Doncaster 30 Barrow 28: Dons win in late show

Dave Scott's two fine tries steered the Dons home
Dave Scott's two fine tries steered the Dons home

The Dons left it late to see off Championship bottom side Barrow 30-28 on a frustrating afternoon at the Keepmoat.

There seemed a cruel inevitability that celebrating Rovers Day at the Dons would end in disappointment following the crushing relegation of their footballing counterparts just 24 hours earlier.

It looked somewhat of a marketing disaster for Club Doncaster before the first hooter sounded with anyone associated with Rovers hardly in a mood to celebrate following their drop into League One.

And it was not until three minutes from time that the Dons prevented the day from becoming a disaster for themselves also.

Lee Waterman’s first half hat-trick helped the Dons fight back from a strong start from the visitors. And it took two brilliant individual scores from Dave Scott in the second half to edge the Dons to victory.

Barrow clearly have a fondness for days out in South Yorkshire. Their only previous league win of the campaign came at Sheffield Eagles in early March with the five defeats since seeing them rooted to the foot of the table.

The Cumbrians certainly did not start the game like downtrodden strugglers, putting the Dons to shame with brilliant intensity.

Tries from Mick Govin and Max Wiper, both taking advantage of lacklustre defending, saw them race ahead by 14 minutes with Ryan Shaw converting the first two of four successful kicks.

The Dons scored with the first real attack midway through the half with Waterman powering over and Stewart Sanderson converting the first of a perfect five kicks.

But Barrow were not done and edged back clear once again on 27 minutes. Liam Campbell broke before laying off to Niall Evalds who surged clear to score.

The Dons however would lead at the break as Waterman completed his hat-trick with two fine efforts, the second of which proving controversial as Barrow justifiably appealed for a foul on half way.

Barrow started the second half as strongly as they finished the first with Shaw going over twice inside the first 11 minutes, both times catching the Dons napping.

It took some time for the Dons to hit back and they had a Nev Morrison try ruled out for a forward pass in the meantime.

But full back Scott took advantage of uncharacteristic slack defending from the visitors with his mazy run taking him over beside the posts. Sanderson converted to move the Dons within four points of levelling with 15 minutes to go.

Scott produced the goods yet again to edge the Dons level three minutes from time. Another mazy run left Barrow chasing shadows and he reached over.

Sanderson curled over the conversion to secure the win which took the Dons second in the Championship.

Dons: Scott, Morrison, Waterman, Welham, Sanderson, Cooke, Wildie, Watts, Kesik, Carbutt, Kent, Starling, Emmett. Subs: Spaven, Robinson, Edwards, Wilson.

Barrow: Evalds, Backhouse, Shaw, Wiper, Grant, Speakman, Campbell, Burke, Govin, Dawson, Harrison, Toal, Jones. Subs: Bullock, Low, Lloyd, Morrison.

Attendance: 573