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Friday, 01 August 2014

THE RAIDING PARTY: Promotion now in Barrow Raiders' hands

THE Recreation Ground is never an easy place to win and to travel up the coast with a number of regular first team players missing and then face a Whitehaven side who had won their previous four matches is a particularly difficult task.

I must admit that on the journey up there my personal thoughts were that a bonus point would be a good return; and indeed it would have been.

It is now history that the side played superbly well in the searing heat and were worthy victors; in fact they were so good that they even managed to deny the Marras a bonus point.

It was one of the most committed performances I have seen from a Barrow side in a long time and every one of the 17 players on duty did themselves proud, never wilting in the hot conditions. Well done to them all.

That victory sees us reach the halfway point in the league fixtures as worthy leaders of Championship One and, without wishing to curse the team, it will now take a collapse of biblical proportions to deny us promotion come the end of the campaign.

Indeed, I know that the coaches and the players have the league leaders’ title as their target and there is little doubt they have now given themselves the perfect platform from which to launch an assault on that trophy.

This Sunday we have no fixture so the players can take a well-earned rest from the rigours of playing and get themselves in shape for a trip to Gateshead on Sunday June 10. A week later they will travel to Halifax for a Northern Rail Cup quarter final tie, while the next home match isn’t until Sunday June 24 when North Wales Crusaders visit.

Although we have no home fixtures, there is plenty going on at Craven Park in the first half of this month.

On Tuesday June 5 , the Supporters Club are holding a gala day at the ground to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Admission is free and there are a host of activities and attractions for you to enjoy. This is one for all the family, young and old, and it promises to be a great day’s entertainment.

A week later, on Tuesday June 12, we are proud to be hosting one of the qualifying group heats in the annual Rugby League Nines competition. The teams competing at Craven Park will be Cumbria (containing a number of Barrow players), Wigan, St Helens and Widnes. In 2011 Cumbria were runners-up in this competition so get along and support the county side as they once again bid to reach the finals at Headingley, Leeds.

There will be six matches played on the night with the first scheduled for 7pm, although the gates will open at 4.30pm due to the fact that there will be entertainment on offer before the competition starts. The last match will finish at 9.10pm.

Each match will be 20 minutes long so there will be two hours of top-class rugby league on offer. Admission is only £6 for all adults (no concessions) but under-16s will gain free admission if accompanied by an adult.

The awarding of this qualifying heat to Craven Park is a major honour for us and if we can pull in a large crowd it will surely enhance our chances of being awarded a World Cup fixture in 2013. Let’s show the rugby league community and the powers-that-be that we can attract large crowds to Craven Park for events such as this.

And remember – the future is bright; the future is blue and white.

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