BARROW Island Ladies will be the first ever women’s side to play at Craven Park as they take on Oulton Raidettes in their final home game of the season on Sunday (2pm).

The event has been hailed as a ‘landmark occasion’ for women’s sport in the area and it is hoped to be a key foundation for growth of the game.

The team will also be hoping to secure second place as they go into the final two games of the season.

Head coach Simon Woodend, who stepped in at the end of last season, praised how far the team had come and what it means to be competing on such an occasion and promoting women in the sport.

“For me it is just about promoting lasses in the game,” he said.

“We have a great coaching team and considering we finished sixth last year and we were aiming to be in the top four this season - we have surpassed our target.

“We would be eligible to play in the top league if only we met the criteria to do so. We currently have an amazing sponsor called Larkin Engineering but we would always encourage anymore sponsors who could help us make that next step towards the top."

Team manager Emily Stirzaker said: “We have come a long way and hopefully we can remain in second place.”

Warrington are currently at the top of the league and have only lost once all season, which was against Barrow Ladies.

Warrington would however have to lose both their final games for Barrow Ladies to be in with a chance of winning the league.

Siona Heartley, schools and community liaison officer at Barrow Raiders said: “Ladies rugby league is taking off in a massive way and we want to be a part of it.

"At the moment many girls are playing with the boys until they are 12 and then we are losing them - they drop off.

“We want to revamp the structure and increase the amount of girls school rugby.

“There is so much talent in the area.

"Barrow is rugby league mad and we want to support more girls in playing the sport.”

There will be a taster rugby session before the game for any girls who wish to try out the sport.

It will take place from 12.30pm-1.15pm.

Any girls aged between eight and 18 are encouraged to come along.