Barrow Raiders endured a difficult afternoon in Newcastle upon Tyne as they were beaten 36-24 by Newcastle Thunder on their final away outing of the season.
A battered and bruised Raiders squad were dragged into a physical battle against a Thunder side with nothing to lose, adding another twist in the fight for survival in the Betfred Championship.
It was the hosts who took the initiative forcing the Raiders into defensive duties early on, with their pressure paying dividends 11 minutes into the game when Gideon Boafo touched down in the left corner.
The Raiders began to find their feet shortly after this, applying their own pressure on the Thunder line, but this was halted following a sin-binning for both teams which saw Luke Broadbent sit out for 10 minutes.
Thunders’ attempts to rough the Raiders about resulted in Robert Tuliatu receiving a yellow card, as they played a brief part of the game with 11 men.
The Raiders would follow suit when Josh Wood was sin-binned seven minutes from half time, and shortly thereafter, Alex Donaghy broke through the Barrow line, running 30 metres to record their second try of the game.
With just 20 seconds to go before half time, Thunder would capitalise on a poor defensive live from the Raiders who left a large gap on the wing for Alex Clegg to dot over, as both teams headed into the sheds at 14-0.
The second half would start in the same fashion as the first when Donaghy burst through down the right wing to touchdown for his second of the afternoon.
Barrow would finally make their mark on the game after playing at pace allowed Andrew Bulman to crash over in the left corner, but their celebrations would be short-lived when the hosts hit back with two quickfire tries after errors in possession from the Raiders.
Paul Crarey’s men indicated a semblance of a remarkable comeback with two of their own back-to-back tries from Bulman and Broadbent before Thunder dashed any hopes of this with another try on the 70-minute mark.
The game would end on a positive note for the Raiders when a sustained period of pressure allowed Adam Jackson to cross over for his first try in Barrow colours.
Should results not go in favour of the Raiders, the defeat at Kingston Park means that the fight for survival in the Betfred Championship will be decided on the final day of the season, when York City Knights visit the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium on Sunday 24 September.
Tickets for that fixture can be bought here.
NEWCASTLE THUNDER 36
Tries: Boafo (2), Donaghy (2), Clegg, Bailey, Burns
Goals: William (4)
BARROW RAIDERS 24
Tries: Bulman (2), Broadbent, Jackson
Goals: Shaw (4)
Head coach Paul Crarey shares his thoughts following Saturday’s defeat in the North-East.
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