BARROW Raiders' head coach Paul Crarey "is so proud" of his team after the claimed the Betfred League 1 title at the weekend.

Raiders beat West Wales Raiders 76-0 and set a club record for most tries scored by wingers in one game (11) in the process.

Winning the title means they gain automatic promotion into the Championship joining fellow Cumbrian side Whitehaven.

"It has been a tough year," Crarey said.

"People don't realise what the players have gone through to just get out and play sometimes with Covid and rule changes.

"Everyone in the league has done well to put on a show for the fans this year.

"We had a brilliant start and that carried us through when Covid hit, and the injuries started coming in.

"We had the best defence and the best attack statistics in the league which is really special. We really do have a fantastic group of players here.

"We have all worked really hard for the club and nobody on the outside can see the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, but we have 185 kids in our jets programme, and we are coaching the coaches in the area as well.

"We have the backing of BAE and great sponsors.

"All the staff have given everything this year."

Crarey explained that the club has been criticised at times this season, but the club has stayed determined and got the desired outcome at the end of the season.

The head coach has credited the local lads who have come in and played "outstanding rugby" when injuries hit the senior players, highlighting Charlie Emslie as one of many standout players in that category.

"They have been magnificent," he said.

"I think for myself personally coming from Dalton, we are well supported by the amateur game around here, so it is important we have a pathway for the local kids to come through.

"Some can't afford to go down the road and play for the big Super League clubs so it is good that we have a system where they can come and develop just as well here and be educated and progress.

"I think what all the players have done this year is outstanding and it is a massive achievement for the club.

"It has been a tough year and at points fans have wanted changes in the club only four weeks ago, but we have come out on top."

Crarey explained that despite them enjoying a hard-earned title, they are looking ahead to next year and making sure they can keep moving forward, keep their key players, and find further success next season.

He thanked all the players staff for their hard work throughout the season as well as all the people who sent him messages of congratulations.