Barrow Raiders delight at reaching Grand Final
Published at 17:12, Monday, 17 September 2012
BARROW Raiders saved their best performance of the season for when it really counted as they marched into the Grand Final at Warrington.
A 22-20 victory over Doncaster – the home side’s first defeat at the Keepmoat in the Championship One season – came after a magnificent display.
Coach Darren Holt hailed the effort and determination of a side who twice came from behind against the league winners and eventually triumphed thanks to their defensive mettle.
An Aaron Low brace and tries from Chris Larkin and James Dandy put the points on the board for Barrow, but it was the whole 17 who stood up to be counted in a final quarter of immense tension.
“It was the performance of the year,” said a delighted Holt, who had spent the closing stages exchanging punches with assistant boss Phil Atkinson in the stands, such was the intensity of it all.
“It was not so much the playing side, but the way that the boys really dug deep.
“We did it tough, we had a lot of injuries, people carrying niggles into the game and we picked up a few out there as well, but you could just tell from watching the game – and I’m sure the supporters would say the same – the boys just wanted it.
“They were not going to let them score at the end.
“They scored a couple of tries in the second half off kicks to the corner, but they came at us up the middle and down the edges all day and we handled it.
“Doncaster are a good team, a very big team and if you let them get a roll on then they are going to punish you, but we didn’t let that happen today – we weren’t bullied.”
Barrow played the final 22 minutes of the game without influential skipper Liam Harrison, after he took a knock to the kidneys to add to the calf problem he had before the game.
Dan Toal spent time off the field having stitches for a blow to the chin which left him groggy and at various points Mike Backhouse, James Nixon and Scott Kaighan all required treatment on the field.
But the side stuck together and did not concede any points in the final quarter of the match, despite coming under intense pressure from Doncaster in what Holt admitted was a tense closing spell.
“I think myself and Phil Atkinson punched each other about seven times without actually knowing it in those last 10 minutes,” he said.
“We were throwing out jabs and punches!
“If I wasn’t here coaching Barrow, it would have been a cracking game to watch. For the supporters it was a good game to watch, but I’d prefer it if we were winning by 20 or 30 points every week!”
The game had started poorly for Raiders as they fell behind to a Kyle Kesik try after 90 seconds.
But they withstood early pressure and put in big displays when it counted.
“The players all knew it was a big game,” added the Raiders boss. “The build-up had been a bit quiet, but as soon as I saw them warming up, I knew they were up for it.
“We had a couple of calls that went against us and in games gone by we have maybe folded and capitulated, but we didn’t today.
“Today’s result is more down to the heart and the commitment and the desire to get to that final and the boys deserve all the credit.
“It was gutsy, there was a lot of heat there. That’s the kind of performance the supporters want to see – 100 per cent, body on the line, guts and glory. That’s what they got today and we are in a Grand Final.
“The boys are over the moon – if we had a team song, they would be singing it!”
The Grand Final. Warrington. September 30. Barrow Raiders will be there. It will be a day to remember.
Tickets for the final go on sale this afternoon at the Rugby Shop at Scott Street.
In the first instance tickets will be available only to season ticket holders today and tomorrow, and any remaining will be available to all supporters from Wednesday onwards.
- One ticket only per season ticket.
- Junior Raiders’ season ticket holders can also buy tickets today and tomorrow.
- A person can purchase tickets on behalf of a season ticket holder.
- When purchasing tickets you must have the season tickets with you.
Prices for tickets for the final range from £22 (£11 under-16s) down to £16 (£8 under-16s) depending on whether you wish to sit in the grandstand or stand on the terracing.
At this stage we are unable to say which areas will be allocated to Raiders’ fans and therefore cannot give the exact prices applicable to Barrow. As soon as more details become available these will be passed on to supporters.
As always the club will be running coaches to the final with the cost being £15 for adults and £10 for under-14s. Places can be booked at the Rugby Shop.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Congratulations to both management and players, well done for keeping them(Doncaster) scoreless for the last quarter,
We're all looking forward to our trip down to Warrington to support the Raiders.
Barry Blue and Tony Brown, what the hell are you complaining about? If you like Rugby League and you follow Barrow, Enjoy it. Rugby is a great game and Barrow occasionally have some success with it. jump on the bandwagon put a smile on your face and maybe they'll do allright. Just be happy theres a game to play and watch you miserable sods
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