Newcastle Thunder face their sternest test of the season so far this Friday, as Barrow Raiders arrive at Kingston Park Stadium for the latest round of Kingstone Press League 1 action.
The Raiders will arrive in a fine vein of form, with their early season performances firmly underlining their pre-season tagging as a team to watch in the division.
The Raiders have won all of their competitive games this season in a run that has seen them dispatch Rochdale Mayfield and Keighley Cougars in both the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and League 1 Cup as well as Coventry Bears, Hemel Stags, Workington Town and York City Knights in League 1 itself.
Boasting the tightest defence in the league this season with only 24 points conceded in their four matches to date, Thunder will need to seize any chances presented to them against Paul Crarey’s side.
Entering their third season in League 1 after being relegated at the end of 2014, the Raiders are making a statement of their intention to be part of the end of season play-offs with their
Finishing a respectable seventh, the green shoots of recovery continued to blossom last season, as the Raiders qualified first for the Super 8s and then the promotion playoffs and build on a strong 2016.
Qualifying for the end of season playoffs, the Raiders went close to causing a massive upset when they got within 10 points of French behemoths Toulouse Olympique in the second promotion final and will look to maintain that level of performance throughout 2017.
For Thunder, Friday’s game is about making a response to back to back losses against North Wales Crusaders despite being the stronger outfit for large swathes of the games.
Looking to bounce back from a League 1 Cup exit, Thunder battered their hosts, crossing the line on four separate occasions in the opening twenty minutes but conspired against by tiny errors to make only one of those tries count.
Only one score behind with less than ten minutes to play, the opportunistic Crusaders pounced on two mistakes at crucial moments to add an arguably undeserved gloss to the scoreline and inflict a first defeat in the league since June 2016 on Mick Mantelli’s side.
Matches between the two sides have been entertaining affairs in recent years, with a win a piece and a high scoring draw the results of the last three encounters.
Tickets for the Good Friday clash are on sale now and can be booked by clicking here calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park box office.
Advanced purchase offers savings of £3 per adult seated ticket and £2 per adult standing ticket when compared to match day prices so book now!