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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Lupton wants fiery Barrow/Workington derby

MILLOMITE Peter is hoping for a real fiery Cumbrian derby when he steps out with Workington Town for his first confrontation with Barrow tomorrow.

WELCOME RETURN: Peter Lupton powers through the Gateshead defence for Workington Town last week JIM DAVIS

The former Super League ace has returned to action for Town in their last two games, after injuring his wrist in a car crash ahead of February’s Northern Rail Cup tie between the two teams.

This will be the 30-year-old’s first experience of playing for Workington at Craven Park and he knows there is a lot riding on the outcome of the match for both sides.

“It’s one of those six-pointer games,” said the ex-Hull FC and Crusaders man. “If you can get a couple of wins against the top teams home and away, then you are looking good for promotion.

“You have to keep winning against the lower teams and then, whenever you can, pick off these big teams like Barrow and stay at or around the top of the table.

“There is a lot riding on the end of the year. You’ve got to be in that top four, or the club and the team will be struggling playing in that division below with all the travelling you will have to do.

“It is a big aim for every club to be promoted and this will put you on the way if we win this game.”

The match will be Lupton’s third Cumbrian derby in a professional career stretching back more than a decade.

He appeared for Whitehaven against Barrow at Craven Park while on loan from London Broncos in 2002 and then played in the Haven/Town friendly match at the start of this year.

He knows the games create a special atmosphere and added: “When we played the friendly, Workington against Whitehaven, at the start of the year, that was an experience, because I had never played Workington/Whitehaven before.

“When I played for Whitehaven against Barrow (during his loan spell there in 2002), that was a nice experience as well, so I am hoping this will be another one of those fiery Cumbrian matches.

“This is the first real test since I have been back (he played 20 minutes against Crusaders and the full match against Gateshead last week). I’m looking forward to a tough game, but I hope it’s not too tough.”

With both Cumbrian teams among the top three in the division at present and on course for their aims of making promotion to the Championship next season, Sunday’s game takes on an extra dimension.

Barrow have not been beaten at Craven Park in all competitions this year, but Lupton is hopeful Workington can end that run, something that they were close to doing in a 31-24 Northern Rail Cup defeat in February.

He added: “I think it will be a really tough test for both teams. Barrow and Workington are probably the two favourites at the minute, with Doncaster, to get the top two. It’s always a tough time when you go to Barrow, whichever team you play for. It’s hard going to Craven Park and it’s going to be a big game.

“In the Northern Rail, the teams were close then, so it will be another close one.

“We’ve had a couple of big wins and our defence has been pretty solid. If we can keep Barrow under 16 points, or 12 points, then we are in with a good chance.”

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