High marks for Barrow’s young teams

FANS were treated to a feast of rugby league with both Furness Raiders under-16s and the under-19s in action at Craven Park on Wednesday. 

Although results were mixed – the under-16s defeating Newcastle Thunder under-16s 28-22 and Furness Raiders under-19s losing to likely College League champions Hopwood Hall 34-20  – there were plenty of positives to come from the games. 

Academy head coach Darren Carter was proud of the performances from both teams and said: “I thought the under-16s were a pleasure to watch. There are some really talented kids among that group. 

“I was really pleased for the three coaches Mike Whitehead, Shaun Corrie and Joe Bullock. They have worked really hard with them and they must have been proud themselves that they have gone out there and not only competed, but beat an established academy scholarship side, Newcastle. 

“The future is very bright with that group of kids.” 

He said of the under-19s in what has been their inaugural season:  “I was immensely proud of the lads’ efforts, we had a few players unavailable but the young players that  played – I think there are 11 that can play next year- against Hopwood, who have won the league and are probably going to win the cup as well, did well. 

Special mention to Jake Stockdale and Danny Wright who we both outstanding, but I thought all of our lads were an absolute credit. I was proud of their attitude, the way they conducted themselves and their commitment was first class. I told them that after the game.” 

The under-16s, who had only one game which was against Dowdales School in November prior to the Newcastle clash, more than proved they were able to step up to the next level after an outstanding performance against their north-east rivals. 

There were many outstanding performers, among them  Ewan Costa and Rhys Lacey. Josh Leighton also showed plenty of style, and was among the Barrow elite try scorers while Sam Purslow put in a superb display, going over for two tries. 

The under-19s were caught flat-footed from the off, going behind to a quick converted try but soon drawing level.  Hopwood,  however, were in an unforgiving mood and managed to break through the Raiders defence on two further occasions before the break, going into it leading 16-6. 

Raiders showed a renewed spirit after the interval and closed the gap to 16-12, thanks to a Jake Stockdale try and Ryan Johnston kicking his second goal. 

But lapses of concentration allowed Hopwood to pull away to 28-12 before Johnston provided an opportunity for James Lashmar who collected his brilliant crossfield kick to score. Ross Clayton also grabbed a try in the Super Six game. 

The under-19s have go into their last game of the season, a rearranged match against Loughborough College, at Craven Park on May 10 where a win could see them finish as high as third in the table (kick-off 7pm).

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