Holt hails top-of-the-league Raiders after Haven win
Last updated at 14:23, Monday, 28 May 2012
BARROW’S best result of the season saw them end the first half of the Championship One season at the top of the pile.
A 42-28 Cumbrian derby victory at Whitehaven was just what coach Darren Holt ordered, as he witnessed a determined Raiders side triumph in a nip-and-tuck thriller at the Recreation Ground.
Two late tries from Liam Campbell, to complete his hat-trick, sealed an eighth win from nine after a match that hung in the balance throughout.
Andy Bracek, James Dandy, James Finch and Ryan Shaw had all crossed for Barrow before the late flurry of points sealed victory in a game which was finely-poised at 30-28 with 10 minutes to go.
Holt was delighted with the result and the position his team find themselves in halfway through the league campaign and said: “I’ve just said to the boys that was the best result of the season.
“It’s not the best performance, but yes the best result.
“Whitehaven away, doing it tough with a few injuries, I said to the boys before the game that one person’s disappointment at not playing is another person’s opportunity,
“I had no doubt we could come up and get the result, they just needed to knuckle together and that is what they did in the second half.”
He added: “First half, we scored some good tries and some good points when we had good ball and we were very dangerous.
“But, bar the first try, when they got the kick that bounced off the posts and could have gone anywhere – that was a good try – we gave them 18 points.
“There was weak tackling and that was key at half-time. I said let’s tighten up on the defence, working them over on their backs and slowing them down, and once we did that, they tired quite quickly I thought in the second half.
“The boys dug deep, were patient and we ended up, if not running away with it, winning by 14 points and stopping them claiming the bonus point as well, so I’m very, very happy.”
Holt praised the overall character of his side as they hung on through a tough first 70 minutes against a big Haven side.
With both himself and skipper Liam Harrison ruled out by injury, there was a much-changed Raiders team which took to the park, but they never gave in, with Scott Kaighan, Campbell and Andrew Dawson shrugging off various knocks they picked up.
Ruairi McGoff did leave the field 10 minutes before the end, having played through an ankle injury, and Holt felt the team all showed guts and determination.
“One benefit of having a predominantly local team is that the boys all want to play for each other,” said the Raiders boss.
“It doesn’t need me to shout at them, someone to egg them on or gee them up, they want to play for each other.
“Andy Bracek went out for the second half and he had a massive dead leg – I don’t know how he stayed on for 10 or 15 minutes, but it was just to help us out.
“That’s the sort of character you need and for a sand-in captain it was a standout performance.
“I can only speak from experience, but if you have a local team and all the boys get on great, they train together, spend time together – that’s team spirit and camaraderie.
“That means that on the pitch, you will go that extra mile, that extra metre for your mate and that character shone through.
“It was the best second-half performance we have had all year. To come here and win, I’m very happy for them.”
Holt had refused to be drawn on how well the season has been going and his side’s position at the top of the league until the halfway point of the campaign.
Having now played all the teams in the division and lost only once, however, he said: “We’re where we wanted to be.
“We set a target and to be eight from nine and top of the league at halfway is great.
“We do have some very tough away games to come, so we needed the points in the bag and we have done what we needed to do.
“I’d rather be top than second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth or 10th!”
First published at 13:08, Monday, 28 May 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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There is only one word for it - BRILLIANT
Well done Raiders, one & all. Darren & Philip working hard, the BOD & the back room staff.
Good result denied Haven the bonus points too.
Congratulations to all.