Captain Corne Els scored two tries as Furness showed plenty of fight against Cumbria Division One leaders St Benedicts before going down to a 41-29 defeat at the Strawberry Grounds.

The match came just three weeks after the Blues had been well beaten 57-12 in the twice-rearranged reverse fixture and this proved to be much more of a contest, as the hosts repeatedly fought their way back.

Bennies came down to Barrow in formidable form and it was they who struck first after ten minutes through a catch and drive try that came after a line-out throw that didn’t look straight.

It looked as though this match would be going according to the form book, as two quick tries opened up a 17-0 lead for the visitors after 25 minutes.

Furness hit back well, however, as scrum-half James Howden raced in from 35 metres before Els went over from a five-metre scrum to reduce the gap to seven points.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Bennies regained control as a fourth try before half-time to turn around 24-10, but Furness kept battling away after half-time and Els had his second try when he got on the end of a delicate kick ahead by fly-half Euan James.

Howden added the conversion but the visitors continued to keep the Blues at arm’s length as they struck again, taking advantage of some slack defending off a line-out.

Furness were stealing possession off Bennies’ line-outs, though, and secured a try bonus point of their own when Ben Hughes rounded off an excellent passing move to score in the corner.

Bennies finally made certain of their win with a couple more tries before Kurt Ibell, on his home debut, gave Furness the final word