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Barrow Raiders blitz Rochdale: with video highlights

  • Barrow Raiders v Rochdale Hornets Match Highlights Click Here



BARROW Raiders produced one of their finest scoring runs in years to land a knockout blow on Rochdale and claim victory at Craven Park.

Trailing 12-6 after 49 minutes and facing the prospect of a Hornets charge putting the visitors in control, Barrow turned on the style.

Inspired by half-backs Darren Holt and Liam Campbell and driven up the field by forwards Andy Bracek, Ruairi McGoff and Liam Harrison, Raiders produced a run of 32 points in 17 minutes to knock their visitors to the canvas.

Scoring with almost every set of six they had during the period, Barrow ripped the game from the grasp of Rochdale and inflicted a heavy defeat on their rivals for Championship One promotion.

The match had seemed to be swinging the way of the Hornets after they came out level at 6-6 from the half-time break and quickly went ahead for the first time through a Paul Crook try on a the back of a Dean Gorton break.

Rochdale were pinning Barrow back on their own line, but it was Crooks’ decision to kick for goal when handed a penalty 10 yards out following a McGoff high tackle that was to backfire spectacularly.

Crook missed the straightforward kick and handed Raiders the initiative.

They withstood the following Rochdale attack and when Liam Finch somehow emerged with an intercepted ball on halfway, the platform was set for Aaron Low to break and send Andy Ballard streaking away, his bright orange boots leaving a trail of bedazzled and broken Hornets in his wake.

Back level when they could have been eight points down, Barrow now proceeded to score at regular three-minute intervals and demolish their opponents in both body and spirit.

Captain Harrison laid the second score of what was to become a spree on a plate for Chris Larkin, his offload near the line requiring the centre to merely fall over the whitewash and make it 18-12.

Barrow then went from one end of the field to the other with a single set of six as they collected the restart on their own goal-line and marched up field.

On the fourth tackle, the ball came to Holt, who cleverly lobbed a kick over the Rochdale line and watched as James Nixon pursued at pace, collected and went in at the corner.

No sooner had the home spectators caught their breath, than Barrow were back camped inside the Hornets 10-metre zone and a neat little shimmy from Campbell saw him go over for his first of the afternoon.

It was becoming like clockwork now and three minutes after scoring number one, Campbell added number two.

This time, Holt played a major role, kicking not just a 40-20, but more like a 30-10 kick had Rochdale turned around and confused. Nixon could have scored himself when the gap opened for him wide on the left, but he chose to cut inside with the fans already cheering his not-take effort.

Instead, the ball went to the right and there was Campbell again, taking a neat inside pass from Holt as he ran across the line and through a hole in the defence.

Perhaps things were starting to catch up with Raiders by this point as it took them a whole five minutes to score their next four-pointer.

This time Larkin produced an audacious offload he should never have been able to manage and sent Nixon in for a second score.

From being 12-6 down, Barrow were 38-12 up in the blink of an eye. Game over Rochdale, thanks for coming.

Steve McDermott grabbed them a consolation three minutes from time, but Ballard capped the day off for Raiders as he scored his second of the afternoon, one play after his break from halfway was halted five yards short.

The events of the second half were unthinkable during a see-saw first period which neither side were able to dominate. Low – having received miraculously reviving oxygen in the first minute after taking a nasty knock while making a tackle – opened the scoring as he supported a Martin Ostler break and went in under the posts.

James Dandy spilled a Campbell pass that could have resulted in try number two and five successive sets – as Hornets conceded a wealth of penalties – led to nothing as McGoff knocked on.

Larkin produced a superb one-man tackle to stop Mark Hobson pulling a score back and John Cookson was halted on the line by a pack of Barrow defenders.

Rochdale did level matters when Crook put Danny Davies in on 25 minutes, but Barrow withstood pressure going into the break, while failing to breach the visitors’ defence themselves.

It was a tight match and all looked set for a close finish come the end of the 80 minutes.

That was until Ballard starting a scoring blitz that befuddled Rochdale and well and truly put down a marker for all teams visiting Craven Park.

Have your say

being an exile and not getting to many games I'm looking forward to seeing the Raiders away at South Wales,if anyone is thinking of going its free for kids.

Posted by Greg Rose on 24 April 2012 at 00:07

Congratulations to all - players, coach, assistant coach, back room staff, Directors. A superb win over a probable tough opponent and no bonus points to Rochdale. Well deserved win still joint top with Worky. Need to get the points difference widened.
Well Done!

Posted by Terence Coupe on 23 April 2012 at 08:27

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