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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbrian derbies crucial for Barrow Raiders - Holt

THE Cumbrian derbies will take on an added dimension for Barrow Raiders boss Darren Holt next season.

IMPORTANT CLASHES: Barrow Raiders coach Darren Holt is looking forward to the Cumbrian derby matches in 2013

Barrow face Whitehaven and Workington home and away once more after all three secured promotion to the Championship this year.

Those games will be crucial both in terms of valuable finances through increased gates and in terms of who survives in a 14-team division certain to be hard-fought.

Holt, whose side also take on Whitehaven in a pre-season game on January 20, feels the games against their Cumbrian rivals will be even bigger than usual and said: “For all three Cumbrian clubs, I think it was a must that all three of us got up.

“The local derbies are big games and being up in Cumbria, Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow are the local derbies for us.

“They usually pull in big crowds, which helps the clubs, and they are usually very, very good games, close, hard-fought matches and good for the spectators.”

Barrow’s first Cumbrian derby of the season – excluding the friendly match against Haven at Craven Park – sees them travel to Workington on March 3.

Two weeks later, they entertain Haven, with the reverse fixture in May. The final derby match is a home clash with Town on August 18.

All the matches between the promoted clubs will be as keenly-contested as ever, with Holt seeing them as crucial in both the battle for bragging rights and for safety in the Championship.

“I think the Cumbrian derbies are games that are a must and I am glad they are there,” said the Barrow coach.

“It’s not just the bragging rights – we are all promoted teams going up this year and we will all be scrapping and trying to finish at the top of the pile of the promoted teams, knowing that if you do that, you are safe.”

New recruit Matthew Haggarty is one player who is especially looking forward to the Cumbrian derbies in 2013.

The 21-year-old prop was part of the Whitehaven squad last season and played for the Chocolate and Golds against both Workington and Barrow.

He enjoyed his taste of Cumbrian derby action and is relishing the chance to take it all in again – including two games against his former side, whom he moved from in September.

Haggarty said: “When I was playing for Whitehaven, I used to look forward to playing against Barrow and Workington. They are the derbies that you want to play in and I really enjoyed it.

“It’s going to be the same with Barrow, I’ll really look forward to those games.”

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