PAUL Crarey took heart from a much-improved performance from Barrow Raiders, despite them suffering a 20-4 defeat to full-timers Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Championship yesterday.

Two penalties from Jamie Dallimore and some tenacious defence helped the Raiders into a 4-0 lead at half time at Craven Park, only for Widnes to regain their composure and run in four tries after the break to seal victory.

But while he was disappointed to lose, Barrow head coach Crarey was full of praise for the way his part-time side acquitted themselves against a Vikings team containing big names like Anthony Gelling, Hep Cahill and Harrison Hansen.

“We managed the game well and we knew we’d be under the pump second half,” said Crarey. “The performance was 100 times better and the people of Barrow let you know if that’s the case.

“We halved the errors from the previous week and played some good, attractive football, so we’re starting to put some stuff together on a very difficult day.

“It’s onwards and upwards for us. They were trying hard to get the result and we were so near yet so far.

“It will give us a little bit of confidence.”

However, Crarey is waiting for news on captain Martin Aspinwall, who was taken off in the second half with a nasty cut above his eye.

The loose forward was subsequently taken to hospital to be assessed.

“You expect someone to go down from that and Martin was injured, but he was still tracking back,” said Crarey.
“He’s gone to hospital and might need surgery, but we don’t know.

“It was a nasty injury, but he’s a tough boy and he’ll be missed if he’s out.”