THERE was a definite autumnal chill in the air at Post Office Road yesterday, although many of those Barrow Raiders fans who made the trip were still clinging onto the last vestiges of summer in an array of flowery shirts.

While the final score of 34-6 to hosts Featherstone Rovers meant there was not much, save from Jamie Dallimore’s converted try, for them to celebrate on the final day of the 2018 season, they could at least savour the fact there will be more Betfred Championship rugby league to look forward to next season.

Barrow’s status in the division and Featherstone’s place in this Sunday’s Championship Shield final both having long since been secured meant this match was little more than a dead rubber, and in many ways it transpired to be a typical end-of-season affair.

Both sides came up with multiple handling errors and gave away innumerable penalties, with referee Tom Crashley sending three players - two for the hosts, one for the visitors - to the sin-bin as well.

Even so, those Raiders fans on the end terrace remained in full voice throughout the contest and no doubt had an eye on what next year in a newly-expanded 14-team Championship might bring.

For some of those involved, the future is less certain. As it stands, loan signings Ryan Burroughs, Arnaud Bartes and Georgy Gambaro have played their final games for the Raiders, although it is hoped the two former ones may be persuaded to return.

Barrow head coach Paul Crarey has still to make his mind up on whether to extend his second spell in charge into a fifth year, but any news on whether this was his final game in charge will have to wait until after he has returned from a much-deserved holiday.

Whether staying or going, this was not a match which will live particularly long in the memory of anyone involved, but the sides were evenly matched for much of the first quarter after Dallimore’s score - coming after an offload from French prop Bartes had hit the stand-off’s knee and bounced perfectly for him - cancelled out an early try from Luke Cooper, converted by Martyn Ridyard.

Rovers had taken the lead despite Anthony Thackeray being sin-binned for foul play, but when he returned the scrum-half helped set up Josh Hardcastle for a try on 28 minutes, followed by passing for Connor Farrell to get a converted try which made it 16-6 at half time.

John Davies’ two converted scores on 46 and 57 minutes respectively then took the match beyond the Raiders.

Dean Parata’s yellow card for a high tackle did not help Barrow’s cause and Featherstone try-scorer Hardcastle was sin-binned late on for a professional foul, but there was still time for Shaun Robinson to add one more converted score for the hosts

Featherstone Rovers: Martyn Ridyard; Dakota Whyle, Misi Taulapapa, Josh Hardcastle, Shaun Robinson; Shaun Thackeray, Matty Wildie; Luke Cooper, Danny Maskill, Connor Farrell, John Davies, James Lockwood. Interchange: Keal Carlisle, Brad Knowles, Ian Hardman.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Danny Morrow, Ryan Burroughs, Georgy Gambaro; Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock; Glenn Riley, Dean Parata, Arnaud Bartes, Jono Smith, Matty Holmes, Dan Toal. Interchange: Ryan Johnston, Ryan Duffy, Bradd Crellin, Matty While.

Referee: Tom Crashley.

Sin-bin: Barrow Raiders – Dean Parata (high tackle, 67) Featherstone Rovers – Anthony Thackeray (dangerous tackle, 8), Josh Hardcastle (professional foul, 74).

Attendance: 1,135.

Playback: 11 – Cooper try, Ridyard conv (6-0); 18 – Dallimore try and conv (6-6); 28 – Hardcastle try (10-6); 35 – Farrell try, Ridyard conv (16-6); 46 – Davies try, Hardman conv (22-6); 57 – Davies try, Hardman conv (28-6); 76 – Robinson try, Hardman conv (34-6).

Raiders star man: Dan Toal.