FEATHERSTONE continued their record-breaking campaign by recording a crucial 38-26 victory over Barrow, ending the Raiders’ impressive unbeaten home run.
The win sees John Duffy’s Rovers move two points clear of third-placed Toulouse in the Betfed Championship, as Barrow’s 23-month-long perfect home record came tumbling down in front of 1,231 at Craven Park.
The Rovers were eight points clear at the interval but were made to battle to claim a ninth league victory of 2018, the Raiders fighting back to level matters with 20 minutes remaining.
Connor Farrell opened the scoring on 10 minutes, collecting a neat pass from Martyn Ridyard to touch down close to the uprights.
The scoreboard read 6-2 following an initial James Dallimore penalty goal, after man-of-the-match Ridyard added extras to Farrell’s effort.
Jono Smith had his 18th-minute response converted by Dallimore.
But Featherstone were back in the driving seat when Misi Taulapapa and Ian Hardman combined to send Luke Briscoe over for his 22nd try of the season - the winger crossing in a record 13th-consecutive game.
Harry Newman finished a neat passing move on the half-hour to extend the Rovers’ advantage, with Ridyard goaling.
And that was how it stayed, the scoreboard reading 16-8 in Featherstone’s favour until Ryan Duffy hit back for the hosts.
Barrow were within two points of levelling matters after another Dallimore conversion.
And the Raiders hit the front for a second time when Dallimore improved a Dean Parata four-pointer from out wide.
Through Newman - scoring his second of the afternoon - Featherstone took just two minutes to respond.
Ridyard’s conversion made it 22-20 but it was all square as the hour mark arrived, following a Dallimore penalty strike.
Back-to-back Rovers tries courtesy of Hardman and Ridyard effectively ended the tie as a contest prior to the 70th minute.
And victory was sealed five minutes from time when Keal Carlile crashed over from close range.
James Lockwood was sin-binned for an alleged ‘crusher tackle’ shortly before the final hooter, seconds after a consolation try from Raiders winger Gene Ormsby.
But the damage had already been done and victory was sealed in West Cumbria.
RAIDERS: Fieldhouse, Carter, Hulme, Stack, Ormsby, Dallimore, Johnson, Bullock, Mossop, Susino, Smith, Crellin, Aspinwall. Subs: Duffy, Parata, Riley, Walker.
TRIES: Smith (18), Duffy (47), Parata (54), Ormsby (78).
GOALS: Dallimore 4/5.
ROVERS: Hardman, Briscoe, Taulapapa, Newman, Robinson, Ridyard, Holmes, Clark, Carlile, Knowles, Farrell, Turgut, Lockwood. Subs: Wildie, Hock, Moore, Cooper.
TRIES: Farrell (10), Briscoe (27), Newman (32, 57), Hardman (65), Ridyard (67), Carlile (74).
GOALS: Ridyard 5/7.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Martyn Ridyard
REFEREE: Tom Crashley