Barrow Raiders needed to get back on the bike as they continued their push for a play-off place, and to be the top Cumbrian sides, as they travelled to West Yorkshire and The New Shay to take on the Halifax Panthers who themselves have great expectations of finishing in the higher echelons.
A win for Barrow would ensure that they wouldn´t finish the round lower than fourth position in the table but it Halifax could pick up the two points then they would likely finish the weekend in the top half of the table.
The bookies fancied a home win with the Raiders being given a twelve-point start on the coupon, indicative of the only winning one game in their last five outings, the one-point win over the Bulls.
Louis Jouffret opened the scoring for the Panthers on ten minutes as he took a tip pass and split the Barrow the defence to race in by the posts. The Joe Keyes conversion sailed through the uprights for a great start for the home side.
Joe Keyes double dummied to go close on twelve before he found Adam Tangata in support to cross for the second Panthers try. Keyes was again accurate with the boot for 12-0, Barrow being stunned at the rate of a point a minute.
Barrow struck back on twenty-five, Luke Creswell finding Tee Ritson to go over in the right-hand corner. Jarrod Sammut pushed his conversion attempt wide of the uprights. But the Panthers came straight back with Joe Arundel the beneficiary of a Jouffret pass. This time Keyes missed the conversion, but Halifax were comfortably on top.
Jarrod Sammut was stretchered off the field with five minutes of the first half remaining leading to a lengthy stoppage while the Barrow half back received proper medical attention.
With four minutes remaining Jarrod Stack waltzed through the Halifax defence on the last tackle as the ´Fax markers tried to get to the kicker. Jake Carter took over the kicking duties but couldn´t add the extras but poor defence from Ritson allowed Lachlan Walmsley to score in the corner to end the half for Halifax. Keyes was unable to add the extras as the sides headed for the sheds.
Not long after the restart a Halifax interception saw the home side make good ground and Walmsley was on hand on the overlap for his second of the afternoon. Keyes was unable to add the touchline conversion, Fax cruising to a fourth consecutive win.
With a three on one overlap Kyle Wood had plenty of room to go over for the sixth Halifax try of the game after a set which saw them score from close to their own line. Keyes added the extras for 30-8 with half an hour still left on the clock.
It was turning into a rout on fifty-four when Zack McComb added his name to the Panthers roll of honour after Barrow spilled the ball in mid field. Keyes was unable to add the extras.
Some consolation for Barrow, but annoyance for Halifax, was a Josh Wood try. Jay Carter added the conversion, but it was too little and too late. Luke Cresswell added a fourth Barrow try with sixteen minutes remaining, but Carter again missed the conversion, Barrow sixteen adrift.
Halifax killed the game with four minutes remaining, McComb going in for his second of the afternoon for 38-18. This time Keyes added the conversion to bring up the forty.
From the first whistle the Panthers victory was never in doubt as they controlled all aspects of the game. They will be disappointed that they leaked so many tries defensively as they lifted themselves level on points with the Sheffield Eagles in sixth place, trailing on points difference. After a great start to the season from Barrow they are finding Super League a little tougher as the other sides find their feet, but still a credible performance for the promoted side.
Halifax Panthers: Woodburn-Hall, Walmsley (2T), Arundel (T), McComb (2T), Saltonstall, Keyes (6G), Jouffret (T), Tangata (T), Moore, Murray, Kavanagh, Garside, Fairbank. Subs: Wood (T), Gwaze, Larroyer, Barber.
Barrow Raiders: Cresswell (T), Ritson (T), Croft, Wheeler, Toal, Carter (G), Sammut, Forster, Wood (T), Gillam, Langtree, Stack (T), Iaria. Subs: Mossop, Brooks, Emslie, Eseh.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 12-4, 16-4, 16-8, 20-8: HT : 24-8, 28-8, 30-8, 34-8, 34-12, 34-14, 34-18, 38-18, 40-18 : FT.
Referee: Chris Kendall.