AS Echo and the Bunnymen once sang, nothing lasts forever. But at the very least, Barrow Raiders can come away with their heads held high after Featherstone Rovers became the first team in going on 23 months to beat them at Craven Park.

Not since a 44-16 defeat to Toulouse Olympique on Sunday, May 22, 2016, had the Raiders suffered a loss on their own patch – with even the likes of Toronto Wolfpack and Leigh Centurions trying and failing to come away with all of the points.

But even then, Featherstone did not have it all their own way by any means. For most of the match there was little to separate the teams either on the field or the scoreboard, which read 22-22 after 65 minutes.

However, Rovers showed their ruthless side in the final quarter of an hour with three quick-fire tries to take the game beyond Barrow. Nonetheless, the hosts were applauded off the pitch at the final hooter by their supporters who were fully appreciative of the effort they had put in.

That they managed to match a Featherstone side containing a host of big-name players and young players brimming with potential on dual-registration terms from Super League for so long should fill them with confidence going forward.

So too should the display from young Ryan Johnston, recalled to the professional ranks after being released at the start of the year to get game-time with his amateur club Dalton and getting his first taste of Championship rugby.

Johnston, who lined up at scrum-half due to Karl Ashall being rested, took little time to settle and more than held his own against one of the division's best sides, only being withdrawn in the closing stages due to fatigue.

His replacement in the halves, Dean Parata, had shone in his natural position of hooker as well, where he was providing relief for vice-captain Nathan Mossop off the interchange bench and was involved in much of the good work the Raiders did with the ball in hand.

The opening seconds of the match were far from an ideal start for Barrow though when the kick-off from Martyn Ridyard found touch after being left to bounce, giving Featherstone head and feed at the scrum.

Barrow's defence held firm to see out that period, with the whistle of referee Tom Crashley – something which would regularly punctuate the afternoon's proceedings – bringing that to a close for an obstruction call against the visitors on the last tackle.

The close-fought nature of the game saw the Raiders opt to kick at goal when they were awarded a close-range penalty following a shoulder charge on eight minutes, which Jamie Dallimore duly kicked.

A rare mistake from Joe Bullock, coming up with a knock-on, gave Featherstone a platform to attack from soon after though and when they were then awarded a penalty, they chose to run and shifted the ball quickly for Connor Farrell to score a try, converted by Ridyard, two minutes later.

Johnston's grubber kicks in the red zone were causing problems for Rovers which in turn led to them giving away penalties. But while Barrow could not make the most of those, they punished a knock-on in the 18th minute when Jono Smith broke the line and powered in from over 25 metres to score his first try for the club, which Dallimore converted.

Again though, Rovers hit back with some slick ball-handling which led to Luke Briscoe diving over out wide for an unconverted try on 28 minutes. Then when play was controversially called back for a knock-on after Declan Hulme came up with a seemingly legitimate interception, Rovers' handling skills led to Harry Newman grabbing his first of the match on 32 minutes.

Barrow ended the half positively though and had narrowed the deficit to two points within six minutes of the restart after Ryan Duffy showed his uncanny ability to keep rumbling forward even when surrounded by defenders to twist and dot down for a converted try.

Then Parata's converted try, coming from a scoot from dummy-half, then pushed the Raiders in front – only for a knock-on by Dallimore from the restart to give Feathestone a great position to attack from, which they duly did to set up Leeds Rhinos prospect Newman for his eighth try in five games.

Dallimore atoned for that lapse by kicking a penalty to level the scores and keep alive hopes of causing another home upset. But they were dashed by three tries; first when Ian Hardman finished for an unconverted score, the second when Ridyard scored and converted, and the third when Keal Carlile went for a tap-and-go from a penalty.

There was still time for Gene Ormsby to get an unconverted try for Barrow with three minutes left, which was swiftly followed by Featherstone's James Lockwood being sin-binned for foul play. But while the visitors were the ones celebrating at full time, Barrow were by no means disgraced.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse 7; Brett Carter 7, Declan Hulme 6, Jarrad Stack 7, Gene Ormsby 7; Jamie Dallimore 7, Ryan Johnston 7; Joe Bullock 6, Nathan Mossop 7 Alec Susino 7, Jono Smith 7, Bradd Crellin 7, Martin Aspinwall 7. Interchange: Dean Parata 8, Ryan Duffy 7, Tom Walker 7, Glenn Riley 7.

Featherstone Rovers: Ian Hardman; Luke Briscoe, Misi Taulapapa, Harry Newman, Shaun Robinson; Martyn Ridyard, Tom Holmes; Mitch Clark, Keal Carlile, Brad Knowles, Connor Farrell, Jansin Turgut, James Lockwood. Interchange: Matty Wilde, Gareth Hock, Richard Moore, Luke Cooper.

Referee: Tom Crashley.

Sin-bin: Featherstone Rovers – James Lockwood (foul play, 78).

Attendance: 1,231.

Playback: 8 – Dallimore pen (2-0); 10 – Farrell try, Ridyard conv (2-6); 18 – Smith try, Dallimore conv (8-6); 28 – Briscoe try (8-10); 32 – Newman try, Ridyard conv (8-16); 46 – Duffy try, Dallimore conv (14-16); 54 – Parata try, Dallimore conv (20-16); 56 – Newman try, Ridyard conv (20-22); 59 – Dallimore pen (22-22); 65 – Hardman try (22-26); 67 – Ridyard try and conv (22-32); 73 – Carlile try, Ridyard conv (22-38); 77 – Ormsby try (26-38).

Raiders star man: Dean Parata: Injected some dynamism into Barrow's attack when he came off the interchange bench and was involved in much of the good work they did, capping a strong display with a try.