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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Sports review of the year

BOB Herbert looks back at a great twelve months for local sport

JANUARY

BARROW AFC, as they set off for their FA Cup third round tie at Middlesbrough, welcome the news that Barrovian Wayne Curtis has signed on a month’s loan from Morecambe and that Leeds keeper Alan Martin will stay until the end of the season.

Barrow soccer chairman Brian Keen thanks the “magnificent 7,000” who followed the team to Middlesbrough where they put up a great showing against Premiership Middlesbrough, but Jason Walker’s goal is not enough to earn a replay, as they lose 2-1.

Barrow RL chairman Des Johnston reveals his frustration as new restrictions limit his recruitment drive. But the Rugby Shop starts taking bookings for the trip to Toulouse in May.

A clear-out at Holker Street as striker David Brown and Luke Joyce leave the club. Chris Thompson, Lee Hunt and Tim Deasy are all made available for loan spells and Paul Jones and Paul Tait are told they will not feature regularly.

Crafty Cockney Eric Bristow shows his darts skills at Dalton Cons Club.

Raiders coach Dave Clark reports he is very happy with the way players have been shaping up in pre-season training.

Barrow sporting legend Bill Caine, who played for both Barrow RL and Barrow AFC, dies at the age of 81.

Domino’s pizza delivery man Garry Price, of the Furness Fight Factory, receives the British Amateur Boxing Union’s super middleweight UK title belt.

Barrow Raiders line-up a triple swoop for Fijians Alipate Noilea, Waisale Suka and Seva Koroi.

Barrow AFC players come under fire for showing a “lack of battle and fight” as they lose to Workington in the FA Trophy.

The Raiders announce the signing of Australian Super League forward Ned Catic before they take on Workington Town in testimonial match for Darren Holt.

Andy Bond and Steve McNulty are sent off as the Bluebirds lose 3-0 at Stevenage.

Ryan Shaw, Barrow Island’s 16-year-old centre, signs for Warrington and their prop Brad Singleton is signed by Leeds.

Bluebird Jason Walker wins December's Blue Square Goal of the Month award for his strike against Altrincham.

FEBRUARY

BARROW Raiders trounce Oldham 38-4 as they warm-up for their Northern Rail Cup campaign – and announce they have signed ex-Super League player Zeb Luisi.

Bluebirds striker Jason Walker is called up for England C team to play in Malta. And Paul Brown gets a late call-up.

The Holker Street pitch was likely to be fit for play, but Barrow v Torquay is postponed because heavy overnight snow leaves the Torquay team trapped in Devon.

Barrow Raiders ask MP John Hutton to help clear the red tape preventing them getting clearance for overseas signings.

The North West Counties Division One RL clash between Walney Central and Folly Lane is marred as two mass brawls erupt just before end of the game, which Folly Lane win 19-18.

Winger Mike Backhouse gets a hat-trick of tries as the Raiders crush Rochdale Hornets 54-12.

Dalton CC sign up Cumberland paceman Graham Dawson as their professional for the North Lancs League season.

Barrow teenager Callum O’Connor signs a full professional contract with Blackburn Rovers.

Popular Askam RL scrum half Mark Coward, 21, dies following bout of inflammatory pneumonia.

Barrow Raiders lose 40-10 at Halifax and veteran full-back Gary Broadbent says it is a “wake-up” call.

The club follow up by signing Millom’s 21-year-old hooker Nathan Mossop.

Seven months after suffering a double leg break in a pre-season game at Kendal, Barrow AFC’s Lee Woodyatt returns to action with a game in the reserves.

Mike Pearson, who suffered a double break in the cup-tie at Middlesbrough, thanks supporters for £1,015 raised in a bucket collection.

Barrow Raiders admit defeat in trying to sign Fijian hooker Waisale Suka after player decides to stay at home.

MARCH


BARROW AFC’s Setanta Shield semi-final with Telford United is abandoned for safety reasons after 22 minutes when metal sheets blow off the roof of the nearby Bluebird Function Suite and an advertising hoarding blows off the perimeter wall and onto the pitch.

