Toal treble helps Barrow to famous win over Leigh
BARROW RAIDERS 24 LEIGH CENTURIONS 20
A HEROIC Barrow Raiders scored a memorable win over early Betfred Championship promotion favourites Leigh Centurions at the JF Hornby Stadium on Sunday.
Magnificent in defence and dynamic in attack, especially in the second half, Barrow punished a side who last season were playing Super League rugby.
Barrow oozed quality all over the field but one star shone greater than the rest on a day to remember – winger Shane Toal.
Last week it was brother Dan who brought another full-time squad Toronto Wolfpack down to earth with a tremendous try which helped Barrow go on to secure an 8-8 draw.
This week it was the turn his younger brother who scored a hat-trick of tries and produced a try-saving tackle on the line at a stage in the first half when the visitors looked like they were about to run away it.
Going in 20-12 ahead at the break Leigh must have felt extremely confident of heading back home with two points in the bag. But they had not reckoned on a resolute Raiders who nilled them in the second half and went on to claim a famous win.
The opening exchanges of the game saw both sides battle for dominance with the visitors scrambling the lead when winger Ilias Bergal went over after Liam Hood was held close to the line.
Yet any idea of capitulation never entered the minds of the Barrow players who once again closed ranks to keep Leigh at bay.
A penalty some 30m away from the Centurions line after a challenge on Joe Bullock provided a cutting edge, and a crafted move saw the ball worked to the right. Ryan Fieldhouse fed Toal and he crashed over in the corner for his opening try with Dallimore adding the extras.
Barrow’s lead was brief as Leigh added a second try through centre Peter Mata’utia with Ben Reynolds kicking the goal.
But the Raiders refused to buckle and the lightning quick Toal collected his second touchdown after a Leigh mix-up saw him pick up a loose ball from his boot-strings 40m out and race away from the defence.
Leigh were further punished after giving another penalty away, this time in front of the sticks with Dallimore’s kick seeing his side briefly back in front.
The lead was looking fragile as Jack Owens raced clear and appeared certain to score, yet Shane Toal appeared from out of nowhere to halt the Leigh man on the line.
As time ticked towards the break Leigh struck twice through Larne Patrick and then Bergal, going in for his second try seconds before the interval.
Barrow were awesome in the second half as Dallimore and hooker Nathan Mossop began to dictate things ,and the half-back sniffed out a chance when he cleverly evaded several would-be tackles to create enough space and pass to ever impressive prop Bullock. He powered towards the try-line and as the visiting defence closed in he flicked out a pass towards Declan Hulme but it was intercepted.
Dallimore was proving to be a thorn in side of Leigh and he made sure the scoreboard ticked over when his clever kick over the line saw Ryan Fieldhouse first to the ball with the half-back again on target.
As the absorbing match moved towards its final moments, Barrow took a calculated gamble when on the final tackle 30m awayk from the Leigh line Jarrad Stack outmuscled his marker to find Fieldhouse on his shoulder and he swept the ball to Toal with the winger showing lots of determination to score in the corner with Dallimore kicking a touchline conversion.
Barrow head to West Yorkshire to face Batley Bulldogs at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium next Sunday.
Their win over Leigh is sure to cause a few tremors in the Championship..
Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse, Shane Toal, Jarrad Stack, Declan Hulme, Brett Carter, Jamie Dallimore, Karl Ashall, Ryan Duffy, Dean Parata, Alec Susino, Dan Toal, Bradd Crellin, Martin Aspinwall. Subs (all used): Nathan Mossop, Joe Bullock, Glenn Riley, Tom Walker.
Leigh Centurions: Jack Owens, Matthew Dawson-Jones, Benjamin Crooks, Peter Mata’uktia, Ilias Bergal, Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchinson, Paterika VaiVai, Liam Hood, Nathan Mason, Kevin Larroyer, Bodene Thompson, Jordan Thompson. Subs (all used): Daniel Mortimer, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Larne Patrick.
Referee: John McMullen.