GIVEN the announcement late last Friday about the Betfred Championship expanding to 14 teams from 2019, yesterday’s match at Craven Park might almost have seemed an anti-climax.

From needing to win to guarantee a place in the division next year, Barrow Raiders were now certain of staying up thanks to off-field machinations whatever the result against Swinton Lions.

Not to Raiders head coach Paul Crarey though, who told the players beforehand how important it was to show they could have stayed up on their own merit.

So it came to pass as Barrow secured a 34-18 win over the Lions, a team still not certain of survival.

Swinton had, however, gone ahead with just 28 seconds gone as Luke Waterworth’s break set up Jack Hansen for a converted try with a length-of-the-field attack from the kick-off.

The Lions even led 14-12 at the break, but the sin-binning of star centre George Tyson for dissent on 51 minutes proved an opportunity which Barrow took full advantage of.

And it was two of their players who perhaps do not always get the recognition they deserve who led the way in Ryan Burroughs and Brett Carter, with two tries apiece.

Burroughs, the USA international on loan from Toronto Wolfpack, showed the sort of nifty footwork honed during his gridiron days for both - particularly his second, darting through the gaps from 50 metres out similar to an NFL punt returner.

And Carer, the winger playing for his hometown club, showed the attacking side of the game to go with much of the unseen work he does in defence.

They were ruthless in punishing Swinton’s errors too, shown when Jamie Dallimore picked up a loose ball and ran in a try from 70 metres which he also converted to cancel out Hansen’s try.

A penalty from Robert Fairclough, who kicked two conversions as well, edged Swinton back in front, but Burrough’s first - set up by Ryan Fieldhouse - and the conversion put the Raiders ahead.

A charge-down on halfway led to Mike Butt breaking clear for a converted try which put Swinton ahead three minutes before half time.

But when Tyson was shown a yellow card, the Raiders turned the screw. First Carter, finished a quick attack, then Arnaud Bartes battered his way over and finally Burroughs tore through for his second.

Even the sin-binnings of Ryan Duffy and Martin Aspinwall for foul play did not stop the Raiders and although Butt got a consolation, Carter sealed the win with a try out wide on the stroke of full time.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Georgy Gambaro, Declan Hulme, Ryan Burroughs, Tom Loxam; Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock; Tom Walker, Nathan Mossop, Glenn Riley, Jono Smith, Danny Morrow, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Dan Toal, Ryan Duffy, Arnaud Bartes, Dean Parata.

Swinton Lions: Jack Hansen; Michael Butt, Rhodri Lloyd, George Tyson, Joe Brown; Robert Fairclough, Joshua Woods; Andy Bracek, Luke Waterworth, Paul Wood, Andrew Thornley, Kyle Shelford, Hayden Hansen. Interchange: Ben Austin, Joshua Ganson, Patrick Jones, Chris Worrall.

Referee: Liam Moore.

Sin-bin: Barrow Raiders – Ryan Duffy (late tackle, 58), Martin Aspinwall (dangerous contact, 75); Swinton Lions – George Tyson (dissent, 51).

Attendance: 1,357.

Playback: 1 – Hansen try, Fairclough conv (0-6); 7 – Dallimore try and conv (6-6); 15 – Fairclough pen (6-8); 28 – Burroughs try, Dallimore conv (12-8); 37 – Butt try, Fairclough conv (12-14); 52 – Carter try (16-14); 55 – Bartes try, Dallimore conv (22-14); 58 – Burroughs try, Dallimore conv (28-14); 76 – Butt try (28-18); 80 – Carter try (32-18).

Raiders star man: Ryan Burroughs.