A derby game between Cumbrian neighbours Workington Town and Barrow Raiders evolved from a cautious pre-season hit-out into a back-and-forth thriller.

Coach Chris Thorman did not want Town to 'show our hand' in the pre-season game but his side were hungry, technical in their defence and cohesive, almost salvaging the win after trailing going into the second half.

But it was not to be as Barrow Raiders were relentless, quick, and ultra-competitive.

A professional performance from the south Cumbria visitors saw them finish the game on the right side of a 28-18 scoreline.

Town drew first blood just minutes into the game as the side showed classic rugby league quick hands, Cain Barnes passing to Gabriel Fell, Fell to Brad Holdroyd and the former Leigh Centurion crossing the line.

Carl Forber converted, giving Town an early six-point lead.

Town were relentless with their tackles, swarming their opponents every time they tried to make a break, but the Raiders had athletic and quick players on side in addition to those with experience like Carl Forster, who never wasted an opportunity to work the ball upfield.

Nathan Mossop crossed the line despite some company in the Town defence and the try was converted with a confident kick from Ryan Shaw, making the score 6-6 just before the sixth minute.

Thorman’s squad looked set to give Barrow trouble initially as they had clearly been working on their defence and were making fully-committed tackles.

However, they struggled to get out of their own half after the 10-minute mark and Barrow’s Ryan Shaw crossed their try line, giving the visitors a 6-10 lead in the 15th minute.

Barrow were always encouraged by their proximity to the try line and were pushing the home side back as the game approached the half-hour.

The away side hit their stride at that point, with Tyson crossing the line and Shaw converting it, giving them the 16-6 lead going into half-time.

Town never lost faith and there was very nearly a try for the home side at the close of the first half.

Workington returned to the field ready to mount another attack.

A slick passing sequence saw them threaten a try on the left side.

Met with defence, they worked it back the other way, Wellington touched down after an opportune kick and the Town try was converted making it 16-12.

An impressive offload from Barrow saw Cresswell make a break but a promising run was cut short as he went down with an injury.

Barrow were resolute but trialist Lewis Mason made a break and had company so passed to Ethan Bickerdike who capped the move with a try.

It was converted and suddenly Town were 18-16 ahead.

Workington looked like they had brought the game back from the brink going into the last 10 minutes.

The game would finish with 12 men aside as Dec O’Donnell and Danny Morrow were sent to the sin bin for a fracas.

The tide turned once again in the closing minutes as Jack Carter scored a try which was converted to make it 22-18 for Barrow.

Eager to cement their win, Mossop got his second try of the game and Carter made the conversion.

After a competitive and frantic battle, Barrow Raiders topped Workington 28-18.