BARROW Raiders’ late win over Rochdale Hornets has been deemed an 'absolute epic’ by Paul Crarey with his side now on the cusp of a return to the Championship.

The League 1 leaders were 30-26 down with ten minutes to go at the Crown Oil Arena on Sunday afternoon, but a 79th-minute try from Declan Hulme and Ryan Shaw goal ensured an inspired, Barrow comeback.

The 32-30 win was Barrow’s first victory at Rochdale since 2011, and for head coach Crarey, there was no better time to break the decade-long spell.

He said: “It was an absolute epic. It was a mixture of emotions all day. The game had everything - blood, guts and thunder.

“It is just a massive, massive win for the club, it means so much for us. I thought we had blown it, it was a rough, tough game and we had been drawn into it.

“Our attitude at the end was unbelievable, but credit must go to Rochdale, they gave it everything. They were playing really short and stuck to their structure.

“Our fans were absolutely unbelievable. It was like playing at home really, they out sang the home fans. To have a chance to win the league at home next Saturday in front of them is just unbelievable.”

Crarey admitted he was elated when Shaw, who was forced to play in the halves due to injuries, converted Hulme’s try and has now heaped praise on the 28-year-old.

Crarey added: “The pressure on Ryan to kick that goal from the touchline was immense.

“Not many teams win at Rochdale and we said during the week that the game would probably come down to him.”

The Barrow head coach revealed that Connor Terrill had turned down a Scotland call-up to play in Sunday’s thriller.

Terrill, who came through the Raiders youth system, was one of a number of local players representing Barrow against Rochdale and is testament to the club’s academy – says Crarey.

“To do it with Charlie Emslie, Connor Terril, Jake Carter and Ryan Johnston – young kids that have come through the academy and our system is just unbelievable,” Crarey said.

He added: “Callum Bustin was injured with knee problems, Jake Emmitt had a torn calf, Jarred Stack is playing with a torn pec. It is just unbelievable effort from everyone, I can’t praise them enough for their attitude.”

Attention will now turn to Raiders' final game of the season at home to West Wales Raiders at Craven Park on Saturday.

A win would all but confirm Raiders' promotion to the Championship as champions after a two-year stay in League 1.