced in for a first-half hat-trick to hand Workington Town a 14-0 lead at half time at home to Keighley Cougars in their League 1 opener.

Keighley were camped within 10 metres of Town’s line during the opening 10 minutes of the contest but the hosts looked pretty content to hold their ground and keep the visitors at arm’s length.

Alfred Seeley was brought down short of the line as he motored towards the corner in a rare moment of penetration for the Cougars, who were working the ball from side to side but finding very few openings to hurt Workington.

Having endured a sustained spell of pressure, a rare early foray forward for Town saw them break the deadlock, with Elliot Hall receiving a short pass out wide and scampering in in the corner to sore against the run of play. Carl Forber’s conversion as unsuccessful but Town led 4-0 after 18 minutes.

That sparked Town into life, with Marcus O’Brien leading them down the field again but the attack ended with Taylor Prell intercepting and looking to race down the wing but hauled down before he could enter the home side’s half.

The Cougars rallied and looked to mount another string of attacks but they were sliced apart when Hall cut out a pass and turned on the jets to race 80 metres straight down the right flank and in for his second try of the day. Forber’s kick was good this time and Town were 10-0 up after 28 minutes.

Town had been much better since they got on the scoreboard, with Keighley looking much more error-prone and struggling to build any rhythm.

They struck again before half time, with Elliott Miller bundling his way forward and slipping the ball to Hall, who wasn't going to miss out on claiming a first-half hat-trick. Forber missed the kick again but Town went into the break 14-0 up after a very good first 40 minutes of their league campaign.