The Raiders send out a message to their Championship rivals with a 12-4 Northern Rail Cup win over Widnes.

Dalton’s speedway star Adam Roynon is in hospital in critical condition after horror crash while practising with Great Britain team at Kings Lynn. Before the month is out he is pledging “I’ll be back” while on way to recovery from a blood clot on his brain and a broken bone in his neck.

Barrow Raiders expect a full house at Craven Park after drawing Wigan Warriors in the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round.

Dee Bateman wins the Evening Mail women’s darts trophy for the 10th time, beating sister Zee Kane in the final.

Dave Pratt takes the men’s title for a third time with a 3-1 victory over former champion Brian Caine in the final.

Darts legends John Lowe and Eric Bristow show off their skills in a Legends of the Oche show at Forum 28.

England and Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith visits Furness to talk to the area’s amateur RL coaches.

Bluebirds chairman Brian Keen admits they are getting “a bit nervous” as they battle against relegation. And striker Jason Walker gets a ban extended to four matches after appealing against his sending off in the game at Torquay.

The top junior boxers are lined-up to visit Barrow as Royal Navy ABU Junior Championships are arranged to be staged at Hoops.

The Raiders rack up a great win at Gateshead 38-14 and the Bluebirds beat Lewes 2-0 to ease their relegation worries.

Barrow Island beat Walney Central 34-10 to claim the Barton Townley RL Cup.
Hoad Hill Harriers runners Chris Howe and Sharon Dixon record superb times in the Coniston 14 road race.

APRIL

FORMER Barrow AFC winger Paul Ferris is named as assistant to Alan Shearer as the former England football star takes over as the boss at Newcastle United.

With a crowd of 6,275 in Craven Park, Barrow Raiders push Super League Wigan all the way before bowing out 32-20 in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.

Raiders chairman Des Johnston reveals that he had kept former Super League player Ned Catic under wraps for 24 hours before revealing him to the Barrow squad just before the cup tie with Wigan.

Barrow Celtic throw a dinner as former players get together to mark the amateur soccer club’s 75th anniversary.

Millom RL A take the Barrow and District League Knock-out Cup after a 42-24 win over Ulverston A.
Barrow AFC players Nat Kerr and Carlos Logan are arrested after a ‘road rage’ incident following the game at Mansfield Town.

Barrow man, Professor Gary Savage, visits his home town to give a talk on his operations director role with the Brawn GP Formula One team.

Barrow Cricket Club’s 15-year-old all-rounder Liam Livingstone is picked for the England Cricket Board team for a game at Loughborough.

Barrow Raiders slap a suspension on centre Ian Bell after he refuses to play for the second team. Two days later he is sacked by the club.

A minute’s silence is held at Holker Street as a tribute to former Barrow AFC stalwart of the 1960s, Dickie Robinson, who had died at the age of 82.

Millom’s Makwai Judo Club plays host to 150 young martial arts exponents at they stage the South Cumbria Championships.

Barrow AFC celebrate York City's win over Weymouth, which means they are safe in the top tier of non-league football with Lewes, Northwich, Woking and Weymouth being relegated from the Conference.

MAY

DALTON United win the West Lancs League Premier Division Richardson Cup with a 2-0 victory over Bolton-based Turton.

And two goals by Carl Waters give Millom a 2-1 Furness Senior Cup final victory over GSK Ulverston Rangers.

Seven players are axed in Barrow Bluebirds’ end-of-season clear-out – Matt Henney, Paul Tait, Paul Brown, Brendan McGill, Nat Kerr, Lee Woodyatt and Lee Hunt.

Arrangements are made for Olympic gold medallist Adrian Moorhouse to open the new £2.3m swimming pool at the Lakeland Leisure Park near Flookburgh.

Barrow Raiders play Widnes Vikings off the park as they chalk up a 27-6 away victory.

