Monday, 27 May 2019

Leaky Hornets Sunk at Barrow

Barrow 54 - Hornets 10

Hornets' slow-motion car-crash of a season reached crisis point in the shadow of the Devonshire Dock Hall submarine works. A new nadir of disappointment, with Barrow made to look like world-beaters and Jamie Dallimore given all the time and space required to torpedo Hornets' hopes of climbing off the bottom of the table.

In contrast to the weather, the game started brightly enough: Hornets riding out some early pressure, then coming up with a try on their first meaningful attack - our view partly obscured, but announced as Zac Baker (and since as Jack Johnson) - but a close range stepping effort to give Dan Abram a simple conversion. That was as good as it got.

Having gone straight up the other end, Barrow levelled the scores on 9 minutes (Puara slipping in from the back of the ruck) and took the lead on 12 minutes when Susino ran a good line off a Dallimore pass. He was followed to the line just two minutes later when the ball was worked to Cross to score by the flag. Dalimore off the touchline and the game heading for the distance at 6-18 before the first quarter was up.

But worse was to come. Hornets clung scrappily to the coat-tails of the game for 10 minutes, but the half ended in a blitz of points up the right edge as their confidence crumbled.

On 29 minutes a freak try as the ball somehow stuck to Raiders winger Amean, capitalising on his good fortune to send Spedding in at the corner.

Hornets surfaced briefly on the half hour when they moved the ball to send Brandon Wood in, but it was cold comfort for the traveling fans. Barrow's response, an 8 minute hat-trick for Amean: fastest to react to a Dallimore kick into the in goal; striding in untouched from close range; then a real sickener as he intercepted a shocking first-tackle pass to go 90 metres untouched.

Half-time 42-10. Just awful.

In contrast, the second half was more attritional. Barrow happy to let Hornets jab flaccidly at their defence for 20 minutes before going downfield to score twice in their only two second-half attacks, both just past the hour mark. First Mossop and Jono Smith combining to send Ritson through a huge hole, then Dallimore pushing a kick behind a static defence for Toal to score Barrow's ninth try of the afternoon. Dallimore landing his ninth kick from nine for 54-10.

At this point, we'd usually sieve the rubble for some meagre positives - but unless you count lunch, there aren't any, really.

From a supporters' point of view, this was a tough one to take. It would have been hard to envisage such a gulf between two sides separated by only a point at start of play.  As it is, this result hauled Barrow out of the relegation zone and leaves Hornets stranded at the foot of the table.

To add insult to injury, Swinton stole a last minute win and now look out of reach in 10th. The challenge now becomes 'find two more wins than Widnes and Barrow'.

At least there's some respite next week as we head to Batley to play in the utterly pointless 1895 cup.