Barrow Raiders 10, Oldham 32

Date published: Tuesday, March 17, 2015
AFTER six wins on the bounce at Craven Park — four in friendlies and two in cup competitions — Barrow were perhaps starting to think they were invincible on home soil.

Not any longer —- not having been blown away by an Oldham side which clearly showed pride in performance, pride in the jersey (a brand-new pink and grey away kit) and pride in the club and its badge, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.
This was a superb Roughyeds performance, make no mistake about that, and one that will surely get supporters queuing up once again at the Whitebank turnstiles when North Wales Crusaders come to town next in the semi-final of the iPro Sport League One Cup on Sunday week, March 29, kick-off 3pm.
Roughyeds started badly, conceding two tries in the first 12 minutes which were as much the result of a hesitant defence as of the home side’s attacking initiative.
At the other end, Scott Naylor’s men had a couple of half chances, but executed poorly and twice came away empty handed from excursions into Barrow’s 20-metre zone.
Barrow were also guilty of missed opportunities in their whirlwind opening spell, but all that was soon to change as Oldham settled into the pace and intensity of the game and gradually got on top.
The home side visibly tired as half-time approached and it was then that Roughyeds struck with all the speed, power and venom of an angry rattlesnake.
Michael Ward crashed over from close range; Adam Clay squeezed in at the corner on Lewis Palfrey’s crosskick; and Jodie Broughton raced over on the other flank after a stunning break by Gareth Owen and great support play by Michael Ward and Steve Roper.
Three tries in six super minutes. Add on three goals from Palfrey, two of them from wide out, and it was little wonder Roughyeds went off at half-time with an 18-10 lead and to rapturous applaud from their few, yet vociferous, fans.
The second half was even better. Roughyeds were clearly full of confidence by now. They were starting to bust open the home defence both down the middle and out wide, as a result of which there were further unanswered tries by Broughton, Clay and Sammy Gee.
It was good to see the two wingers finishing with two apiece, but equally encouraging to witness the complete and total dedication to defence, which kept Barrow scoreless for nearly 70 minutes. That was a fantastic effort.
Memo to stay-away fans . . . you don’t know what you’re missing.
Scorers: Barrow — tries, Ward, Nicholson; goal, Ward; Oldham — tries, M Ward, Clay (2), Broughton (2), Gee; goals, Palfrey (4).
Barrow: Fleming; Dolan, Hankinson, Litherland, Wiper; J Ward, Campbell; Bullock, Lupton, Harrison, Nicholson, Briscoe, Bate. Subs: Mosso/p, Dawson, Toal, Jones.
Oldham: J Ward; Clay, Gee, Holmes, Broughton; Palfrey, Roper; Neal, Oldham, P Joy, Crowley, Tyson, Thompson. Subs: Files, Hughes, Mason, M Ward.
Ref: M Woodhead;  Att: 844.