Barrow Raiders aim to bring the curtain down on a miserable season by completing a Championship double over Batley Bulldogs at Craven Park tomorrow.

“We want to finish on a high for the supporters who have followed us all season,” said coach Paul Crarey, who plans to reward the players for their spirited effort in Toronto last week by including them in his starting line-up.

The Raiders defeated Batley 22-18 on the opening day of the season, but since then only three wins – against Rochdale, Featherstone and Halifax, plus a draw with Dewsbury – have interrupted a string of defeats that ended in relegation.

Definitely missing from tomorrow’s line-up will be Tom Walker with a sternum injury and Jordan Warne (neck), along with several long-term absentees but Tee Ritson had been given the all-clear to return after a head injury.

The match gives supporters the chance to say their farewells to several of the squad who will be moving on, including fans’ favourite Alec Susino.

A run of eight defeats in a row has left the Raiders stranded alongside Rochdale but Crarey insists that despite a long string of injuries, the Raiders have been competitive this season and have overachieved on several occasions.

Now the club turn their attentions to making a quick return from League One – but with the warning that nobody should expect an easy ride back up to the Championship.

And even if a quick promotion is achieved, the club and the supporters will have to face up to some uncomfortable facts.

Barrow Raiders’ budget could leave them up to £100,000 short of building a team capable of competing alongside the big money clubs in the Championship.

With relegation and a future in League One now confirmed following the defeat in Toronto, the Raiders can reflect on their two-year stay in the second tier and build for the future.

Crarey, who is keen to rebuild and push for a quick promotion, said: “We have working class people running a working class club and we are coming up against some opponents who have the backing of millionaire owners are able to plough money into their teams.

“It has been two years of life on the cliff and when you walk too close to the edge you eventually fall off.

“We have not got that sort of money and we have to get together a team on a low budget and unless we can find that extra £100,000 to close the gap it will always be the case.

“Our location is also against us when it comes to attracting new players of the quality to challenge the leading clubs in the Championship.”

“We have great sponsors and great supporters who have backed us in numbers, averaging about 1,400 a game, and we hope most of them will stay with us.”

Chairman Steve Neale revealed to the members at the recent AGM that he had agreed terms with 18 of the present squad, but those contracts would have to be renegotiated once relegation had been confirmed.

Persuading players to travel from south Lancashire to add to the talented locals will be one of the major challenges for the club in 2020.