Stirring fightback falls agonisingly short for Hawks

David March.

David March.

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Hunslet Hawks staged a stirring second-half fightback to come within inches of beating Barrow Raiders at Craven Park.

Trailing 28-6 at the break in the crunch Championship relegation clash, Barry Eaton’s men upped their game after the break and scored 20 unanswered points in the space of 11 minutes.

And they came agonisingly close to winning outright, when Lee Mapals was hauled down short of the line by Aaron Low with a few minutes left.

The Hawks went into a lead on 20 seconds when Stuart Kain took advantage of the free play rule after a Sean Casey knock-on and put in a grubber kick which captain David March grounded.

But the rest of the first period went the way of the home side, with Adam Clay intercepting a loose Liam Hood pass and running 95 yards for the opener.

Barrow’s Liam Campbell, Jordan Davies (2) and Low got their other tries.

But a four-try spell after the break turned the game on its head, with Chris Clough the first over the line for Hunslet, before Kain scored in the corner.

Mapals made the gap four points and Tommy Haughey barged in to make it just two, but James Coyle missed what turned out to be a crucial conversion and, despite immense late pressure, the Hawks could not find a winning score.

Barrow: Hellewell, Low, Davies, Wiper, Clay, Casey, Campbell, Butler, Mossop, Spencer, Harrison, K Haggerty, Toal. Subs: Jones, Finch, Dawson, Brannon.

Hunslet hawks: J Watson, Pryce, Normington, Welham, Kain, T Coyle, J Coyle, Houston, Hood, Davies, Haughey, Oakes, March. Subs: Tebb, Menzies, Mapals, Clough.

Referee: George Stokes (Wigan).

Attendance: 929.

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