Featherstone Rovers’ six-game winning run came to a frustrating and disappointing end as they were beaten by relegation-threatened Barrow Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Carr’s charges looked a different side to the one that had shot into third with six wins on the spin.
The result saw Rovers drop to fifth – when a victory would’ve moved them second – as they were leapfrogged by Leigh Centurions and York City Knights.
Four tries in 14 second-half minutes from the Raiders proved the turning point, after Rovers had battled back from a 16-6 deficit. The sides were locked at 16-16 with 17 minutes left but a hat-trick from Luke Cresswell along with a Stargroth Amean effort won the game for Barrow. The visitors looked threatening every time they got close to the Rovers line while Featherstone struggled to replicate recent attacking form.
Barrow were more than worthy of their win, leaving Featherstone with two crucial games in the coming weeks. They travel to Halifax next weekend before hosting Leigh on July 7.
The Raiders opened the scoring just four minutes into the contest when Wartovo Puara sent Amean crashing over.
Featherstone struggled to get to grips with proceedings in the opening 10 minutes, with uncharacteristic mistakes causing them problems.
Nerves were settled on 11 minutes, albeit momentarily, thanks to some fantastic play from Dane Chisholm.
The half-back stepped his way through the defensive line before outpacing the full-back to get over by the posts.
Barrow came roaring back and regained the lead on 18 minutes when Alec Susino off-loaded superbly to give Jamie Dallimore the space to dive over unopposed. And the Raiders were over again just minutes later, to stun Post Office Road.
Chisholm’s restart flew straight out of play, giving Barrow the penalty.
The visitors kicked for touch and a few tackles later Puara found Daniel Morrow who plunged over. Rovers continued to struggle, with knocks on and penalties causing plenty of frustration.
James Harrison went to stroll between the posts but play was called back for an obstruction. Featherstone did get one back when Alex Sutcliife burst through a gap and stretched out one handed to score in the corner six minutes before the interval.
Rovers were much improved at the beginning of the second half and drew level within nine minutes of the restart.
Sutcliffe took a pass from Chisholm, bounced up from the tackle and planted down for his second of the afternoon.
Barrow continued to defend well, and didn’t look like a side who had won only three league games all season.
And the Raiders’ efforts in defence were rewarded as they pounced on a mistake to regain the lead. Dallimore’s high kick was spilled by Rovers and Amean gathered the loose ball to score under the posts.
Featherstone were kicking themselves moments later as they failed to find touch from a penalty. Barrow were swift to punish the hosts as they moved upfield before Cresswell took an inside ball to ground in the corner.
The full-back then dotted down for two more tries to condemn Featherstone to a frustrating defeat.
Featherstone Rovers: Turner, Carey, Hardcastle, Sutcliffe, Render, Chisholm, Holmes, Wheeldon, King, Makatoa, Day, Walters, Lockwood. Subs: Cooper, Harrison, Johnson, Ormondroyd.
Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Spedding, Amean, Cross, Dallimore, Carter, Johnson, Puara, Susino, Morrow, Walne, Toal. Subs: White, Walker, Riley, Smith.
Referee: Aaron Moore.