Doubles for Cresswell and Toal in Barrow Raiders win
Barrow Raiders 46 Keighley Cougars 20
BARROW Raiders got their pre-season up-and-running with victory over a testing Keighley Cougars at the JF Hornby Stadium on Sunday.
Coach Paul Crarey fielded three of his new signings – Alec Susino, Jono Smith and Glenn Riley – with incoming Aussie Dean Parata due to arrive in town on Monday.
While the trio found their feet after all coming off the bench, it was backs Declan Hulme and Luke Cresswell who caught the eye both in attack and defence.
Creswell’s reward for his efforts were two tries, and Hulme one, in a game where the Raiders went over the whitewash on eight occasions, with Jamie Dallimore booting over seven conversions.
Cougars, defeated by Barrow five times last season, were no slouches and the friendly will help the home side in their preparations for next Sunday when they host Oldham (2pm).
Barrow made the most of their first real attack, and after forcing their way upfield, captain on the day Nathan Mossop released Joe Bullock close to the line and he forced his way through, leaving Dallimore a simple conversion attempt.
The visitors came in search of points and were unlucky not to get some on the board when Liam Senior charged down Dallimore’s clearance kick and the ball fell into space. However Adam Ryder was unable to ground properly, and Barrow were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
There was little time for the visitors to reassemble as another Barrow raid saw them extend their lead when a break down the right saw Hulme burst into space to feed Ryan Johnson who, in turn, found Cresswell to score with Dallimore adding the extras.
Keighley reduced the deficit when fullback Harry Aaronson touched down with Lewis Fairhurst kicking the goal.
A great solo effort from Fairhurst saw him close the gap, but was unable to add the conversion, leaving Barrow holding onto a two point lead.
The lively competition continued when Barrow scored their third touchdown through Dan Toal, who collected a short pass from Jarrad Stack close to the line, with Dallimore adding another goal.
A melee broke out between the teams close to half time, which resulted in Brett Carter being sent to the sin bin.
Twelve-man Barrow extended their lead soon after the restart when Hulme exploited a gap in the Cougars defence to race clear and score. This time, however, Dallimore missed with his attempt.
They continued to press, and Alec Susino, when close to the line, fed the oncoming Mossop, who crashed over with Dallimore hitting his fourth conversion.
The tempo switched again with Cougars scoring when Cameron Leeming forced his way through the Barrow defence, with Fairhurst unlucky with his attempt hitting a post.
Tom Walker added to Keighley’s woes when he seized upon a chance close to the line, and Dallimore made it five successes with the boot.
Keighley refused to throw in the towel with Adam Ryder skirting though the Raiders defence and Fairhurst kicked the goal.
Cresswell added a second try when he collected from Andy Litherland close to the line before skirting through, and Dallimore claimed his sixth successful conversion.
Dan Toal added a second try of the afternoon, and Dallimore made it a magnificent seven conversions to wrap up the scoring.
Barrow were without several players for the opening game of 2018 with new skipper Martin Aspinwall, Scotland international Shane Toal, Ryan Fieldhouse and Lewis Charnock all rested, and Karl Ashall unavailable due to illness.
BARROW: Luke Cresswell, Brett Carter, Andy Litherland, Declan Hulme, Tom Loxam, Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston, Joe Bullock, Nathan Mossop, Tom Walker, Bradd Crellin, Jarrad Stack, James Duerden. Subs (all played): Dan Toal, Glenn Riley, AlecSusino, Matty While, Jono Smith, Matty Holmes.
KEIGHLEY: Harry Aaronson, Hamish Barnes, Cameron Leming, Adam Ryder, Andrew Gabriel, Lewis Fairhurst, Rayn Wright, Matthew Bailey, Billy Gaylor, Matthew Ross, Joshua Lynam, Liam Senior, Michael Emmett. Subs (all played): Trae O’Sullivan, Joe Lumb, Harvey Hallas, Brad Nicholson, Jose Kenga, Calvin Barker.
Referee: Bradley Milligan (Workington).