Barrow’s relegation to League One was confirmed by a 62-8 defeat against leaders Toronto Wolfpack in front of a crowd of 7,129, which included a group of fabulous Raiders fans who made the six-hour transatlantic trip.

Victory wasn’t expected but at least the team deserve credit for their commitment to the cause with a performance against the odds and described by the local press as ‘spirited.’

As a bonus, we did manage to score our first try on Canadian soil through Jamie Dallimore, who scored all of the Raiders’ points and the local press went on to say that Barrow never dropped their heads, instead giving their all for the full 80 minutes to the delight of their travelling fans and gaining the respect of Wolfpack supporters, which is good to hear.

Toronto have now won 20 games on the trot and maintained their unbeaten home record and they now need to build on their momentum as they prepare to fight for promotion to the Super League in the forthcoming play-offs.

Anything can happen in a one-off game, as London Broncos demonstrated last season, but I think they are a different team this season under Brian McDermott and they should realise their objective and reach Super League, which would add a new, positive dynamic to the competition and create more interest in the sport.

Similar to Mark Aston in our last game against Sheffield Eagles, McDermott was critical of Barrow and said in the post-match interview: “There’s a better version of Barrow than what we saw today.” This appears to be a concerning, recurring theme and probably requires a response from the club.

Tomorrow is the last match of the season at home to Batley Bulldogs. We won our first game of the season at Mount Pleasant which was a massive surprise to all the Raiders supporters and we all thought that the pre-season objective of consolidation in the Championship was achievable.

Unfortunately, we have only won another three games since and therefore find ourselves relegated; in fact, since promotion from League One, in our two seasons in the Championship we have only won 12 games from 56. There are various reasons for that very poor record and I’m sure everyone has their own opinion.

As I have said many times, Barrow is a tough gig. The regular supporters all realise this, hence their continued support, and it is mainly down to limited finance, geography and a Furness public who aren’t that interested in rugby league, with average attendances around the 1,000 mark equating to one per cent of the population.

Apart from the geographical factors, I would suggest that Swinton, Rochdale, Sheffield, Dewsbury, York and Batley are just as tough to manage and achieve success at.

The facts are that all of these clubs have smaller budgets than us, which is demonstrated through better gate receipts and sponsorship and particularly through the life-saving lottery which has served the club well for almost 50 years.

No-one can criticise the effort from all involved with the club, including the directors, support staff, coaching staff, players and volunteers; we have the best, but effort is only one part of a complex equation.

Success in the Championship demands a certain team template and based on the facts of the league table, our team template wasn’t as effective as 12 other clubs.

Moving forward, the club must now have a review to understand why this was the case and address the issues to enable instant promotion from League One next season.