Bob Atkinson wins the Dalton 10k Road Race in 32 min 25 sec – a new UK season’s best time for the over-50 age category.
Raiders rookie winger Chris Larkin is named in the Co-operative Championship team-of-the-month for April.
Former Evening Mail journalist and ex-chief executive of the Football Association Brian Barwick confesses he was “stressed out” while doing the FA top job.

One-time Millom CC sub professional Graham Onions takes five wickets for 38 in his England debut against West Indies.
Barrow CC all-rounder Liam Livingstone is called up by the Cumberland team – at 15-years-old he is the youngest player to appear for the county in over 30 years.

Harry Stainton, an 18-year-old Ulverston student, is the first person home in the annual Keswick to Barrow Walk. Official figures say a total of 1,934 people completed the 40-mile trek through Cumbria.
Raiders skipper Gary Broadbent makes his 100th consecutive senior appearance – since turning out for Whitehaven in the 2006 season – as Barrow lose on French soil in Toulouse.

Millom judo brothers Ben and Adam Dixon get an invite to Scandinavia for specialist training camps and competitions.

Barrovian Steve Bingham, after a 19-year absence from competitions, wins the National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association North Britain Championship Masters over-40 title.

Rob Leitch (Furness) wins the 2009 Evening Mail Open golf tournament. The women’s pairs event goes to Shirley Temple and Joan Atkinson (Seascale). The boys’ and girls’ titles are won by Chris Kendall and Nicola Wood.

Defender Simon Spender signs a two-year contract to play at Holker Street and striker Jason Walker also agrees a new deal. But Nick Rogan asks to be released because the new training schedule will affect his university studies.

Rugby fan Paul Doughty is reported in hospital in Toulouse with head injuries after a fall while supporting Barrow Raiders in France.

The Evening Mail helps clear visa problems to enable Pakistani pro Majeed Jehangir to start playing for Furness CC again.

JUNE

BARROW Raiders take over at the top of the Championship with 26-18 win over Sheffield Eagles.

Bluebirds skipper Paul Jones accepts a new deal but Steve McNulty turns down improved offer, saying the club's new training schedule would mean having to give up his other job as a van driver.

The Raiders boost their squad by signing former New Zealand Warriors centre Andreas Bauer from financially-stricken Doncaster.

Barrow’s Dan Stewart finishes ninth in the Dainese Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT week and then mechanical problems mean he doesn’t finish in the Relentless Supersport race.

Raiders chairman Des Johnston issues a “prove yourselves” warning to the Barrow players as they prepare for their top-of-the-table clash at Haifax.

The team had just scraped through their Northern Rail Cup quarter-final and not impressed in three league games – and then just fell 30-24 to Halifax.

The Bluebirds appoint former Cumberland cricket team captain Martin Lewis as the club’s new commercial manager.

Former Dowdales School pupil Leanne Wassell marries Manchester United star Wes Brown at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire.

Barrow-born Tom Beadling captains the Australian side in the Asian Federation Cup Under-13 Festival of Football in Malaysia.

A late try by Andy Ellis gives the Raiders a 16-10 victory over Featherstone Rovers and in a place in the Northern Rail Cup Final.

Football League experienced midfield enforcer Robin Hulbert signs for the Bluebirds.

A broken collarbone rules Raiders half-back Liam Campbell out for rest of the season.

Furness pair Darren King and Dennis Crabtree win the annual Barrow Rotary Club Open golf competition staged at the Barrow course.

JULY


BARROW Raiders terminate the contract of loose forward Andy Brocklehurst for “gross misconduct”.
Barrow Raiders fan Paul Doughty, who suffered a serious head injury while following the team in France, and spent three weeks in hospital in Toulouse, part of the time in a coma, and then a spell in Furness General Hospital, goes to the return match with Toulouse in the hope it might help him regain his short-term memory.

The Raiders sign England international half-back Jamie Rooney from Wakefield Wildcats.

Ex-Football League defender Phil Bolland signs a two-year deal with Bluebirds.

Barrow Thorns entertain two girls’ basketball teams from British Columbia, Canada, at Hoops.

