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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Forward forced to quit Barrow Raiders

RAIDERS forward Barry Pugh has been forced to quit the professional game again due to work commitments.

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FANS A LOT: Barry Pugh John Story

The second-rower returned to Barrow this season after six years out of paid action because of his shift patterns.

But now, after making only 10 further appearances – scoring two tries – the ex-Welsh international is hanging up his boots once again.

Pugh’s shifts have been reinstated and he is unable to commit to training and match-days for Darren Holt’s side.

Holt is disappointed to lose Pugh – who played his last game in the 20-12 win over Workington, where he picked up nasty cuts to his ear and mouth – but said he would be welcomed back at any time.

“When Barry has been on the park for us, he has been immense and it is an absolute shame that he has got to go back on his shifts,” said Holt, who had hoped to field Pugh a final time against London Skolars on Sunday before his injuries intervened.

“But when we spoke to Pughy at the start of the season when we signed him, he let us know early on there was the possibility this might happen.

“It’s his livelihood at the end of the day and, although as a club we will be sad to see him go, I understand that work comes first and he has to look after himself and his family.

“The door will always be open for him. If he can wangle anything and get himself back here, I hope he does because of what we have seen this year and the quality it brings.”

Pugh was among the substitutes for Sunday’s derby win over Workington Town at Craven Park.

He did not finish the game as bleeding from a head wound could not be stemmed by a bandage, though his injury was not the worst suffered by the Barrow side.

Fellow forward Martin Ostler was helped from the field midway through the first half and was on crutches after the game having twisted his right ankle.

Holt may now have to look for other options in the second row and said he would be ruling nothing out.

“I have said since the start of the season that if the right person becomes available – like Ryan Shaw, the right person became available who will fit into the club – we will see what we can do,” the Raiders coach added.

“I’m certainly not bringing numbers in for the sake of bringing numbers in – they will have to be right for the club.”

As well as Pugh, Barrow have also lost prop Lee Dutton to work commitments.

The big pack man has made only one start and three substitute appearances since returning to Craven Park, but he too has been unable to commit to the professional schedule due to his job.

Holt said: “Lee also has work issues with the shifts he is doing. He has been doing shift patterns and work patterns and he has had a few other issues ongoing.

“But again, the door is not closed to Lee. We still don’t know precisely what is going on and we will assess that going forward.”

l The kick-off for Sunday’s Championship One home match against London Skolars has been brought forward to 2pm at the request of the visitors.

l The Raiders Bar will be open tonight from 7.15pm to show the Keighley v Swinton Championship game on Premier Sports (7.30pm kick-off).

Have your say

In light of us losing players to work commitments and injury i think the club should try to lure mike whitehead back from workington...IMO he has always been a top player abd grafter and would fetch us some much needed quality on our push for promotion......Come on holty see if yiu can sort it

Posted by Howard Falconer on 17 May 2012 at 16:52

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