Dewsbury Rams 40 Barrow Raiders 26

After doing so well to get themselves back in the thick of the battle to avoid relegation, Barrow Raiders undid a lot of their recent good work as they collapsed in the second half of their crunch clash at Dewsbury Rams.

Twice the Raiders led by ten points at the Tetley’s Stadium, but they proceeded to concede 30 points in the final half-hour, giving away penalty after penalty in the process.

That was a scenario few of the travelling contingent would have seen coming after Jamie Dallimore’s penalty had put them 20-10 ahead, but they’ll now know their team have a mountain to climb.

While this defeat isn’t terminal – two points now separate the two teams in the Championship – Barrow’s margin of error has now narrowed dramatically. Quite simply, they cannot afford any more meltdowns like this.

All this after the produced a stunning start in West Yorkshire when Wartovo Puara stayed on the shoulder of Alec Susino and got on the end of his off-load to cross the whitewash.

After ten minutes, the Raiders were 10-0 up and flying when the ball was worked wide following a scrum to Deon Cross, who sped into the corner from 30 metres out. Dallimore’s conversion sailed wide this time.

The Rams eventually found their feet, and clawed their way back level with two quick tries, as Conor McGrath collected Paul Sykes’ high kick to score before Dom Speakman went over near the posts. Dallimore’s penalty gave Barrow a 12-10 half-time lead, and within two minutes of the restart, that lead was extended through a fantastic individual try from winger Tee Ritson.

Receiving the ball 20 metres from his own line, Ritson dodged a couple of flimsy tackles and into open space and from there, there was no stopping the speedster, despite the best efforts of Rob Worrincy to chase him down.

Dallimore then tagged on another two points with a penalty from in front of the posts after a high shot on Dan Toal, who had to come off as a result, to put the Raiders 20-10 ahead.

Dewsbury were proving difficult to shake off and they reduced the deficit again when a quick play the ball caught Barrow off-guard, leading to Owen Trout going in at the corner.

An equalising try quickly followed, as the ball was moved left followed a powerful run by Tom Garratt with Sykes putting Adam Ryder through a gap to score.

Sykes’ goal levelled the match at 20-20 and with the Raiders leaking penalties, he gave them the lead for the first time in the game with a kick from 30 metres out on the hour mark.

Barrow’s world was collapsing around them and they conceded again when Sykes went in under the posts and with the hosts now rampant, Michael Knowles crashed over from close range.

The Raiders gave themselves some late hope when Ritson produced a great finish on the stretch, but that was quickly snuffed out when Knowles’ pass let in McGrath for his second.

Dewsbury Rams: Martin, Worrincy, O Trout, Ryder, McGrath, Sykes, Finn, Sheriffe, Speakman, Igbinedion, Waite-Pullan, Knowles, K Trout.

Interchange: Day, Walshaw, Reilly, Garratt.

Tries: McGrath 20, 77, Speakman 24, O Trout 51, Ryder 54, Sykes 64, Knowles 69

Goals: Sykes (3), Finn (2)

Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Stack, Amean, Cross, Dallimore, White, Johnson, Puara, Susino, Smith, Morrow, Walne.

Interchange: Johnston, Aspinwall, Walker, D Toal.

Tries: Puara 4, Cross 10, Ritson 42, 74

Goals: Dallimore (5)

Referee: Jack Smith

Attendance: 856

Raiders star man: Tee Ritson