Bears Fall To Raiders
Coventry Bears 0
Barrow Raiders 38
Sunday 10th April
Butts Park Arena, 3pm
Coventry Bears welcomed the travelling Barrow Raiders to Butts Park Arena with hopes of building on their recent victory over the All Golds.
It was apparent from early on that the Raiders were up for them game with an enthusiastic first set. Their early hard work was rewarded when second rower Liam Harrison touched down to give them a vital lead.
It was a tough opening period for the Bears as they struggled to get to grips with the strong running of Joe Bullock and his pack.
It wasn’t long before the visitors extended their lead when Chris Fleming found his way over the white wash to bring the score to 10-0 after just eleven minutes. Josh Ward missed the conversion but the Cumbrian’s tails were up and they were playing like a team full of confidence.
Andy Litherland then added a third try for the Raiders as they looked to be cruising in the opening half.
A further try from James Duerden before the half time break left the scoreline at 22-0 to Barrow with the Bears facing an up hill battle to get back into the game.
With the second half came a new look Bears, not in personnel but in spirit and effort, they looked to eat away into the lead but their efforts were not being rewarded as they continuously found themselves on the defensive.
Despite some good breaks from James Redman and Joel James the Raiders appeared to be dealing with the Bears attack comfortably and it was no surprise when they extended their lead half way through the second half with a try in the corner from winger Lee Haney.
Again the Bears tried to rally but the Raiders poured cold water on their efforts and began an attack of their own.
Their fifth try would come just five minutes after Haney’s effort when Dan Abram danced his way past Richie Hughes to score under the posts well and truly putting the game beyond the Bears reach.
To their credit the home side never gave up and they availed of some ill discipline from the Raiders to work their way up the field. However, their set completion was not to the standard that they would be happy with and they failed to find their way over the Barrow line.
Barrow put the final nail in the coffin in the final play of the game when Bullock crashed over to bring the score to 38-0 in favour of the visitors.
It was a well deserved win for the side from Cumbria which will have given Head Coach Paul Crarey a lot to be happy with.
However, for Bears coach Tom Tsang he will have left the game feeling like his side could have done more in vital areas of the pitch.
Speaking after the game Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang expressed his disappointment with the result "I'm obviously not happy with the loss today and I'm disappointed that we didn't use our win against Gloucester as a spring board. We were off the pace from the first whistle in terms of intensity - the Barrow players showed a real intent to get off the line and work hard in defence while we looked a bit lethargic at times."
"We also tinkered with the lineup to accommodate a couple of returning players which seemed to disrupt our attack as it was the most disjointed we have been since the league started."
"Credit to Barrow - we had plenty of opportunities with the ball and they defended well, but I don't think we asked enough questions in attack - we lacked any real creativity today."
"I know I have a talent group here and once we find some consistency we will be OK."
"I don't think the stop-start nature of the last few weeks has helped us. But we have another week off now so we need to make sure we are in the right mindset for when we face a very strong looking skolars side at the end of the month."
1 Joel James
2 Jamahl Hunte
3 Eddie Medforth
4 Matt Reiad
5 Jason Bass
6 Craig White
7 James Redman
8 Chris Barratt
9 Jay Lobwein
10 Jack Morrison
11 Liam Thompson
12 Jono Miliszewski
25 Richie Hughes (c)
Subs (all used)
14 Charlie O’Mara
13 James Geurtjens
15 Grant Beecham
18 Adam Saynor
1 Ryan Fieldhouse
22 Lee Haney
3 Chris Hankinson
4 Andy Litherland
23 Chris Fleming
31 Jamie Dallimore
6 Josh Ward
8 Joe Bullock
30 Karl Ashall
17 Andrew Dansen
11 Liam Harrison
26 Danny Morrow
13 Martin Aspinwall
Subs (all used)
21 Dan Abram
12 Dan Toal
18 James Duerden
19 Anthony Bate
Tries: Harrison (5), Fleming (11), Litherland (18), Duerden (34), Haney (62), Abram (67), Bullock (78)
Goals: Ward 5/7
Next home match will be Sunday 8th May at the Ricoh Arena.