Barrow Raiders put up a good fight but lose 34-18 to Widnes Vikings in final of Northern Rail Cup at Blackpool.

Andrew Leitch is banned from every football ground in England and Wales for three years after using intimidating and aggressive behaviour against rival fans at the Bluebirds’ game with Wrexham.

Winger Paul Rutherford and defender Adam Dugdale are offered terms by Barrow AFC. And a deal is struck with England C defender Sean Newton.

Millom CC beat Furness to retain the Cumbria Twenty-20 cricket cup by six wickets after being set a target of 129.

Championship club Doncaster give a trial to Bluebirds striker Jason Walker and he scores in first appearance – but no contract is offered and he remains with Barrow.

In a shock announcement, Barrow Raiders part company with coach Dave Clark and his assistant Dean Marwood and appoint Steve Deakin as caretaker boss. After three defeats in four Championship games, Clark says it is “the best decision for the club”.

Duddon win cricket’s Melville Cup for the first time since 2000 with a 10-wicket win over Furness Hospitals.

Barrow Raiders go on shopping spree and sign four players from Oldham – Dave Allen, Danny Halliwell, James Coyle and Andy Ballard – plus free agent Bob Roberts. The team then smashes Leigh Centurions 74-6.

Barrow’s Fraser Minnican, 13, wins the 200m medley event, coming within 0.59 seconds of breaking the British record at ASA National Age Group Championships at Sheffield.

AUGUST

WALNEY golfing ace Hollie Weatherburn flies out to start a two-year golfing scholarship in Texas.
Furness CC win the Higson Cup as they score 178 for 9 and dismiss Cleator for 123.
Bluebirds sign goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson after Tim Deasy breaks a finger on the eve of the new season – and they start the new term with 2-0 win at Cambridge.
Barrow Raiders hammer Doncaster 64-0, with 11 tries, and go back to the top of the table.

Holker Old Boys crash out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, losing 2-0 at home to Padiham, from a league higher, in the extra-preliminary round tie.

Barrow man Dean Kelly returns from the World Dwarf Games with four gold medals – for 100 metres, 200 metres, relay and football – and silvers for power lifting, javelin and discus.

Bluebirds joint-manager Dave Bayliss is left fuming at the referee after he books six Barrow players, sends off Phil Bolland and awards two controversial penalties to Mansfield as they beat the Bluebirds 4-1.

Former Millom CC players Steve Sharp and Dave ‘Dinger’ Bell are presented certificates to mark their “outstanding service to grassroots cricket” by Sir Ian Botham.

Barrow Island’s young rugby star Tom Brannon signs for Super League club Warrington Wolves.

Michael Aspinall (Lancaster) wins the Ulverston Summer 10k road race from a record entry of 233 runners. Dave Fulford (Hoad Hill) is the first local home in fifth.

Cumberland CCC claim their first Minor Counties win of the season in their last match, beating Bedfordshire by eight wickets.

The Bluebirds re-sign full-back Gareth Jelleyman from AFC Telford and take Rochdale striker Jon Shaw on a month’s loan.

Barrow lad Ben Harrison helps Warrington to a 25-16 victory over Huddersfield in the RL Challenge Cup final.

Barrow Raiders directors sack coach Steve Deakin after just four games – all resulting in victories – and chairman Des Johnston says the decision follows “certain issues at the club that have come to light,” Dave Clark is asked to return to the coaching role.

SEPTEMBER

GATESHEAD Thunder, inspired by now-barrow coach Steve McCormack, spoil the Raiders party by denying them the victory that would have ensured them the Championship title.

Bookies’ favourite Gary Ellis (Manchester) wins the Johnston Recruitment Invitational bowls tournament at Hawcoat Park from an entry of the country’s top crown green bowlers.

Barrow Raiders, with a vital bonus point in their 29-22 defeat at Sheffield, clinch the Cooperative Championship.

Barrow AFC boss Dave Bayliss blasts his team as “spineless” after the 6-1 home defeat by Rushden and Diamonds.

