A CONVERTED try from Dan Toal 10 minutes into the second half saw Barrow Raiders hold Toronto Wolfpack to an 8-8 draw which was no less than their efforts deserved in a close-fought Betfred Championship encounter at a muddy Craven Park.

There was little to choose between the teams at half time, with Jamie Dallimore kicking the hosts ahead from a penalty and Andrew Dixon replying with an unconverted try as Toronto led 4-2 at the break.

The Canadians pushed further ahead soon after the restart when Nick Rawsthorne forced his way over out wide, but the elder Toal brother was on hand to grab the score which helped earned the Raiders a share of the spoils.

There were two changes to the Barrow side from the 56-12 defeat at London Broncos as Tom Loxam replaced Andy Litherland in the centre and Karl Ashall came in for Lewis Charnock at scrum-half due to injuries.

The match had been subject to a pitch inspection in the morning, but was passed fit by the referee. However, the snow and hail in the hours prior to kick off meant the conditions were hardly conducive to slick, running rugby.

Consequently, there were few opportunities for either team in the opening quarter, with the closest either side came during that period being in the second minute when Toronto prop Jack Buchanan dropped the ball while close to the line.

After doing some sterling work in defence, Barrow took the lead in the 19th minute when a penalty for a high tackle led to Dallimore slotting over a penalty from 35 metres out to give the hosts a two-point lead.

However, a penalty for offside followed by a Raiders player showing dissent to referee Gareth Hewer saw the Wolfpack given the perfect platform to attack and they duly took advantage when Andrew Dixon crashed over for an unconverted score.

The visitors were unable to make any further inroads though, despite Ryan Brierley kicking a 40/20, and their frustrations began to show as the Raiders held firm before the hooter sounded for half time.

The signs were ominous for the home side early in the first half when a knock-on by Jarrad Stack led to Quentin Laulu-Togagae setting up centre Rawsthorne to power over in the corner, although once again Ryan Brierley was unable to convert.

Barrow kept plugging away though and their efforts were rewarded in the 55th minute when Laulu-Togaga fumbled, Dallimore kicked through and second row Toal chased it down to score the team’s first-ever try against the Wolfpack, with stand-off Dallimore adding the extras.

The Raiders sensed blood and Dallimore had a drop-goal attempt blocked with six minutes to go. However, that proved the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock and Barrow held out to secure a famous draw against the full-timers.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Declan Hulme, Tom Loxam, Shane Toal; Jamie Dallimore, Karl Ashall; Joe Bullock, Dean Parata, Alec Susino, Jarrad Stack, Jono Smith, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Nathan Mossop, Tom Walker, Glenn Riley, Dan Toal.

Toronto Wolfpack: Quentin Laulu-Togagae; Liam Kay, Greg Worthington, Nick Rawsthorne, Adam Higson; Josh McCrone, Ryan Brierley; Jack Buchanan, Bob Beswick, Jack Bussey, Andrew Dixon, Richard Whiting, Jacob Emmitt. Interchange: Andy Ackers, Oisi Krasniqi, Adam Sidlow, Blake Wallace.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.