Barrow Raiders 50 Coventry Bears 6
Barrow Raiders overwhelmed Coventry Bears in the opening stages at Craven Park.
Paul Crarey’s side were strong favourites pre-match and things very much went to the form book as the Raiders scored five tries in the first 22 minutes in their first home league fixture of the season.
While the final score wasn’t a total blow-out, it was still a successful afternoon for the Toal family, as Shane and Dan both went over the whitewash twice, with Barrow scoring nine tries in total.
It took just four minutes for the Raiders to opening the scoring as the ball was worked right through the hands of Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston and Declan Hulme before Shane Toal had an easy finish in the corner.
Before Coventry had known what had hit them, Carl Forster slipped through a couple of flimsy tackles before his pass sent Bradd Crellin, making his first start of the season, strolling under the posts.
Just 12 minutes had been played by the time Barrow had their third try when from a scrum, Mark Tyson was given all kinds of space to time his pass to give Tee Ritson a walk-in down the left.
It wasn’t long until Tyson got in on the act himself, crashing over down the left after a trademark charge by Jono Smith.
Luke Cresswell was the next player to help himself to the buffet, as he strolled over the whitewash after Hulme battled his way towards the line off the last tackle before off-loading.
Barrow went over for one more score before the half-time break. and it was well-worked, as Johnston fed the ball inside for Cresswell, who waited for Dan Toal to get on his shoulder before passing to send the second-rower barrelling over to take the score to 36-0.
Just as he’d done in the first half, Shane Toal got the Raiders ticking over again in the second, as he went over in the corner again after being put in by Danny Morrow, with Dallimore off target for once with the conversion.
The weather had now taken a turn for the worse, but Dallimore got his name on the list of try scorers when he went himself from ten metres out.
Scores weren’t quite coming as regularly now and Barrow were temporarily reduced to 12 men after 61 minutes when Dan Toal was sin-binned for tripping an opponent. While he was off the field, Coventry finally got themselves on the board when Liam Welham forced his way over from close range, with Brad Clavering added the conversion.
The intensity had gone out of the game by this point, but the Raiders roused themselves for one more try with just over a minute left when Dan Toal chased down Johnston’s kick to claim his second.
Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Hulme, Tyson, S Toal, Dallimore, Johnston, Forster, Puara, Walne, Smith, Hopkins, Crellin.
Interchange: Carter, Morrow, D Toal, Duffy.
Coventry Bears: Hill, Freeman, Welham, Thornton, Rance, Punchard, Smith, Moran, Cullimore, Ryan, Clavering, Kaufman, Gray
Interchange: Langton, Bradshaw, Budd, Harber.
Referee: Andy Sweet
Report courtesy of Matt Wright