Four Barrow Raiders players – Andy Ellis, Liam Harrison, James Nixon and Zeb Luisi – are named are in Co-operative Championship All-Stars team.

Furness CC, having won the North Lancs League Premier Division and the Higson Cup, find weather delays their chances of the treble with their County Cup final, against Cleator, being postponed until next season.

Barrow hooker Andy Ellis tells the Raiders to “make me an offer” as interest come in from Super League clubs. Ultimately he joins the Harlequins.

The Raiders chalk up a great 35-12 victory over Halifax to book their place in the Grand Final play-off.

Motorcycle racer Dan Stewart praises Furness General Hospital staff for getting him back on his feet in time for his wedding after a bad crash at Brands Hatch, in Kent, left him with four broken ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken left leg.

Dalton-born triathlete Terry McMahon returns from Australia after finishing 100th when representing Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships, improving on his European Championship time by four minutes.

Stephen McCormick. 47, gets a three-year ban from every football ground in England and Wales after admitting a public order offence following disorder at Barrow AFC’s home game with York City.

Barrow Raiders’ Dave Clark and Andy Ellis receive the Championship coach and player-of-the-year awards at glittering ceremony in Manchester.

A wonder goal by Jason Walker helps the Bluebirds get back on track with victory over Mansfield Town.

OCTOBER


ULVERSTON teenager Tom Doyle gets a call-up for England for the Home International Fell Running Championships.

Former England half-back Jamie Rooney signs a two-year deal with Raiders.

With more than 4,000 followers backing them, Barrow Raiders record a great 26-18 victory over Halifax at Warrington to add the Grand Final to their Championship success.

The Bluebirds show their spirit as they draw 1-1 with Conference leaders Oxford at Holker Street, thanks to a Jon Shaw goal.

Glasgow Celtic provide a team to play the Bluebirds as part of the Barrow club’s celebrations of 100 years of playing at Holker Street. Former Barrow favourite Nick Rogan, back on loan from Fleetwood, is taken to hospital after swallowing his tongue and having a fit on the pitch.

The Bluebirds are drawn at home to Chester City in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup and controversial former Barrow chairman, Stephen Vaughan, now owner of the Chester outfit, says: “No doubt the Barrow public will be waiting to greet me as soon as I get there.” There is no further controversy as he fails to turn up at the match.

Former Barrow Raiders coach Stuart Wilkinson is appointed assistant coach to the French national side for the Rugby League Four Nations tournament.

Furness table tennis youngsters Scott Crawford, Tom Smith and Emily Standing represent the North West in the UK School Games in South Wales.

Coniston-born Gemma Miles finishes 44th in the World Half Marathon championships in Birmingham.

Gary Broadbent sweeps the board with four player-of-the-year awards at the Barrow Raiders end-of-season presentation night.

Raiders winger James Nixon scores four tries on debut for Scotland against Italy in Padua.

Steve McCormack is unveiled as the new Barrow Raiders coach, with Dave Clark his deputy.

A wonder strike by Paul Rutherford earns Barrow AFC a draw with Chester in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup. And then they go wild when they travel for the replay with three goals in an amazing five minutes in 4-0 win.

Belle Vue press officer Richard Frost reveals he is to write a book about Alan Wilkinson, the Barrow speedway ace who captained the Manchester team and Great Britain before a serious injury ended his career.

The Raiders allow Andreas Bauer to sign a contact with French club Carcassonne until spring.

NOVEMBER

BLUEBIRDS joint-manager Dave Bayliss plays his first game for 22 months as they beat Rossendale in the Lancashire Co-operative Challenge Trophy. The club is later fined £100 for not fielding its strongest possible team.

Junior “The Hitter” Whitter is the special guest at Barrow Amateur Boxing Club’s sell-out boxing show, which helped raise money for the Help the Heroes fund.

Cyclo-cross stars turn up at the Brockhole Lakes Visitors Centre at Windermere for the first sporting event to be held there.

