HEAD coach Richard Squires believes Coventry Bears were good value to stun Workington Town based on their performance in the opening hour, before falling away to a 30-12 defeat on Sunday.
In a well-contested League One encounter at Butts Park Arena, the Bears kept the scoreline close against the promotion chasers, but ultimately ran out of fuel in the tank.
Kieran Sherratt’s try for the Bears cancelled out the opener from Workington’s Hanley Dawson, but Ethan Bickerdike replied shortly after on the 19-minute mark to give the visitors a 12-6 advantage that remained until after the break.
Two quickfire tries from Bradley Holroyd put Town in charge and Carl Forber extended the lead with five minutes to play. Brad Ho’s late score for Coventry proved a mere consolation with seconds remaining.
Accepting that his side were on the right side of the scoreline, Squires had plenty of encouraging words for both the Bears and their rivals.
“We saw plenty of effort from the lads, we had a lot of the possession, but couldn’t quite take full advantage,” he said.
“It didn’t help losing Liam Welham in the warm-up, but we always take the doctor’s advice. This meant quite a reshuffle of the team.
“At half time we were down 12-6 and very much in the game, and after 60 minutes it could still have gone either way – it was very competitive and close – just like when we beat Rochdale the other week. But against a team like Workington, you need to be at your best for the full 80 minutes, they are a very good side, as good as any we’ve seen this season.”
On Sunday, the seventh-placed Bears play host to Keighley Cougars, fourth, hoping to arrest a run of two straight defeats.