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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Dandy & Finch – The Barrow RL double-act

CONFUSION and befuddlement seem certain to ensue at Craven Park this season – but not because of any mistakes on the field.

I’VE GOT YOUR BACK Barrow Raiders players Liam Finch (left) and James Dandy (right), who have sponsored each other for the 2013 Championship season BILL WATKINSON REF: 50044264B000

Hookers Liam Finch and James Dandy have teamed up to form a comedy double-act on the field – each sponsoring the other for the 2013 Championship season.

At the club’s sponsors’ evening last month, the pair decided to spend their hard-earned rugby wages on backing their fellow number nine for the duration of the campaign.

Their hope is to raise to some smiles on the Craven Park turf and on the terraces when they are rotated on and off the field, creating a situation where PA announcer Phil Lees would have to say ‘Substitution for Barrow. Liam Finch, sponsored by James Dandy, being replaced by James Dandy, sponsored by Liam Finch’.

“Just before the auction started, me, Finchy and a few of the other lads were just say having a lemonade at the bar,” said Dandy, now in his second season with Raiders.

“I don’t know how we got on to it, but we somehow ended up saying ‘why don’t me and you sponsor each other and then when we’re playing, it’ll sound funny when they say “It’s James Dandy, sponsored by Liam Finch, replaced by Liam Finch, sponsored by James Dandy”.’

“It’s a good laugh at training among all the players and it was worth doing this for a good laugh. The reaction in the room was good, it was all pretty funny.”

Finch added: “We’ve got a good team spirit down there and it’s a bit of a laugh and this was just a bit of a joke really.

“The money will just come out of my wages – so I’ll be playing a game on the cheap!”

The money coming out of Dandy’s pocket was almost higher than he had anticipated, however.

After Finch had bought his sponsorship, the bidding for the Walneyite started and climbed ever-higher, with Dandy facing the prospect of paying much more for his man.

Fortunately, the figure did not creep beyond his reach, and Dandy said: “I had to keep my hand up to try and scare them off, but thankfully it didn’t go too high!”

With Nathan Mossop still recovering from a knee injury, Dandy and Finch are set to play in their first home match of the season against Doncaster tomorrow.

However, with both Mossop and Brad Marwood in contention for the hooking spot this season, there may come a point when their plan falls apart, especially if coach Darren Holt has his way.

“What it shows is the team spirit and the camaraderie we have down at Barrow,” he said.

“These are the kind of things that go on at every training session, the things that get a giggle. While it is serious as soon as you step on to the park, it’s nice to have a bit of a giggle every now and then.

“The thing is now though, I’m not going to play them both in the same game all year – so they’ve just wasted their money!

“I’ve tried to tell them, I always have the last laugh.”

Dandy, though, is hopeful that will not be the case and added: “I’ve not sponsored either of Nathan or Brad – so hopefully it will stay me and Finchy.

“It should be set in stone now!”

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