It was another disappointing defeat for Barrow Raiders against Leigh Centurions last week, but it wasn’t through lack of effort, writes Tony Colyer.

Barrow gave their all against a star-studded Leigh team, particularly in the first half where we were the better team and only losing 6-4 at the interval.

Two quick tries from the visitors put the Centurions in charge, but the Raiders never gave up and a dubious ‘forward pass’ decision from the referee cancelled out a guaranteed Tee Ritson try which could have made it 18-14 with 20 minutes left and it put paid to an ultimate revival as we eventually lost 24-8.

We matched Leigh physically and the only difference between the teams was that we lacked that ‘bit of magic’ near the line and perhaps didn’t go wide early enough in the set towards the end as we regularly demonstrated we had the edge for speed on the wings.

Leigh head coach John Duffy knew his team were second best in the first half and stated: “We had some harsh words at half-time and we stepped up to the plate and took the game by the scruff of its neck. We scored a couple of tries just after half-time and that really saw the game off.”

It was a special day for Leigh captain Mickey Higham, who was celebrating his 550th career game on a ground where he made his senior debut for Leigh in 1999, but it was disappointing that Gareth Hock, who left the Raiders recently without playing a game, was missing.

The following day, he announced his retirement from the game and said, “I’ve trained and worked very hard to get back after my shoulder operation but six games in, my body’s just saying ‘no’.

“I’ve never really been aware of what’s been said or written about me, whether it is a positive or a negative. I ignore it. I’ve always had the mind set: no one can challenge me better than myself."

Many Raiders supporters have expressed very negative opinions on the situation that unfolded after the boxing match where he sustained his shoulder injury, but it’s clear from this decision and his words that he was seriously injured.

It’s a pity Gareth didn’t get the opportunity to play for Barrow as I believe he could have made a big impact so all the best in your retirement, Gareth.

So, no time to dwell on the disappointment, we must remain positive because we have six games left and we must win probably four of them.

Congratulations to the club for signing 21-year-old prop Paul Séguier, who has joined on loan from Catalans Dragons until the end of the season. Paul was a key part of Toulouse's success last year and he should add more firepower to the forwards.

Tomorrow, it's off to Swinton Lions, who this week also added to their squad with the signing of promising Nick Gregson from Leigh Centurions.

On paper, we have a much better squad than the Lions but credit to their head coach Stuart Littler who has persevered and turned their fortunes around since their ‘comeback’ victory against Rochdale at the Summer Bash with four further victories and an impressive draw against Bradford Bulls last week.

A thrilling encounter at Odsal ended in a 34-34 draw and those watching hailed the game as a great advert for Championship rugby league. Swinton were winning with a minute left so were pretty devastated to only draw the game.

They are the form team and another victory will probably ensure Championship rugby next season. In reality, this is our most winnable game so we must go to Heywood Road with confidence, get two points in order to put pressure on the clubs around us in the relegation battle.