Furness Raiders clinch a victory over Midlands Hurricanes
A crowd of 150 spectators witnessed a thrilling match between Furness Raiders and Midlands Hurricanes at Craven Park on Wednesday night. In a match that saw the lead change hands repeatedly throughout the 80 minutes, the Cumbrian lads eventually ran out 34-28 winners against a very athletic Midlands outfit.
The Loughborough based side took the lead on five minutes through a well worked try and an excellent conversion to gain an early 6-0 advantage. The young Raiders worked their way into the game and two tries in four minutes mid-way through the first half saw them gain the lead. The first on 19 minutes saw young hooker Shane Sanderson go over from acting half-back (Jake Carter converting) while the second saw Tyler Lancaster score out wide following good hands from Carter, Brown and Stockdale. In windy conditions the kick proved too difficult for Carter but his side had a 10-6 advantage.
The match was a fast-moving affair with both sides testing each other and the Midlands were the next to score. A fine handling move saw them go over in the corner on 27 minutes and this was followed by a superb touch line conversion to give them a 12-10 lead.
Undeterred, the Raiders worked their way back into the match and on 30 minutes Matty Brown crashed over from close range. Carter converted for a 16-12 lead.
With half-time approaching, the home side looked to get on top but the Hurricanes were having none of that. On 37 minutes they again levelled the scores through a well worked try (again the conversion was missed) but then switched off in the final minute of the half to allow Jake Carter to throw a great long pass to young winger Ewan Costa who went over unopposed in the corner. Carter unfortunately saw his kick from the touchline hit the post, but his side went into the break with a 20-16 advantage.
The second period saw Furness Raiders playing into the teeth of the strong wind and they began the half by repeatedly turning over possession.
The outcome was predictable and the Midlands crossed for two unconverted tries on 43 minutes and 47 minutes. The Raiders now trailed 20-24 but hit back on 49 minutes when a sweeping move saw Tyler Lancaster cross out wide for his second try to once again level the scores at 24 apiece. The conversion was again too difficult for Carter.
The game became something of an arm wrestle at this point but on 67 minutes the Raiders were penalised under their own posts for holding down in the tackle. The kick seemed a formality but it hit a post, the Midlands re-gathered and good quick hands saw them score an easy try in the corner. Again the kick was missed but they now led 28-24 and looked to be getting on top.
The Raiders, as is their style, dug deep and kept going hard. Josh Rankin at prop began to wreak havoc with the Loughborough defence as did his front row partner, the ever dependable Tyler Batty. On the back of this go forward, the Raiders started to threaten but boy did they leave it late.
On 76 minutes Sanderson again scooted over from the play the ball under the posts. Carter converted and the home side again led (by 30-28). Time was running out but the Raiders again got on the front foot and a superb move down the blind side by Aiden Wright saw him give youngster Elliott Stockdale an easy score in the corner to seal a 34-28 victory for the home side.
Man of the match for the second week in succession was captain Jake Carter but he was well supported by a number of his team mates.
Coach Joe Bullock was pleased with the effort of his team, particularly second rowers Zac Steel and Matty Brown and prop forward Josh Rankin.
He said: “The whole team showed plenty of character and were well led by captain Jake Carter.”
Starting Line-Up: Jake Stockdale, James Lashmar, Tyler Lancaster, Aiden Wright, Josh Holmes, Jake Carter, Brandon Corrie, Tyler Batty, Shane Sanderson, Ioan Hayes, Zac Steel, Matty Brown, Danny Wright.
Replacements (all used): Elliott Stockdale, Ethan Bickerdike, Ewan Costa, Josh Rankin, Elliot Campbell, Cameron Hetherington, Brad Richards.