By Rory Drake
A brace from John Rooney helped Barrow to victory at the International Stadium as Gateshead’s season ended in defeat.
Rooney put Barrow ahead in the 8th minute and the midfielder doubled his tally with 22 minutes played, in a first half that the visitors dominated.
Gateshead improved after the break but failed to beat, or even really test, Barrow keeper Joel Dixon.
The Heed’s task was made harder in the final 10 minutes, with Tom White dismissed for a second-bookable offence.
After missing out on the play-offs on Monday, Gateshead came into the final game looking to just finish as high as possible, but it was Barrow who started the game on top.
Barrow went ahead with their first real opportunity when Rooney’s short freekick was played back to him by Lewis Hardcastle, before he cut inside and fired just inside the post.
Moments later the visitors tried a similar routine, and created a good opening, but Rhys Norrington-Davies fired over.
Barrow were the only team really looking like doing anything, and midway through the half doubled their lead, with Jack Hindle backheeling the ball to Rooney to curl the ball just inside the post in a similar fashion to his first.
With 10 minutes left in the half, a reckless Tom White challenge gave Barrow a freekick 25-yards out, Rooney stepped up and rifled an effort off the bar.
Gateshead grew into the half in the latter stages, but Barrow looked comfortable defending everything the Heed tried, denying Rigg and Salkeld any clear-cut chances.
In two minutes of the second half starting Gateshead created more chances than the entire first half, with Cameron Salkeld curling an effort just over from the edge of the box after being played in by Jack Hunter.
Hunter then attempted a rare 25-yard effort, which was straight at Joel Dixon and easily saved by the Barrow stopper.
Ten minutes into the second half, substitute JJ O’Donnell saw Dixon off his line and attempted a lob from 35-yards out but was unable to find the target.
Just after the hour Steve Rigg saw a shot at the near post turned behind by Dixon after White backheeled it on the line to keep it alive.
With 20 minutes to play, Scott Barrow threatened the goal with a 20-yard shot which was saved by Dixon.
O’Donnell got in behind the Barrow defence with 15 minutes to go, playing in Rigg, but the striker saw his shot blocked.
White was dismissed with eight minutes to play, for a second yellow card, for an off the ball incident, presumed to be dissent.
Rigg came close to reducing the deficit with five minutes to play but headed over the bar from a Greg Olley cross.
Rigg then played in Thomson, who fired straight at Dixon from a tight angle as Gateshead finished the season with
Gateshead XI: Pears; Devitt (O’Donnell 46’), Williamson, Mellish; Tinkler, Hunter (Maloney 73’), Olley, White, Barrow ©; Rigg, Salkeld (Thomson 68’)
Unused subs: Foden, McGeoch
Bookings: White (33), Maloney (90)
Sent off: White (82)
Barrow XI: Dixon; Barthram (Brown 75’), Hird, Granite © (Jameson 68’), Norrington-Davies; Rooney, Taylor, Harcastle, Philpot; Hindle, Kay (Molyneux 68’)
Unused subs: Elsdon, Blyth
Goals: Rooney (8, 22)
Bookings: Hindle (30), Barthram (44)
Referee: Simeon Lucas
Attendance: 798 (180 Barrow)
MOTM: JJ O’Donnell