Furness Raiders come of age with thrilling win over Barrow and District
Furness Raiders 54 Barrow and District Select 6
The Furness Raiders coaching staff left Craven Park with a feeling of satisfaction after watching their academy kids romp to a stunning victory over a Barrow and District select.
However it was not the scoreline which impressed head coach Darren Carter most, but the manner in which they executed their play in the pre-season friendly ahead of the College League season which kicks off on October 5 at Loughborough.
The under-19s were slick in attack and defended valiantly when they needed to, especially in the early stages, of a match split into three 25 minute period so Carter could run the rule over all of his 26 players.
“I am absolutely buzzing, I am really satisfied, not about the score, but just about the performance,” said Carter after the game on Wednesday.
The youngsters quickly made an impression opening their account in the fourth minute when Jake Carter’s neat grubber kick saw half-back partner Ryan Johnson make the most of the opportunity to score.
Barrow and District came back strongly eventually creating space in the youngsters’ defence for Kieran Chadwick to score with Brad Jackson adding the extras.
But the academy side, playing some slick attacking rugby proved hard to contain with Carter sidestepping his way through for the first of his two touchdowns before Joe Crarey also claimed the first of his brace.
After some early sparring in the second period, Blain Marwood came into his own providing some silky skills and was rewarded when he scored and converted his own try with James Lashmar completing an exciting passage of play to produce the goods in the corner.
There was no let-up from Furness Raiders in third period, battled out in rainy conditions, with Tyler Batty, Marwood, Crarey and Carter all going over the whitewash.
Johnson proved to be deadly with the boot with Jake Carter also kicking a conversion.
Coach Carter – who has guided the squad since their inception last season – was flattered by the comments of rival coach Grahame Dale after the game.
“He said what a massive difference from when we played you the last time. He said your team has really developed and matured, and that was probably the most rewarding thing really,” said Carter.
“In some parts of the game we looked really sharp, we looked like we could score tries and we looked pretty organised, so we were pretty pleased with that side of things.
“Attacking they definitely worked well together, defensively we have got loads to work on we haven’t done anything to be fair. Paddy Maher has had them to do the fitness work.
“I thought the game was a little bit soon but it was a blowout for everybody, everybody in the whole squad got plenty of game time in the positions that they play.
“We have got loads to work on but we are really happy where we are and we look forward to the games coming up.
“In the second group I think there were four that are 16 and they are still playing under-16s. I was asking them how they felt and they said it was fantastic stepping up with the older lads.”
He added: “The groundwork has been done there has been a lot of effort been put in place and hopefully in one or two years there will be some who will be playing in the first team. I don’t see any reason why there is not.
Sponsors are being sought for the players as Carter added: If there is anyone out there who wants to sponsor a player – it is only £50 – they will be the sponsor for the whole year.”
Furness Raiders: First period – Ross Clayton, Robert Shepard, Tyler Batty, Owen Myers, Tom Askew, Jake Carter, Ryan Johnson, Scott Beattie, Joe Crarey, Josh Rankin, Del Rodgers, Ethan Furness, Matty While.
Second period: Jake Stockdale; James Lashmar, Aidan Wright, Tyler Lancaster; Robert Salt, Brandon Corrie, Elliot Campbell, Blain Marwood, Ioan Hayes, Matty Brown, Eric Hill, Rowan Smedley, Danny Wright.
Barrow and District: Lewis Sayle, Chris Beddows, Sam Atkinson, Dale Hampton, Joe Ward; Brad Jackson, Tez Nueto, Gaz Morgan, Declan Gavin, Paul Wilkes, Lewis Pearson, Joe Bell, James Porter.
Subs: Dan Thompson, Joss Crawford, Scott McGuinness, Conner Harper, Paul Woodburn, Liam Winfield, Brad Baker, Joe Rice.