And so, the curtain came down on a disappointing season for Barrow Raiders with a hard-fought victory against Batley Bulldogs.

Ironically, for the first time this season, I missed the victory at Craven Park due to being on BBC Radio Cumbria commentary duty at Derwent Park at the League One match between Workington and Doncaster, which the Dons won comfortably 30-4.

I was listening on the headphones and it appeared Barrow just had the edge throughout the game in what was described as a ‘scrappy affair’.

Travelling home, I was thinking if only we had beaten Dewsbury a few weeks ago at the Tetley's Stadium we would have survived in the Championship.

As a result of Batley’s poor season, another head coach bit the dust with Matt Diskin being sacked on Monday despite his success in the first couple of seasons with a spot in the play-offs.

Batley moved swiftly to appoint ex-Keighley coach Craig Lingard, who will be supported by an ex-Bulldogs coach in Karl Harrison.

We must now come to terms with relegation and construct a squad which is capable of an immediate return and consolidation in the Championship the following season.

Therefore, to avoid a similar fate to this season, I would suggest the development of a two-year plan which would ensure that the core of the squad are retained after promotion.

They would then supplemented with a handful of experienced Championship players that add the quality required to be competitive and achieve the objective of consolidation.

The Board have moved quickly to retain the core from last season and with the winter to seek out other talent, we should be in a strong position to challenge for the league One title.

I still believe the optimum Barrow template is a local coach with a majority of local players supplemented by a few overseas players living in the town and a few ‘quality’ travellers.

As I have said on numerous occasions, the board and coaching staff deserve success and the chairman has gone against the normal convention of sacking the coach when results don't go to plan and has remained loyal putting his trust in the same hardworking personnel which the majority of supporters are happy with, including me.

The relationship between the board, coaching staff and supporters is unique and long may it continue (depending upon promotion next season?).

Upon review, the Championship standard has improved significantly in recent seasons and London Broncos performance in Super League is a testament to that. Toronto have raised the bar and Bradford got to the Challenge Cup semi-final with a victory over Leeds Rhinos.

We were competitive in the majority of games, but we just didn’t have the cutting-edge quality to make the difference between defeat and victory.

Recruitment is key and is an area as confirmed by the chairman and head coach that needs to be improved. Compared to other Championship clubs, Barrow were an example of stability, but we were unable to take advantage of the chaos surrounding us.

At the start of the season, Toronto appointed Brian McDermott to replace Paul Rowley and CEO David Argyle had to resign over a racial comment he made to a Swinton player.

Featherstone lost their coach John Duffy to Leigh Centurions and had to bring in an unknown in Ryan Carr from Australia, who now doubles up as Richard Agar's assistant at Leeds Rhinos.

Leigh had to shed all of their high earners to survive and basically had to assemble a new team from scratch with financial help from Derek Beaumont, who returned as chairman having resigned just a few months earlier.

Widnes were relegated from Super League and went into administration, appointing Kieran Purtill from Leigh as head coach, but he had to contend with RFL special measures, being unable to sign players and starting the season on minus-12 points.

Bradford came up from League One and were also kept in special measures, unable to sign any new players and then losing their star player Dane Chisholm to Featherstone. Financial pressure has also forced chairman Andrew Chalmers to take the controversial step of leaving Odsal and move the club to Dewsbury next season.

Halifax unbelievably sacked Richard Marshall after three defeats on the trot, installing player Simon Grix as his replacement; Marshall eventually ending up as Justin Holbrook’s assistant at St Helens.

Swinton’s chairman Andy Mazey only confirmed last week that they have launched an application with the RFL to be known as Manchester Lions in 2020, defending the move by saying the club’s future rested on trying to break out of their bubble and attract new fans and new sponsors, but the core of loyal Swinton fans are against the name change.

Rochdale sacked coach Carl Forster and installed Matt Calland but he couldn’t build on their only victory against Barrow and has lost every game since including a 82-0 defeat against the Bulls last week, as they were relegated with the Raiders.

Next season, League One will remain an 11-team competition, as Hemel Stags have been granted a dispensation not to compete in 2020. The club’s proposal to rejoin the league and relocate to Ottawa in Canada, which was approved in principle by the RFL Board earlier this year has been deferred to the 2021 season which will also see New York City playing in league One.

That’s why it is so important to escape the division next season, in order to avoid two transatlantic trips the following season.

I have seen quite a few League One matches this season and promotion won’t be easy, as the standard at the top is pretty good and if Oldham are promoted alongside Whitehaven, Newcastle, Doncaster, Keighley, Hunslet, Rochdale and Workington will be tough encounters.

I hope you have enjoyed the 200-plus articles to date and although the main purpose has been to promote the club and attract more support, occasionally some negativity is required, which is not always appreciated by some individuals.

Good job I didn’t attend the Gary Schofield school of journalism! See you next season.