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Barrow Raiders edged out by Keighley with pictures and video highlights



BARROW Raiders will take many positives from an opening pre-season defeat to Keighley Cougars.

On paper, a first loss on home soil for 12 months – their last was also in a friendly to Swinton a year ago – was not the best way to start their year.

But, just as in the 34-30 loss to the Lions, this was a game where coach Darren Holt’s main goal was to give his players game-time and assess what work needs to be done before the Championship season starts next month.

In that regard, he will have learnt a lot.

Prop Brad Brennan – now on a permanent contract at Craven Park following his dual-registration spell last season – impressed greatly in the pack, as did new recruits Matthew Haggarty and Kurt Haggerty, while full-back Dean McGilvray scored twice on his debut.

McGilvray had a few dodgy moments in defence – a key area for any number one – losing the first spiralling high ball kicked his way and knocked on another which skidded along the ground.

The former Leigh and Salford man will be eager to eliminate such blemishes from his copybook, but he showed great pace when he had the ball, particularly when claiming his second try.

The Raiders defence showed signs of its resilient best when holding their line, with play out wide and up middle.

The kicking game provided little in attacking impetus, those conditions were not perfect, and there were some lapses in concentration which allowed the Cougars to win a game that hung in the balance until the closing stages.

Good points and bad points then, but that is always to be expected in pre-season.

The first 20 minutes were mostly positive – after McGilvray spilled Scott Leatherbarrow’s steepling kick – with Haggerty showing safe hands and good pace to break half the length of the field early on.

That move was soon followed by the opening try, with Liam Harrison feeding Aaron Low to burst through from 20 metres out and score on the left.

Dan Toal produced a big hit on a Keighley man on his own line to force a drop out as the following 30 minutes were almost entirely dominated by the two defences.

It was Keighley who scored next as a fast passing move involving Leatherbarrow, Danny Jones, and Danny Lawton put Paul White over in the left corner, with the home defence caught out.

The hosts could, probably should, have led at the interval as a Liam Campbell break up the middle of the park sent them into a three-on-one advantage against full-back Craig Moss.

Campbell drew him in and passed inside to the supporting Scott Kaighan, but he bombed the pass and instead it bounced off hands and chest to ground.

The Cougars came out for the second half invigorated and went ahead as Neil Cherryholme set up a try with a break down the middle, Lawton the man who eventually crossed on the left.

Barrow responded quickly as new boy Max Wiper cantered away down the left and fed Campbell.

The half-back carried on up the left flank and passed inside to Kaighan, who was tackled 15 metres short.

Barrow probed both ways, before McGilvray took the ball and weaved through by the posts.

The home side were soon ahead as both Campbell and Harrison, half-kicked, half-tripped on the ball and hacked it towards the corner.

Wiper was next in line and he dinked it over the line and jumped on the ball to score on his debut and make it 14-10 to Raiders.

Two quick Cougars scores – the first from Joe Chandler after a Leatherbarrow break and the second from Jones as he dummied his way past his Barrow namesake – had them leading 22-14 with just eight minutes to go and looking good for the win.

Campbell had other ideas and made another fine break up the middle of the park before sending the supporting McGilvray in at pace.

But some backchat to the referee from Campbell cost Barrow a penalty and the chance of a further score, with Leatherbarrow kicking a late drop goal to round out the points.

There is much still to work on for Barrow, but plenty of time to do it, with pre-season games against BARLA and Whitehaven to come over the next two weeks.

Holt has already highlighted areas for improvement and picked out those he is happy with.

The next three weeks is about getting down to the nitty gritty and ensuring by the time they travel to Hunslet Hawks in less than a month’s time everything is ticking over nicely for the start of the season proper.

There are positive signs and much to come from this side, now it is up to them to work hard and produce.

Have your say

It's only a pre-season match lads,have a good bonding session,and look forward to a good season."go the shipbuilders'.

Posted by clive burns on 7 January 2013 at 01:12

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