Barrow cruised to a fourth successive victory to go top of League One yesterday as previous leaders Workington Town went down 24-26 at home to Doncaster.

The Raiders ran in eight tries with two spectacular length-of-the-field efforts from Tee Ritson and fellow winger Shane Toal.

The home side never had to get out of second gear as the Crusaders didn’t have a lot to offer and only registered their points in the final three minutes.

The Raiders took the game to the men from North Wales and were ahead with only four minutes on the clock. Former Widnes star Patrick Ah Van put in a high shot on Jarrad Stack and from the tap penalty Carl Forster sent out a neat ball to Adam Walne, who crashed over for Jake Carter to convert 6-0.

It was the Welsh side who were next to apply pressure, with Gav Rodden being held up as Barrow’s defence stood firm. Forster and Tom Hopkins were both denied, both being held up by an under-pressure defence.

Having held out they went upfield with former Barrow favourite Jono Smith making good yards but again there was no way through a tight defensive line.

Smith was to leave the field with a wrist injury as Barrow doubled their tally to 12-0. A penalty for offside enabled Johnston and Creswell to combine and send Mark Tyson in at the corner, Carter adding the conversion.

A high kick to the corner from Johnston saw Shane Toal hit the ball at speed but just failed to gather cleanly with the line open.

Then came a massive roar from the home fans, baking in glorious sunshine, as Tee Ritson shrugged off a would-be tackler to pull clear and go in from eight yards, Carter obliging with the kick 18-0.

Sam Dowsett came on for his first outing in a Barrow shirt and soon made his mark. He followed a break from Callum Bustin and parted to Jake Carter to cross and convert, 24-0 at the break.

Seven minutes into the second period Carter was the provider for Stack to crash over, no goal 28-0.

Shane Toal almost got on the score-sheet but was bundled into touch as he dived over the white-wash.

The Crusaders were never in the hunt, but a dangerous break from Ah Van was halted with a superb Ritson tackle. Barrow soon added to their tally when swift hands along the line saw Johnston send Tyson skipping through the cover 32-0.

The visitors were denied opening their account when Tyme Dow-Nikau dotted the ball down over the home line but referee Mr Moors ruled he had lost possession. And when Crusaders tried to get in at the other corner, a long pass was intercepted by Shane Toal, the winger juggling with the ball before galloping 90 yards despite Ah Van giving chase, Carter converting 38-0. Creswell went in for try number eight with Carter’s touchline kick sailing between the posts 44-0.

A clean sheet was on the cards as the clock ticked down, however with three minutes left on the clock Rob Masson and Nikau went in for unconverted tries.


Man of the Match: Jake Carter.

Team: Creswell, S Toal, Hulme, Tyson, Ritson, Carter, Johnston, Forster, Mossop, Walne, Hopkins, Stack, Harrison. Subs used: Dowsett, D Toal, Morrow, Bustin.

Attendance: 1,915.