Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Battling Bears fall short

Kingstone Press League One Round 8 Match Report

Coventry Bears 4 Barrow Raiders 22

Report by Grace Mellor

Pictures by Leslie and Trevor Jones

COVENTRY return to home soil after four weeks with a second loss on the bounce but had a strong start, with the weather not quite sure what to do, the pitch was in impeccable condition. Both teams taking a while to get into the game, with a number of unforced errors, Bears were unlucky early on to not get a try from a high kick from sheen caused Barrow serious trouble. Bears attacking line was strong throughout with strong runs coming through the middle from Cooper and Phillips.

An early try from Coventry with a pass from Boutler down the left hand side straight to Hunte sent him crashing over the line, kick was unsuccessful from the Bears. Barrow started to wake up and had to straight sets of 6’s from a drop out , but another unforced error meant that Coventry were soon attacking again. Boutler caught the ball from a Raiders kick to pass along the right to Hunte, who makes a brilliant run out of his own half, these two working well together down the left hand side.

Coventry were disallowed a try with a forward pass from Sheen nearly sent Hunte in for his second of the day.

A strong set of six from Barrow meant that Hankinson was able to get through Coventry’s defensive line with ease as he went in under the sticks for their first of the day. Conversion successful from Ward. Defence was extremely strong from Coventry with full back stopping what could have been a full length try for the Raiders. Just before half time Barrow went over in the right hand corner with Dolan as the Raiders attacking line overlapped the Bears defence. Raiders went in at half time leading 12-4.

Second half was all to play for, for Coventry Bears but unfortunately they weren’t able to create any points from their plays despite them playing a great game of Rugby, the Raiders defence was just too strong for them.  Even with Raiders going down to ten men after Heaton started pushing off the ball. Coventry started the second half in great from but errors were in the way of them scoring any points. Raiders scored in the left corner from a high kick sent Hambley over nicely with a successful kick from Ward.  Coventry came fighting back with a 40/20 from Sheen but unfortunately Coventry weren’t able to concede with a strong run from Francis saw him held up over the line.

Raiders weren’t far behind with the amount of errors they caused with two definite try’s for them saw passes to the ground and into touch.  Barrow soon proved their stronger status with a final try from Litherland saw his strong run in the right corner turn into points for the Raiders. Coventry put in a strong performance but were unfortunate not to get any points on the board.

The win would see the number of Raiders fans travelled go away very happy with those two points.

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented;

I have mixed feelings after today's game. The result went against us which was disappointing and frustrating and means we're on a bit of losing run here, but there were some really positive signs and the performance was much improved from probably our last two or three games.

"I thought we matched Barrow in the middle, which is where we have struggled at times this year and the Cumbrians are one of the best in the league in that department. Although we lost, we were in the game all the way through and our battling spirit was good to see. We played a bit lateral at times and that meant we didn't capitalize on good work by our forwards and our discipline let us down in the first half, but overall we showed we can mix it with these more established clubs.

New recruits Morgan Evans and Jack Francis made a difference and it will now be a case of keeping the same group of players on the field so we can start to build some momentum and improve our combinations.

We have another tough looking away trip next week to North London, but if we perform as we did today I have no doubt we have the ability to stop the rot and grab our first away win. It is a fixture we have targeted from the start of the season and we will be doing everything in our power to get the 2 points".


GAME BREAKER: Litherland (24)

GAMESTAR: Jamahl Hunte (Coventry)

Coventry Bears

  1 Cameron Boulter (7)

  2 Reece Chapman Carry (41)

  3 Ben Parry (5)

  4 Simon Phillips (13)

  5 Jamahl Hunte (20)

  6 Dan Parker (30)

  7 Billy Sheen (6)

  8 James Geurtjens (27)

  9 Richie Hughes (24)

10 Jack Francis (46)

11 Liam Thompson (29)

12 Chris Barratt (12)

13 Matt Cooper (26)

Subs (all used)

14 Dylan Bale (14)

15 Morgan Evans (50)

16 Tom Hall (38)

17 Nick Taylor (3)

Tries: 1

Goals: 0

Field Goals:N/A

Barrow Raiders RLFC

1 Kristian Tyson (1)

2 Kyle Dolan (5)

3 Chris Hankinson (3)

4 Cameron Pitman (31)

5 Joe Hambley (22)

6 Peter Lupton (29)

7 Josh Ward (14)

8 Joe Bullock (8)

9 Nathan Mossop (9)

10 Matty Heaton (19)

11 Liam Harrison (11)

12 Craig Briscoe (12

13 Anthony Bate (21)

14 Brad Marwood (6)

15 Andrew Dawson (10)

16 Andy Litherland (24)

17 Brad Grellin (30)

Tries: 4

Goals: 3

Field Goals: N/A

Men of the Match

Coventry: Jamahl Hunte

Barrow: Anthony Bate

Penalty count:

Half-time: 4-12

Referee: S Mikalauskas

Attendance: 552

Bears Media