I WAS expecting a tough, no-nonsense battle with bottom-of-the-league Rochdale Hornets last Sunday, but an impressive Barrow first half performance provided the platform for a much-needed victory, as they went into the break 42-10 up.

The second half was a much better contest, but Barrow defended well and enhanced their score to 54-10; their first home league win of the season.

Barrow’s overall performance was good and everyone played their part, particularly Stargroth Amean, who was almost unplayable in scoring a hat-trick, Alec Susino, who ran hard and created numerous opportunities, and the immaculate conversion kicking by Jamie Dallimore who kicked nine from nine.

Rochdale were very poor and new coach Matt Calland stated post-match: “Sunday at Barrow was a tough one to take in what was an important game and I think Barrow are a lot better side than the table suggests, but to collapse like we did was very difficult to accept.

“We had some disruption in the build-up in losing Harvey Livett, Oscar Thomas and Scott Moore, but what unfolded was still very disappointing."

Calland has a mountain to climb and based on that performance I don’t think they are going to get off the bottom of the table.

For Barrow, it was a massive result in our quest for Championship survival, but that task was made even harder as survival targets Swinton went and beat fellow strugglers Dewsbury to go three points ahead of the Raiders.

With only 12 games left, it is important that we use the Rochdale victory as a ‘confidence booster’ and go into those games with a positive mindset.

On our day, we can beat the majority of teams in the Championship and there is no reason why we can’t win at least another four games which should be enough to secure safety.

Beating Swinton and Dewsbury is key, and we play both of them away on July 21 and July 7, respectively.

Swinton’s best chances of victory are against Rochdale away on June 30 and Batley at home on July 7 while Dewsbury, who are two points clear of Barrow with a superior points difference, play Rochdale at home (June 9) and away (July 28).

There's no game tomorrow as it is the Challenge Cup quarter finals with our next opponents Bradford Bulls, who we play on Wednesday night in the 1895 Cup at Craven Park, playing at home to Championship rivals Halifax.

On the positive it is a good time to play Bradford, who won’t fancy travelling to Barrow on a Wednesday night after a Challenge Cup tie, but on the negative the attendance will probably be less than a Sunday fixture and we have an important league fixture against Widnes away next Sunday.

Since beating Leeds Rhinos in the last round of the Challenge Cup, Bradford haven’t won a game and coach John Kear is demanding answers from his misfiring Bulls after reviewing the fiasco against Featherstone, which saw the Bulls leak 30 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes.

Kear stated “There might be one or two players who you would have thought were certainties to play this week now sat in the stands watching it.

"If they ask me why, all I’ll do is give them a video of the last 20 minutes of the game. Watch that – that’s why you are sat in the stand.”

So, a good time to play Bradford and if we can replicate our Rochdale performance, we should have a tremendous chance of progressing into the next round and be only two games from Wembley.

Bradford chairman Andrew Chalmers said recently that following the approval of Ottawa into British rugby league it appears that the majority of Championship chairmen prefer the Canadians to go straight into an expanded Championship of 16 teams; possibly meaning only one team being relegated from the division this season.

Let’s hope so!