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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Great Scott - Kaighan hat-trick seals Raiders win

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt was happy for his injury-ravaged Barrow Raiders squad to do it the hard way once more as they won at Gateshead.

Barrow eventually triumphed 40-18 in South Shields, with two late tries from Scott Kaighan – part of a hat-trick – putting a gloss on the end result.

The league leaders were made to battle for all they were worth against Championship One’s basement side, with only 16 men taking to the field and three of them – Liam Harrison, James Dandy and Liam Finch – doing so injured.

“That was doing it the hard way,” said the Barrow boss, an unused substitute at Filtrona Park due to his groin injury.

“We went into the game with three people carrying injuries among the 17 and as soon as we got into the game, Martin Ostler took a knock early doors and was limping round the pitch.

“I went into it with an injury – and unless something drastic happened, I was never going to play – and the likes of Lee Haney, with his shoulder, and Liam Harrison, with his ankle – the list goes on.

“Doing it tough is a bit of a cliché, but that’s exactly what it’s turning out to be for us and, unfortunately, I foresee it being that way for at least the next week or so as well.”

The victory took Barrow’s unbeaten run to six matches and increased their advantage at the top of the table to two points.

They now lead second-placed county rivals Workington with 10 games of the 18-match season gone and Holt was pleased to keep up the winning streak in difficult circumstances.

“I think in seasons gone by, when the team found themselves in this kind of situation, the result could very easily have gone the other way,” said the Barrow coach, whose side also scored tries through Lee Haney, James Nixon, Jamie Butler and Ryan Shaw.

“This year, the lads are all a very good bunch, they all know each other very well and they will stump up and play for each other.

“This wasn’t a vintage performance by any means – I thought if we had just kept things simpler and ramped up the intensity, we could have made it a bit more comfortable.

“But credit to Gateshead – they came out, they were very physical, especially up the middle of the park, and they certainly threw themselves in and put their bodies on the line.

“If I could have substituted some of that from their players into my players, then it would have been a lot more comfortable.

“But we got there. The last 10 minutes, we always seem to dig deep, have a lot in reserve and that’s when we start playing – it makes the scoreline look a lot more comfortable than it actually was.”

As well as scoring seven tries, Raiders had three ruled out in their win, with Liam Harrison, Shaw and Kaighan all denied by the officials.

Holt was clearly unhappy with some of the decisions on an afternoon when Harrison also took an elbow to the jaw and added: “I really am not one for questioning referee’s decisions. It’s a hard job and I know I wouldn’t like to do it, but some of the decisions really baffled me out there.

“But it happens in rugby and I have no doubt it will happen again.”

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