Barrow Raiders aces up for top RL awards
Last updated at 13:11, Wednesday, 19 September 2012
BARROW Raiders’ high-flying season keeps getting better after skipper Liam Harrison and centre Ryan Shaw were nominated for top awards.
Harrison is one of three men in the running for the Championship One Player-of-the-Year, while Shaw is up for the Young Player gong.
Both were among the nominations revealed by the RFL a day after Barrow reached the Grand Final, following votes cast by all the coaches in the league.
Barrow captain Harrison has started all but one of their 26 games this season, scoring 13 tries and being a real talisman in the pack.
His switch to the second row from centre by new coach Darren Holt has proved inspirational, lifting the side on many occasions and steering them to otherwise unlikely victories.
The 28-year-old said wearing the captain’s armband had inspired him to up his game in a season where he passed 200 appearances for the club, all of them starts.
“It’s very flattering to be recognised,” said the former Barrow Island amateur, who is up against Doncaster’s Paul Cooke and Workington’s Graeme Mattinson on the award shortlist. “I’d not really given it much thought all year, I had just been focusing on performing well week in, week out.
“It’s nice to get a bit of recognition for doing well.
“I have enjoyed the captain’s role this year and I would say that it certainly adds a bit of pressure that you have to be seen to be doing things right week in, week out.
“The focus is a lot more on making sure you perform well for the people around you and having that responsibility has probably improved my performances.
“If you had a captain who wasn’t performing week in, week out, you would ask questions. It wouldn’t look good.
“It has helped me focus on what I need to do as a player.”
On his switch from centre, he added: “I suppose you could say the move has gone well.
“My game has certainly changed a lot moving in there, I’m a bit closer to the action and less isolated in defence, that has probably helped a lot.”
Hometown boy Shaw joined the club on dual-registration from Super League Warrington Wolves midway through the campaign.
His goal-kicking proved an immediate eye-opener and he established himself as a regular in the centres until his parent club required his services for the under-20s side over the past month.
He played in 12 games, scored eight tries and kicked 58 goals to receive his nomination, alongside Millomite Elliott Miller (pictured below), who has impressed in the ranks at Workington Town.
“Ryan has made quite an impact for us,” added Harrison.
“He has proven himself a clinical finisher, he is brilliant at kicking and he has knocked a lot of points over for us. He is a local lad doing well, so it’s great to see.”
Despite taking over a side with no players signed on and a potentially bleak future in store and steering them to promotion and the Grand Final, new coach Darren Holt has not been included in the nominations for Coach-of-the-Year.
Instead, Doncaster’s Tony Miller, London Skolars’ Joe Mbu and North Wales Crusaders’ Clive Griffiths make the shortlist.
The winners of all three awards will be announced at the Co-operative Championships’ annual dinner in Leeds on September 25.
l Tickets for Barrow’s Championship One Grand Final showdown with either Doncaster or Workington are already on sale at the club.
Season-ticket holders and junior season-ticket holders can each buy one ticket from the Rugby Shop, Scott Street, today. The tickets will then go on general sale tomorrow.
The club are also running coaches to the Grand Final, with a cost of £15 for adults and £10 for under-14s. These can also be booked at the Rugby Shop.
First published at 16:36, Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Liam Harrison is the worst rugby league player I have ever had the misfortune of watching. He is a complete waste of space.
Final of what? hows it a final, its a waste of money thats what it is!
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