Former Barrow hooker Andy Henderson is recruited from Gateshead as the Raiders’ first close-season signing.

Duddon Youth Wild Water canoe racing team makes it three wins in a row with victory in the national Wavehopper finals at Nene Whitewater Centre, in Northampton.

Ulverston racehorse trainer Roger Fisher hits a rich vein of form with four winners and a second from six runners in a fortnight – two of the victories by Living it Large, owned by Barrow Raiders chairman Des Johnston.

Raiders players Gary Broadbent, James Nixon, Liam Harrison, Andy Ellis and Zeb Luisi are named in Rugby League World magazine’s Championship Team of the Season. And Dave Clark is named coach of the year.

Joint celebrations at Holker Street as Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan mark two years as Barrow’s joint managers, and Paul Jones makeshis 250th appearance for the club.

Second rower Michael Knowles joins the Raiders after severing ties with Gateshead.

Furness-based mountain bike rider Sue Clarke, the British champion, talks of her hopes for the 2012 Olympics.

Little Urswick’s Becky Lewis is in the trophies at the Channel Swimmers’ Association dinner in Dover as she collects awards for being the fastest British lady, the faster lady, fastest solo swimmer and the fastest British Long Distance Association swimmer after clocking a time of 10 hours and 2 minutes.

Raiders chairman Des Johnston is in a rage after getting a bill for £26,000 for the use of temporary floodlights for televised Craven Park games.

Barrow runner Bob Atkinson leads England over-50s team to victory in the Irish Masters cross-country international.

World Dwarf Games gold medallist Dean Kelly wins the Barrow Borough Sports Council’s Sportsperson of the Year award, with the junior award going to Emily Bolton. Jemma Bell is the Young Volunteer of the year; and Service to Sport awards got to Ruth and Phil Haughian, Chris Read, John Pownceby and Tommy McLaughin.

Former Raiders forward Andy Brocklehurst is banned for two years by RFL after failing a drugs test earlier in the season at Batley.

The Bluebirds defy the odds to draw at table leaders Oxford in the FA Cup and learn that a trip to Premiership Sunderland awaits the replay winners.

DECEMBER

WINGER Malvin Kamara is released by AFC, who start December with a 1-0 win at Altrincham.

Ulverston tennis ace Peter O’Donovan, 14, is on fire, having won five successive tournaments.

Boxing fans are treated to an excellent night of bouts at the annual Furness Catholic Amateur Boxing Club Dinner at the Ringside show.

Raiders announce plans to team up with St Helens or Wigan in a loan arrangement, which could see Super League talent fed into Craven Park.

AFC’s yearly income doubles from £450,167 to £934,527, thanks largely to the lucrative FA Cup clash at Middlesbrough, club members are told at the AGM.

Ulverston Victoria High School’s orienteering team celebrate winning the British Schools Championships for the 15th year on the trot.

Paul Bird leads from start to finish to win the Coppermines Grizedale Stages Rally.

Windermere hockey player Richard Flint, plays for England under-16s.

AFC set up a dream FA Cup third round tie at Sunderland after a memorable night at Holker Street, where leaders Oxford Utd are beaten 3-1 in front of 2,794 fans.

Former Holker Old Boys boss Jimmy Ballantyne dies, aged 74.

Raiders swoop for ex-Super League forward Richard Fletcher.

Jason Walker heads AFC to a 1-0 FA Trophy win at Kettering.

Raiders are set to face Leigh in their televised Co-operative Championship opener as the 2010 fixtures are released.

Barrow and Furness Striders stage the successful Cumbria cross-country championships.

Barrow Island youngsters Brad Singleton and Ryan Shaw are called up for the England Academy squad.

Raiders chairman Des Johnston is well on way to full health after a quadruple heart bypass operation.

AFC draw 3-3 with Gateshead in their final game before FA Cup trip to Sunderland, with the club having sold all its 7,200 ticket allocation for the clash.

Furness RU select beat Barrow RL select 23-14 in a cross-code challenge.

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