Barrow best of the rest after late rally

Barrow 26 Halifax 18
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Barrow, only promoted to the Co-operative Championship a year ago, are now officially the best team outside Super League, following this nail-biting win in the division's Grand Final.

A missed conversion by Halifax' Lee Patterson and a clinching, last-minute try from Andreas Bauer decided it, confirming one of the best days for the club since its heyday in the 50s.

There is no Super League place at stake in this match any more, but you would never know that from the intensity with which the two sides went about their business.

Halifax, so impressive early in the season but distinctly off-colour of late, hit their stride first and took the lead when James Haley juggled but held Mick Govin's inside pass to go over.

Ben Black's grubber kick created the second for Shad Royston and Halifax were cruising until Barrow found their form before half-time.

Liam Harrison leapt to score from Jamie Rooney's high kick and they were level by the break, thanks to a glorious move finished by Andy Ballard.

Halifax regained the lead through Black's cross-field run, then Barrow seemed to have taken control through a quick double from Dave Allen and Bauer. But Rooney missed a kick to leave the door just slightly ajar.

Govin got over for what should have been the equaliser, but the nerves got to Patterson who missed his conversion, and then Bauer's second put 'Fax out of their misery.

Barrow: Broadbent; Ballard, Bauer, Harrison, Nixon; Rooney, Coyle; Roberts, Ellis, McDermott, Allen, Catic, Luisi.

Subs used: Young, Bracek, Halliwell, Noone.

Halifax: Royston; Patterson, Roberts, Haley, Worrincy; Govin, Black; Cherryholme, Penkywicz, Wrench, Larder, Bannister, Smith. Subs used: Beswick, Gleeson, Tamghart, Maloney.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).