Barrow Raiders 54 Rochdale Hornets 10

Barrow Raiders’ near four-month winless run is over, and how, as fellow strugglers Rochdale Hornets were put to the sword at Craven Park.

‘Must-win’ was how this clash was regarded, although the majority inside will have been forgiven for thinking ‘here we go again’ when Jack Johnson gave the Hornets a fourth-minute lead.

However, this didn’t follow the all-too-familiar script of this season, as the Raiders went on to dominate, with a nine-minute hat-trick in the first half from Papua New Guinea Stargroth Amean amongst the highlights.

Nine tries were eventually chalked up by Barrow, as they recorded that long-awaited first victory since the opening day of the season at Batley.

Amean’s move to centre has been of real benefit in the last two weeks, but the real star of the show was Jamie Dallimore, who gave an absolute masterclass in goalkicking while also pulling the strings as the Raiders for once made their chances count.

All this after Rochdale broke through from their first attack as the ball was moved inside for Johnson, who slipped through some flimsy tackling to score under the posts, making Dan Abram’s conversion a simple one.

The match was level after ten minutes, however, as Alec Susino crashed towards the posts and freed his arms to off-load and give Wartovo Puara a simple finish, with Dallimore adding the goal.

Rochdale were bleeding penalties and from one, Dallimore fed the ball inside and Susino was able to go through a big gap to put the home side 12-6 in front, following Dallimore’s conversion.

The lead was soon extended as a breakaway down the right led to Jarrad Stack timing his pass and Deon Cross had a walk-in to the corner, with Dallimore converting superbly from out wide.

A fourth try followed with Barrow completely dominated, as Amean somehow kept hold of a Tee Ritson pass that was behind him before setting up Jake Spedding down the left.

And 30 points was up with just over 30 minutes played, as the bounce from Dallimore’s measured grubber beat Jono Smith, but Amean athletically ground the ball behind him.

The Hornets pulled one try back when kick hands from Johnson and Jordan Case led to Brandon Wood going in down the left, but normal service was resumed by Amean’s snipe after Dallimore was tackled just short.

There was still time for Amean to complete his hat-trick before half-time as he picked up a woeful loose Rochdale pass to run in unopposed from 80 metres right on the hooter.

The match lost a bit of intensity in the second half, but Barrow got the score ticking again with a peach of a try on 64 minutes, Nathan Mossop’s pass found the onrushing Smith, who timed his pass to send Tee Ritson clear.

The half-century was soon chalked up as another perfectly weighted kick from Dallimore found Toal in acres of space and he had the easy task of dotting down.

Barrow Raiders: Ritson, Cross, Stack, Amean, Spedding, Dallimore, Charnock, Johnson, Puara, Susino, Walne, Smith, Aspinwall.

Interchange: Mossop, Walker, D Toal, Riley

Tries: Puara 10, Susino 14, Cross 17, Spedding 27, Amean 31, 36, 40, Ritson 64, D Toal 67

Goals: Dallimore (9)

Rochdale Hornets: J Johnson, Ainscough, Case, Worthington, Wood, Baker, Abram, Mitchell, Moores, Marriott, Gillam, L Johnson, Robson.

Interchange: Coleman, Gregory, Gleeson, Carberry

Tries: J Johnson 4, Wood 33

Goals: Abram

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Attendance: 1,114

Raiders star man: Dallimore