IT is often said the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, although a third is looking like it might be that Barrow Raiders can always rely on the boot of Jamie Dallimore in pressure situations.

For the second time this year, the half-back secured his side a share of the spoils against Swinton Lions by kicking a late penalty – this time with the final play of the game – in yesterday’s Betfred Championship encounter at Heywood Road.

There had been nothing to separate the teams when they met at Craven Park on Easter Monday, both literally and metaphorically, after that contest finished in a 16-16 draw and it proved the case when they renewed hostilities on the Lions’ turf.

Hostilities being a very apt word in this case, because there were several occasions when tempers frayed, leading to Barrow having Dan Toal sin-binned for a high tackle in the first half and then Swinton having George Tyson exiled to the sidelines for 10 minutes when he hit Toal on the ground.

Dallimore, though, remained calm as ever when all seemed lost and stroked over the kick just after the final hooter sounded, with Barrow having battled from inside their own half with under a minute-and-a-half to play.

The Lions will once again look back on this as a missed opportunity to get that elusive first win on the board, not least because they could well have done that had former Barrow man Chris Hankinson not missed four out of five conversion attempts.

Not that anyone associated with the Raiders will be feeling too sorry for their former player in the wider context though. Professional sport, particularly professional rugby league, is an unforgiving environment where results are all that matter.

In the grand scheme of things, a solitary point will be more welcome for Barrow as it edges them ever-closer to securing their Championship status for next year. Perhaps even more important is that they earned it with something of a patched-up side.

Joe Bullock and Glenn Riley being unable to recover from injuries sustained in the win at home to Dewsbury Rams the previous week meant skipper Martin Aspinwall had to line up at prop rather than his usual loose forward position and he led by example with a typically courageous performance.

Ryan Johnston too was playing with a knee injury and Matty While was limited to around 12 minutes off the interchange bench as head coach Paul Crarey sought to balance the demands of the match with the precocious back row talent.

The signs were this was going to be another close-fought contest between the two teams were there in the opening exchanges as both sets of players ran hard against each other in the sweltering heat, only for handling errors and penalties to prevent them from making the most of their opportunities.

It was Barrow who drew first blood on 16 minutes though on the back of an attack which was kept going by some superb offloading from Alec Susino, Jarrad Stack and Dallimore.

It initially appeared that had broken down when Ryan Fieldhouse opted to go alone rather than utilise Jono Smith outside of him, but the full-back somehow managed to squirm loose from a gang-tackle and force his way over for a try which Dallimore converted.

Swinton hit back six minutes later through centre Tyson, who powered through a gap in the line and raced in from over 50 metres to score an unconverted try out wide. Then when Toal was sin-binned, the influential Brad Billsborough sent Rhodri Lloyd through for a second on 33 minutes.

That was followed two minutes later by Dalton youth product Liam Paisley – on loan with the Lions from Wigan Warriors – taking further advantage of the Raiders being down to 12 with a try which this time Hankinson converted.

But on the stroke of half time, the Raiders worked an attack which saw the ball shipped wide for Fieldhouse to send Shane Toal over in the right corner, with Dallimore converting from the touchline.

A penalty from Dallimore after Barrow had forced a drop-out on the first set of the second half levelled the scores, but Paisley’s second unconverted score on 55 minutes saw Swinton regain the lead.

The match continued to ebb and flow, and when Tyson was shown a yellow card Barrow took advantage as lively hooker Dean Parata showed good turn of foot to ghost through the defence for a converted try on the hour.

The Raiders could not make more of the man advantage though and when Tyson returned to the field he made an arcing run which was not picked up and ran onto Billsborough’s pass to score and put Swinton two clear.

Try as they might, Barrow could not unlock Swinton’s stoic defence on their line. But when referee Steve Race spotted an infringement against Smith just seconds from full time, Dallimore stepped up and shut out the booing and heckling from the home faithful to slot over the decisive kick.

Swinton Lions: Gabriel Fell; Michael Butt, Chris Hankinson, George Tyson, Ilias Bergal; Brad Billsborough, Jack Hansen; Andy Bracek, Luke Waterworth, Ben Austin, Rhodri Lloyd, Liam Paisley, William Hope. Interchange: Joshua Barlow, Hayden Hansen, Andy Thornley, Kyle Shelford.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse 7; Brett Carter 7, Declan Hulme 6, Tom Loxam 6, Shane Toal 7; Jamie Dallimore 8, Ryan Johnston 6; Alec Susino 7, Nathan Mossop 8, Martin Aspinwall 8, Jono Smith 7, Jarrad Stack 7, Bradd Crellin 6. Interchange: Dean Parata 8, Dan Toal 6, Matty While 6, Ryan Duffy 7.

Referee: Steve Race.

Sin-bin: Swinton Lions: George Tyson (foul play, 54-64); Barrow Raiders: Dan Toal (high tackle, 29-39).

Attendance: 656.

Playback: 16 – Fieldhouse try, Dallimore conv (0-6); 22 – Tyson try (4-6); 33 – Lloyd try (8-6); 35 – Paisley try, Hankinson conv (14-6); 38 – S Toal try, Dallimore conv (14-12); 43 – Dallimore conv (14-14); 55 – Paisley try (18-18); 60 – Parata try, Dallimore conv (18-20); 68 – Tyson try (22-20); 80 – Dallimore pen (22-22).

Raiders star man: Jamie Dallimore – Kept his cool at the crucial moment to land the penalty which earned Barrow a share of the spoils and pulled the strings in the halves as usual.