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Wednesday, 03 June 2015

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Barrow make two finals in one year


THE 1980/81 season saw Barrow reach the final of the John Player Trophy but they failed in their bid to lift the trophy going down 12-5 to Warrington.

In round one they had a close win at Swinton 12-10 before accounting for Hunslet at home 26-13.Round three took them to Hilton Park where two weeks previous they lost a legauge game, however they came up trumps with a 15-13 victory.Onto the semi final and in snowy conditions upset the applecart by defeating Hull 13-10 in a thrliing encounter.Millions of TV viewers saw Ian Ball make a tremendous break that covered 75 yards to send Ralph McConnell in for a vital try.And when a draw was on the horiozon up popped wily old head hooker Howard "Smiler" Allen to dart over from a play the ball.

The final at Central Park Wigan was played in front of a record final crowd of 12,820 (6,000 from Barrow) and for skipper Ian Ball he was to become the first ever player to have taken part in both the League and Union John Player Trophy finals.

Allen the hero in the semi-final turned villain in this tie as his wild pass was intercepted by Welsh Union international John Bevan, who raced in from 40 yards for a vital try. Mel Mason crossed for a Barrow try with Ball adding a goal.

BARROW: Dave Elliott, Ralph McConnell, Nigel French, Ian Ball, Tony Wainwright, Mel Mason, David Cairns, Dave Chisnall, Howard Allen, Malcolm Flynn,Kevin James, Steve Kirkby, Derek Hadley, Subs Eddie Symala, Mick James.


Barrow’s first ever cup final was in the same season 37/38 in which they also reached Wembley in the RL Challenge cup.

This was a season that went down as one of the best in the club's history, not only did they reach two finals they also beat the Australian tourists and finished fourth in the league, also creating a home record crowd of 21,651 when, on Good Friday 1938, they beat Salford 31-0.

In round one of the County Cup they beat St Helens Recs 11-2 before scraping through 3-2 against Liverpool Stanley in round two.9,000 plus saw then overcome Broughton Rangers 5-2 in the semi final at Craven Park

Barrow took on Warrington in the final but went down 8-4. Scoreless at half time, Freddie French kicked two second-half penalty goals.

BARROW: Freddie French, Val Cumber-batch, John Higgin Tommy Barr, Buster Harris, Ian Lloyd, Billy Little, George Blackburn, Danny McKeating, Bill Skelly, Alex Troup, Bob Ayres, Gordon Rawlings.

Barrow appeared in their second Lancashire Cup Final in the 1954-55 season emerging 12-2 winners over Oldham.

In the final they kept their line intact as they restricted Oldham to a solitary Bernard Ganley penalty goal.

The Oldham full back was one of the games best kickers and sadly passed away last week at the age of 82.

For Barrow Dennis Goodwin and Reg Parker crossed for tries with Horne adding three goals including a drop goal in front of a 25,462 crowd.

BARROW: Colin Poole Derek Hinchley, Phil Jackson, Dennis Goodwin, Frank Castle, Willie Horne Ted Toohey, Les Belshaw, Vince McKeating, Frank Barton, Jack Gundy, Reg Parker, Bill Healey.


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