Hulme double warms Barrow Raiders in icy conditions
Barrow Raiders 16 Oldham 6
BARROW Raiders came out on top of a dogfight against Oldham in conditions where – quite frankly – it wouldn’t have been fit to send a dog out.
Players trooped off the pitch shivering after the atrocious weather took its toll, with some of the battlers needing thermal blankets to warm them up after the preseason friendly at the JF Hornby Stadium on Sunday.
It was left to the poaching instincts of Declan Hulme, who bagged two tries, to see Barrow claim victory – but there was only one real winner and that was the weather.
Raiders coach Paul Crarey was left counting the cost of the game, which beforehand had seen players in his squad struggling with flu-like symptoms.
However, he was able to watch new signing Dean Parata make his debut and give both Ryan Duffy and Matty Holmes run outs after both missed last season as they recovered from injury.
Despite the freezing and wet conditions Barrow almost caught Oldham napping during the early stages when Jamie Dallimore – who later left the field with injury – skipped through the visiting defence and found Ryan Fieldhouse, but the fullback was caught and the move broke down.
Further pressure on the Oldham line saw Glenn Riley held short on the last tackle.
As the weather worsened, and surface water began to appear on the field, Oldham found their attacking feet and looked to have opened the scoring when centre Matt Reid picked up David Hewitt’s prod forward with the attempt ruled out for offside.
Midway through the half a brief melee broke out inside the Raiders half and once order was restored Barrow came in pursuit of scoring and when Dallimore’s kick hit the foot of a post Lewis Charnock dived on the loose ball to score and then added the extras.
Charnock made a strong break down the right soon after which resulted in Declan Hulme adding to Barrow’s score, but the kick proved too difficult for Charnock.
Oldham came in search of closing the gap before the break and Phil Joy went over after collecting from Kenny Hughes, with Paul Crook adding the extras.
The second half proved to be a war of attrition with breaks at a premium until Jono Smith barged through to set up the glimpse of a hope, but a forward pass at the crucial time saw the attempt ruled out.
Conditions continued to dictate but a slick Barrow move down the right saw Holmes wrestle clear and then release Hulme who added to his tally, with Charnock again on target.
The Raiders are in action at the JF Hornby Stadium when they entertain visitors Whitehaven on Sunday (2pm), and if previous encounters are anything to go by it should be a cracker – weather permitting.
BARROW: Ryan Fieldhouse, Shane Toal, Declan Hulme, Tom Loxam, Brett Carter, Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock, Glenn Riley, Karl Ashall, Alec Susino, Jono Smith, Bradd Crellin, Martin Aspinwall. Subs (all used): Dean Parata, Adam Ford, Ryan Duffy, James Duerden, Matty Holmes, Luke Cresswell.
OLDHAM: Kyran Johnson, Benjamin West, Zack McComb, Matthew Reid, Chris Barlow, Paul Crook, David Hewitt, Phillip Joy, Matthew Wilkinson, Adam Neal, Craig Briscoe, Danny Bridge, Adam Jones. Subs (all used): Kenny Hughes, Harry Maders, Joe Martin, Luke Nelmes, Danyal Rasool, Jack Spencer.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.