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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Welsh raid yields treasure for Barrow

CO-OPERATIVE CHAMPIONSHIP ONE RESULT

South Wales Scorpions 24 Barrow Raiders 42

BARROW Raiders claimed a crucial three points in their quest for promotion with a hard-fought victory over South Wales.

Against opponents who had failed to score a single point in their last outing, Barrow found the going tough at the Gnoll.

They were behind for much of the first half, but produced a strong display after 20 minutes had gone and in the end claimed a comfortable victory, key to their chances of going up.

With promotion rivals Oldham slipping up at home to North Wales Crusaders, it was crucial Raiders did the business in Neath.

The game was delayed for an hour – putting a dampener on plans for a night of celebration when the players arrived back in Furness – as the match doctor failed to turn up and it took some time to find a replacement.

It looked as though the delay did no good at all for the visitors, as Ruairi McGoff gave away a needless penalty for an illegal tackle and then Andy Bracek knocked-on 30 metres from his own sticks.

It was from this second error that the Scorpions went ahead, as former Raider Nathan Mossop started a move that saw Steve Parry exchange passes with Tom Morgan and go over through a huge hole in the Barrow line out wide.

Barrow were getting nowhere fast and full-back Andy Ballard was forced back over his line to concede a drop-out when a straight run would have cleared the danger.

Raiders were made to pay as the South Wales pressure came again, with full-back Jamie Murphy dropping a shoulder and creating a hole to go through and make it 10-0.

Things went from bad to worse as a fine Martin Ostler break was well-supported by Aaron Low, only for the centre to fall awkwardly in a tackle from Murphy and Dalton Grant, lose the ball and come off injured with his left arm hanging limply by his side.

Barrow needed something to give them a boost and a penalty did just that as they were able to mount a sustained attack on the Welsh line for the first time, the result being Darren Holt’s pass picking out a rampaging James Gordon, who charged over by the posts.

Another penalty almost paid dividends as skipper Liam Harrison went for the line, but he was too ambitious in trying to ground and lost the ball in the process, relieving the pressure.

The same thing happened the next time Barrow were handed a penalty near the South Wales line, this time Ballard trying to go round the posts and losing possession as he came to the attention of the home defence.

Finally, Raiders were able to find their scoring touch as Harrison made a fine breakaway and Jack Pedley used his first touch to collect the ball and send Liam Campbell in to give them a 12-10 lead.

Liam Finch went close to scoring as he was dragged down a foot short and Barrow kept on pushing, only for their own haste to score to cost them and the gap to stay at two at the interval.

A forward pass from Campbell to Harrison – ruled by the touch judge – denied he captain a try at the start of the second period as he looked home free through a well-carved gap, with Barrow keeping the ball in the opposition half.

They eventually extended their advantage as Holt passed to Chris Larkin on the last tackle and the centre offloaded to his wingman James Nixon, who had a poacher’s finish in the corner.

Nixon was soon doubling up as Harrison and Larkin broke from halfway down the left and Larkin fed the Dalton speedster and watched as he cut back inside and ran rings round the defence from 20 yards out for his second.

Ballard was quickly in on the scoring act as he weaved his way through from 20 yards out and everything looked rosy in the Barrow garden.

But a brief blip saw a Holt kick go straight to Grant, who broke and sent Parry past Ballard for 30-16.

It was only brief though as some slick handling saw Finch send Ostler in over on the right, the second-rower going close to a second soon after but losing the ball as he went to ground. That missed chance allowed Scorpions to strike back once again, with Tom Morgan on the end of a fast passing move started by Nathan Mossop to score on his debut and make it 36-20.

Again, though, Barrow did not let their hosts build any momentum, with Ballard sending Nixon away on the right and the winger going inside to his old centre partner Harrison.

The skipper was brilliantly stopped by an Ashley Bateman tackle, but the next play saw Ballard again flummox the hosts as he swept in for his second try.

Morgan too had a brace for the hosts, a penalty for lifting in the tackle creating the chance and some slack defending aiding the debutant’s cause as he sliced through.

That was the last score though as Barrow headed back across the Welsh border with three points in the bag.

Have your say

The Beer was a bit steep,get in the real world its proper beer not that Northern rubbish.

Posted by C Gull on 8 May 2012 at 11:09

Really great set of fans from Barrow. The man in the Santa suit was a hoot! A really good team as well. Liam Harrison never stopped all match and Darren Holt was a great lynchpin. Nixon has some speed as well.
Glad everyone enjoyed themselves and look forward to seeing you again - maybe next year but not if you get promoted .. lol

Posted by Ken Ash on 7 May 2012 at 10:54

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