AT half time during yesterday's Betfred Championship clash at Craven Park, Barrow Raiders' imperious home looked in serious danger of coming to an end against a team which had yet to chalk up a win this season.

The hosts found themselves 18-4 down at half time, having been given the run-around by a Sheffield Eagles side eager to both avenge last week's Challenge Cup fourth-round defeat on the same ground and breathe some life into their flat-lining season.

Yet after some uncharacteristic slack defence plus costly handling errors in the Eagles' 20 metres, the second half could not have been more different as Barrow ratcheted up the pressure with a more direct approach and ran in an incredible 32 points to clinch a welcome victory.

As has often been the case for the Raiders, Shane Toal was the man who came to the fore in terms of scoring with a second-half hat-trick. But it was elder brother Dan, coming off the interchange bench, who got the ball rolling with a try two minutes after the restart, and helped lead the fightback with trademark hard running and equally-unyielding work in defence.

The two points came at a cost though as for the second week in a row, Barrow had a man stretchered off and taken to hospital. This time it was Luke Cresswell, who suffered a suspected broken leg in the second half and looks set to be ruled out for some time as a result.

Andy Litherland suffered a pectoral tear which means he is likely to miss the Good Friday trip to Halifax as well, but he still put in a warrior-like showing before finally being forced to leave the field in the closing stages – and it was his unconverted score which kept the home side in the game during the first half.

Cresswell's injury meant a reshuffle too as Ryan Fieldhouse switched back to his usual position of full-back and Karl Ashall had to deputise in the halves. Lesser teams may well have faltered, but one hallmark of Paul Crarey's Raiders side is they never give up in the face of adversity.

American golfer Bobby Jones once said his own sport is one played on a five-and-a-half-inch course in between your ears, but having the right mentality is key in any sport – particularly the higher up you progress.

And as much as the basic skills, tactics and process are important, sometimes it is that correct mindset which gives a team the edge. Coaches talk about those intangible aspects such as character, passion and determination, and the Raiders showed all of those to come from behind and secure two valuable Championship points.

Of course, it may well be argued they should not have left themselves a mountain to climb in the first place, but this was a much different Sheffield side to the one they faced a week prior.

Dual-registered St Helens trio Jack Spedding, James Bentley and Jack Ashworth all returned to the line-up for the visitors, as did prolific winger Garry Lo and Cory Aston – both of whom are back at the club on loan from Castleford Tigers.

It was Spedding who had a hand in Sheffield's first try on 11 minutes, streaking down the right wing after the ball had been worked out to him and then setting up Ben Blackmore to score in the corner followed by Aston converting.

A second converted try followed six minutes later after Brett Carter had been sin-binned for holding down in his efforts to halt a counter-attack, with Matty Fozard scooping up a loose ball close to the line and racing over to score close to the posts.

And the third came when the Eagles again tore through the defence for Spedding to set up Lo – Simon Brown adding the extras this time.

Litherland gave Barrow hope after they were restored to 13, barging through for his score after being set up by Jono Smith, but it was the elder Toal's try two minutes into the second half – converted by Carter – which really sparked the comeback.

The gap was narrowed to two points on 51 minutes when Dean Parata's pass sent Ryan Duffy rumbling over for a converted score and winger Toal's first try, which flowed through the hands of Fieldhouse and Declan Hulme first, saw them edge ahead by two points.

The Scotland international made his second try on his own, scooping up the ball inside his own half following a knock-on and leaving the Sheffield defence trailing in his way as he raced away to score behind the posts, giving Carter an easy shot at goal.

Joe Bullock got in on the act in the 68th minute, taking a pass from Danny Morrow after he made a break, and Toal completed his haul five minutes from time after again being set up by Hulme.

Papua New Guinea star Lo did manage a second for the Eagles on the last play of the game, yet it was Barrow who were celebrating when the hooter sounded to bring to a close an encounter which will live long in the memory.

Barrow Raiders: Luke Cresswell 7; Shane Toal 8, Declan Hulme 7, Andy Litherland 8, Brett Carter 6; Ryan Fieldhouse 6, Dean Parata 6; Joe Bullock 7, Karl Ashall 6, Tom Walker 7, Jono Smith 7, Danny Morrow 7, Alec Susino 7. Interchange: Nathan Mossop 7, Glenn Riley 7, Dan Toal 8, Ryan Duffy 7.

Sheffield Eagles: Ryan Millar; Garry Lo, Josh Toole, Jack Spedding, Ben Blackmore; Cory Aston, Simon Brown; Matt James, Matty Fozard, Jon Magrin, James Bentley, Oliver Davies, Jack Ashworth. Greg Burns, Mark Offerdahl, Oscar Thomas, Shaun Pick.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths.

Sin-bin: Barrow Raiders – Brett Carter (professional foul, 15).

Attendance: 1,210.

Playback: 11 – Blackmore try, Aston conv (0-6); 17 – Fozard try, Aston conv (0-12); 22 – Lo try, Aston conv (0-18); 28 – Litherland try (4-18); 42 – D Toal try, Carter conv (10-18); 51 – Duffy try, Carter conv (16-18); 59 – S Toal try (20-18); 66 – S Toal try, Carter conv (26-18); 68 – Bullock try, Carter conv (32-18); 75 – S Toal try (36-18); 80 – Lo try (36-22).

Raiders star man: Andy Litherland: Showed great resilience in both attack and defence even when things were going against Barrow in the first half, and got the try which gave them a glimmer of hope they could get back into the match.