There was no repeat of a Good Friday win over Barrow Raiders for Thunder at Kingston Park Stadium as a clinical display from the Cumbrians consigned Thunder to a heavy 6-50 Kingstone Press League 1 loss.
It was a result derived from a red card for Thunder back row Jack Aldous 13 minutes from half time, which allowed the Raiders a more comfortable ride to their fifth win from five league games this season.
The visitors, who came into the game joint top of the league Raiders made a quick-fire start with two tries in the opening fifteen minutes as they showed clinical efficiency to keep the ball alive and open up the Thunder defence.
Being 0-12 down was doubly disappointing for the hosts as they had earlier missed out on the chance to assume an early lead as a bobbling ball near the Raiders line eluded the grasp of Liam McAvoy who would have enjoyed a clear run to the line.
While Barrow were good value for their lead, Thunder were finding ways through an effective defensive line, with Brett Waller rampaging in the middles and Lewis Young showing impressive strength to make yards in tackles regularly.
One such display put Thunder into another promising position deep in Barrow’s half, but a speculative offload failed to find its intended target and handed position back to the visitors.
When Aldous lashed out with a punch as Thunder were awarded a penalty, it opened up the floodgates for the Raiders, who were able to exploit their numerical advantage on a number of occasions, leading to a further 14 unanswered points by two converted tries and a penalty goal.
With the result all but settled, the second half became a matter of pride for Thunder and it was one that Mick Mantelli’s side showed a great deal of steel in.
Launching into the second half with gusto, the hosts went close to getting a first score of the day after working themselves into a position for Benn Hardcastle to attempt a cross field kick to Ali Blair.
While it yielded no reward and the Raiders extended their lead shortly after, it showed Thunder were at least determined to continue battling.
The determination and effort finally earned a well-deserved try 15 minutes in to the second half, when a mazy run from Young put him into a gap and able to feed an onrushing Tom Shaw who cantered over for his first professional try.
It would however prove to be the only score of the afternoon as Barrow cut loose in the final ten minutes, taking advantage of tiring Thunder minds and bodies to add another three converted tries.
With Kingstone Press League 1 taking a three week break before Thunder travel to Whitehaven, it is gap that Mick Mantelli and his coaches will seek to use and restore some confidence in their charges ahead of huge games against Toronto Wolfpack and York City Knights.
Newcastle Thunder Squad
Lewis Young, Ali Blair, Joe Brown, Tyler Craig, Peter Fox, Tom Shaw, Benn Hardcastle, Vincent Rennie, Evan Simons, Liam McAvoy, Harry Aldous, Rhys Clarke, Jack Aldous, Aaron Teroi, Brett Waller, Matty Barron, Lee Paterson
Try Scorers – Shaw
Goal Scorer – Hardcastle
Red Card – Jack Aldous
Barrow Raiders Squad
Ryan Fieldhouse, Shane Toal, Declan Hulme, Andrew Litherland, Luke Cresswell, Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock, Joseph Bullock, Nathan Mossop, Oliver Wilkes, Bradd Crellin, Jarrad Stack, James Duerden, Daniel Abram, Daniel Toal, Thomas Walker, Bradley Brennan.
Try Scorers – Wilkes, Hulme, Toal, Cresswell, Litherland, Duerden, Bullock, Fieldhouse.
Goal Scorers – Charnock 7 Dallimore 2
Attendance – 1,073