Rochdale Hornets 30 - 32 Barrow Raiders

Date published: 06 September 2021

A Joe Taira red card looked to have killed any kind of contest between Rochdale Hornets and Barrow Raiders before it had the chance to even get going on Sunday (5 September) but a remarkably gutsy Rochdale Hornets side inspired by the impressive Ben Moores came within seconds of recording their most important win of the season.

Barrow struck first as Ryan Shaw opened the scoring with a penalty and they were unfortunate to not extend their lead as a hanging kick was knocked forward in goal to hand Hornets a seven play set.

On the back of a penalty for offside, Hornets camped on the Barrow goal-line and Chase and Sheridan linked up with some smart play in the middle of the field and the ball was fired out wide to Dan Nixon who put on an acrobatic finish at the flag to give Hornets the lead.

Josh Jordan-Roberts pulled his conversion attempt wide.

Hornets almost extended their lead just moments later. A beautiful flat ball from Ben Moores found Calland in space but his flick pass to release Nixon up the wing went wayward.

Shaw took the chance to level the scores again from the tee as Hornets were again ruled offside on their own goal line leaving the Barrow man with a simple shot at goal.

For the second week in a row, Hornets were reduced to 12 men. Joe Taira was shown a red card for a shoulder charge on Hopkins.

Barrow’s response was prompt. They found their way up field and forced a goal line drop out, and in the following set Luke Cresswell strode into space to score at the corner. Shaw made no mistake from out wide for Barrow to regain their lead.

The experienced Ben Moores hit back for Hornets. The hooker evaded contact and spun over from close range. Josh Jordan-Roberts hit the post with his conversion attempt.

Hornets were coping with 12 men surprisingly well and on the 28th minute Jordan-Roberts took the chance to level up with a penalty in front of the sticks.

The game ran the risk of descending into farce with ten minutes of the opening half remaining when the official missed a crystal-clear high shot on Jordan Smye, before Sam Dowsett was shown a yellow card for a swinging arm seconds later.

Hornets kept the scoreboard ticking over. Jordan Syme this time on kicking duties as his attempt kissed the post on its way in to give Hornets the lead.

With five minutes remaining of the half, Hornets stretched their lead. Shaun Penkywicz darted from dummy half to find Fuifui Moimoi with a flat ball to barge his way over just right of the sticks. Syme added the extras to give Hornets an eight-point cushion

Hornets were unable to see out the half as Tee Ritson stripped the ball one-on-one to race away and score in the corner unopposed on the hooter. Shaw nailed the goal off the whitewash to send his side into the sheds trailing by two at 18-16.

With Barrow back up to the full 13 players, the Hornets forwards were running around like men possessed. Fuifui Moimoi and Callum Marriott used their size to suppress the Raiders attack while Gavin Bennion and Syme got underneath Hopkins to hold up a certain try.

The visitors made their numerical advantage count as they stretched the Hornets defence. Carl Forster found space in the middle to offload to Jake Carter to cross just right of the sticks.

Cian Tyrer had the better of Tee Riston who chased a cute chip in goal, but the Hornets man was on hand to hoof the ball into the Pearl Street Stand.

Hornets were then reduced to 11 men. Luke Fowden was shown a yellow card for a professional foul as he pulled Hakim Miloudi back as he chased a loose ball. Shaw made no mistake from the penalty, extending Barrow’s lead to six points.

Hornets never laid down. With 11 men on the field, they hammered the Barrow line. Drawing a repeat set and then a penalty but it was hometown hero Callum Marriott who bullied his way over. Syme levelled the scores at 24-24 to set up a tense final quarter.

Barrow turned the screw as a teasing kick trapped Nixon in goal but an incident off the ball handed Barrow the lead. Ryan Shaw again nudged over a penalty to make it 24-28.

Marriott snatched the short kick off from Forster’s grip and Hornets found their way to the Barrow line. Fowden went close to lay the platform, but it was Moores who found Marriott to crash over out wide. It was Thurston-esque from Syme as he curled the goal in to make it 30-26.

Barrow kept coming but Miloudi’s last ditch off-load was spilled forward to let Hornets off the hook. The respite was temporary as Barrow worked the left edge and Shaw jabbed a kick in goal for Declan Sephton-Hulme to dot down at the corner.

Ryan Shaw stepped up to land the conversion off the whitewash to make it 30-32 to seal a hard-fought win for the Cumbrian side.

Hornets: Tyrer, Nixon, Calland, Ashton, Robinson, Sheridan, Chase, Taira, Moores, Bennion, Jordan-Roberts, Syme, Baker. Subs: Penkywicz, Marriott, Moimoi, Fowden.

Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Miloudi, Shaw, Toal, Carter, Johnston, Forster, Mossop, Terrill, Hopkins, Stack, Emmitt. Subs: Dowsett, Emslie, Sephton-Hulme, Bustin.

Referee: J. Jones.

Attendance: 1,064

Man of the match: Ben Moores

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