Workington Town head coach Chris Thorman wasn’t bothered by the scoreline, as his injury-affected side were defeated 28-0 by Cumbrian rivals Barrow Raiders in their latest pre-season friendly.

Thorman was forced to put players out of position at Craven Park, which was playing host to the testimonial of former Town favourite Jarrad Stack, who is now captaining Barrow.

It was Workington’s final tune-up before their first competitive outing of the new season, which will come in the Challenge Cup.

The Raiders, who had near enough their strongest squad available, ultimately had too much for Thorman’s men, but the 39-year-old saw plenty of encouraging signs ahead of what is his first full campaign in charge at Derwent Park.

Thorman said: “Today was about giving an opportunity to some young lads and not risking quite a large proportion of the squad who have picked up niggles.

“I thought the effort was fantastic, especially having lost Connor Fitzsimmons and Tom Curwen inside 10 minutes.

“We had a few young lads playing out of position, we had people putting their hand up to play in the middle, like Jamie Doran, who is a genuine loose forward, so from my point of view I’m not going to look at the scoreboard, I’m going to look at the effort and the attitude.”

Town controlled the opening 20 minutes of the game, but couldn’t find a breakthrough before two tries from Declan Hulme put Barrow 10-0 up at half-time.

Ryan Johnston extended the hosts’ lead when he was set up by Bradd Crellin before further scores by Adam Ford and Luke Cresswell gave the scoreline a harsh look for Workington, who frequently stretched the Raiders’ defence.

For Thorman, focus now switches to preparing his troops for the season proper and any aching bodies are fit and firing for whoever they face in the third round of the Challenge Cup in just under two weeks.

“I thought the way we started the game offensively, we had a really nice shape that we’ve practiced, our kick chase was really good,” Thorman said.

“From my point of view, there are lots of positives. Pre-season games are a necessary evil - you’re going to pick up injuries and you don’t want to do that in trial games.

“The good thing is we’ve got three weeks before our first league game. We’ve got some stuff to prepare for next weekend before the Challenge Cup and then we’ve got London in round one on February 16.”