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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Warrington trio give triple boost to Barrow Raiders Grand Final hopes

BARROW’S talented dual-reg trio will be back in the Raiders ranks for the Championship One Grand Final.

Ryan Shaw, Ryan Duffy and Brad Brennan are all available for the showdown with Doncaster or Workington at their parent club Warrington’s home ground.

All three appeared to have played their last game in Barrow colours when the regular season came to an end two weeks ago.

But coach Darren Holt and the Craven Park board have found a way to allow the threesome to be available once more.

Barrovian Shaw, who has missed the last two Raiders games due to his Wolves Under-20s commitments in the Valvoline Cup, played just enough games to enable him to be eligible on dual-registration – and to earn him a nomination for the Championship One Young Player-of-the-Year earlier this week.

But his 12 appearances were three more than Brennan and four more than Duffy following the closing-day victory against South Wales Scorpions and neither would be allowed to play in the play-offs on their original deals.

However, the regulations allowed Barrow to sign both the forwards on loan until the end of the season, enabling Duffy to appear in the semi-final win over Doncaster on Sunday – a game Brennan only missed due to an ankle injury.

The agreements mean the trio will all be in contention for the Grand Final at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in 11 days time, with Holt happy to have them to bolster his ranks.

“Ryan Shaw qualifies because he has played enough games for us to qualify as a dual-reg player,” the Barrow boss clarified.

“We signed both Ryan and Brad on loan. There is a bit of a loophole, where you can sign them on loan if you have had them as dual-reg players.

“You have to approach their club and ask if you can take them on loan, but that means that they can’t return to their clubs.

“We spoke to Warrington about both Ryan and Brad and they agreed to give them to us on loan through to the end of the season, which is a cracking gesture from Warrington and it helps us no end. It is really appreciated.”

Holt added: “Brad had an injury at the weekend, he had a bad ankle and he wasn’t fit to play, but he is available (for the Grand Final), Ryan Duffy is available and Ryan Shaw would be available anyway through dual-registration.”

l Tickets for Barrow’s Championship One Grand Final at Warrington on Sunday, September 30 went on sale to the general public today.

They can be purchased from the Rugby Shop, Scott Street, and cost from £16 for adults and £8 for concessions – including admittance to the Conference Challenge Cup final and the Championship Grand Final as well.

The Barrow game has been confirmed as a 2pm kick-off.

l Oxford have been confirmed as the third new team to play in Championship One for next season.

Coached by former Oldham and Leigh boss Tony Benson, they join the University of Gloucestershire All Golds and Hemel Hempstead Stags as expansion teams in a 10-side division.

Northampton Rebels, the first side to be announced by the RFL last year, have since withdrawn, leaving a fourth still to be unveiled.

Flookburgh-raised former Ulverston RL amateur Ralph Rimmer, now chief operating officer at the RFL, said: “As we have made clear previously, the long-term aim of introducing new teams into Championship One from new geographical areas is to unearth and develop new players, provide more opportunities and increase the sport’s playing pool.”

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