3rd September 2012, 09:21
SCORPIONS FIGHT HARD BUT LOSE OUT
Four tries cannot save South Wales from defeat at Barrow
SOUTH Wales Scorpions scored four tries as they ended a difficult 2012 season with a 34-22 loss at Barrow Raiders.
Unbeaten at home this season and with Scorpions yet to win a league game in Cumbria in their history, Barrow were hot favourites to win but the game looked a lot closer than second top versus second bottom. The young Scorpions side can be very proud of their performance, one of the best of the year, and with a good pre-season behind them, look certain to make their mark in 2013.
The Scorpions, while having a disappointing season, have entertained throughout. Their try count of 96 for 2012 is only two less than last year and, looking at this performance, there is a lot that they can work on in the winter months and will be a much stronger outfit in 2013.
The game didn’t start well for the Scorpions in Cumbria as they gave away a penalty from the first touch, after the kick-off went straight into touch on the full.
Barrow almost got a try from it but Liam Harrison pushed into touch by Joe Bullock.
Scorpions made them pay. From the re-start, Rhodri Lloyd sprinted to score from half-way. Courtney Davies missed the kick.
Barrow got a try back straight away after a knock-on from kick-off, Liam Campbell scoring in the corner with Andy Ballard converting.
The home side increased their lead when, following a 40-20, Scott Kaighan set up Ballard for a try on the opposite side of the park, converting his own try.
Barrow, chasing the title, were on fire. Chris Larkin sprinted 10 metres down the wing and ran over unchallenged to score. Ballard converted.
But Scorpions didn’t give up. Alan Pope forced his way over in the corner after a good passing move. Courtney Davies converted.
There could have been a third for Scorpions, save for Campbell’s try-saving tackle on Ben Gilbert, while Dan Toal looked to have got a fourth for Barrow but the try was ruled out for a forward pass.
Scorpions were next on the board as they instantly turned defence into attack. A Campbell kick aiming for Lee Haney was picked up by Dalton Grant who sprinted the length of the field. Davies goaled again.
And there could have been another for the away side as Scorpions attacked strongly but Matthew Crow mishandled a possible knock-on turned into a forward pass.
But the last try of the half came for Barrow just seconds before the hooter. Liam Campbell set up Liam Harrison who stormed through and despite the efforts of David James, grounded for Barrow’s fourth. Ballard’s kick went in off the upright for a 24-16 half-time lead.
Courtney Davies was unlucky not to score Scorpions’ fourth early in the second half. It was an outstanding run down the centre from the 18-year old, twisting and turning through the defence before grounding. However his try was chalked off for a double movement.
Scorpions won a goal-line drop-out and from that move, did score. And it was just reward for their efforts as just about all the play in the first ten minutes of the second period was in the Barrow half.
Kristian Hawkes burst through the middle to score for his first try since joining the club from South Wales Hornets. Davies converted.
Barrow aimed for a try back straight away and couldn’t manage it despite winning back to back sets. James Dandy was a metre short before Dan Toal knocked on.
Scorpions nearly regained the lead. Lee Haney knocked on in his own half and Alun Wyn Davies almost scored from his first touch after coming on as substitute but the ball was just out of his reach as he looked to dive on a grubber.
But it was Barrow who were next over the line when Ruairi McGoff ran through to ground under the sticks on 64 minutes with Ballard converting.
They could have scored another but James Nixon rightly had a try ruled out following Ballard’s forward pass.
After a delay, as Thomas Morgan picked up a nasty injury and was stretchered from the pitch, Barrow wrapped up the win when Liam Harrison ran through after Osian Phillips had brilliantly denied Haney was a stretching ankle tap. Player-coach Darren Holt failed to convert to give Scorpions the bonus point they deserved.