Barrow Raiders 18 Sheffield Eagles 30: Eagles’ victory comes at a cost
Sheffield Eagles returned to winning ways at the Summer Bash after a 30-18 success over Barrow, but the victory came at a cost after serious injuries to James Glover and Matty James.
Mark Aston’s side came from behind at the break after four second-half tries secured the points, but there are concerns over skipper James who left the field on a stretcher with a suspected dislocated ankle.
Glover, injured after just two minutes, was also seen using crutches after being forced off with a knee injury following a crude tackle by Lewis Charnock, as Aston looks to patch up his side for Friday’s showdown at home to leaders Toronto.
Barrow were the better side in the opening quarter, and Jarrod Stack’s converted try deservedly put them in front after Aaron Brown had earlier had a try rightly chalked off for offside.
Some strong Eagles defence prevented further damage, as Ben Blackmore expertly planted Jake Spedding in touch with the Raiders well placed.
The Eagles then lost James, but quickly responded to level the game when Nathan Mason expertly offloaded off the ground to find Thackeray, who sent Joel Farrell through for an easy run to the line. Pat Walker converted.
The Raiders withstood some intense pressure after back-to-back dropouts, and nudged themselves in front through a Jamie Dallimore penalty just before the break.
Aston’s side produced a devastating burst at the start of the second-half to swing the contest in their favour.
On 48 minutes Walker’s pass saw Farrell over for his second converted try as struggling Barrow started to look disjointed.
Six minutes later smart work by Thackeray and Josh Guzdek released Blackmore for a try in the corner, converted by Walker.
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There was more damage before the hour as the impressive Thackeray produced a trademark show-and-go to create a gap, and he planted the ball over the line under heavy pressure for a converted try.
Moments later Thackeray was over again after a scything break involving Blackmore, Brown and Farrell was finished by the half-back, with Walker adding the extras.
The former Featherstone schemer was denied a hat-trick after seeing yellow for a high shot, and with the Eagles a man light, the Raiders bagged two consolation tries through Theerapol Ritson and Jono Smith.
The late points didn’t threaten the end result, as Aston’s side moved back into third position in the Championship standings.
Barrow: Ritson; Cross, Stack, Amean, Spedding; Dallimore, Charnock; Johnson, Puara, Susino; Walne, Smith; Aspinwall. Interchange: Mossop, Walker, Riley, D. Toal.
Scorers: Tries: Stack (13), Ritson (76), Smith (78) Goals: Dallimore 3/4
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Glover, Hellewell, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Moran, G. Burns, James; Davies, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Makelim, Mason, Esslemont, Knowles.
Scorers: Tries: Farrell (25, 48), Blackmore (54), Thackeray (59,62) Goals: Walker 5/5
Referee: Michael Mannifield