TOMORROW’S visitors to Craven Park, Rochdale Hornets, climbed off the bottom of the Championship table with a 25-18 victory over Swinton Lions at Heywood Road last Sunday.

It was the perfect revenge for their Summer Bash defeat at the hands of Swinton just one week earlier, as a number of senior players returned to help them to victory.

Gary Middlehurst, Toby Adamson, Luke Adamson and Ben Moores all returned from injury and this week they also confirmed that they have added three players to their squad for the remainder of the Championship season, including current loan star Jonah Cunningham, son of St Helens legend Kieron.

Joining him are former Workington Town prop forward Joe Ryan and Jack Fox, who is a former England Academy player who can cover both centre and wing.

All are expected to feature tomorrow as Rochdale continue to fight for Championship survival, and probably see Barrow as a target victory considering they beat us earlier in the season at Spotland 24-12.

Barrow had no game last week so have had more than a fortnight to prepare for this very important match. We are now at the halfway stage of the season and with 15 games left Barrow are five points ahead of Hornets.

Victory puts us seven clear and that could be very difficult to make up, so that’s why tomorrow’s game is so important.

Barrow still have a few injury problems and this week Gene Ormsby asked to be released from his contract due to difficulty in travelling from Manchester, so he won’t be playing either.

Barrow are struggling financially just like everyone else and, as head coach Paul Crarey said this week, we need to improve the crowds beyond 1,200 in order to pay the wages. In the current climate that is going to be difficult as I detect that the Furness public isn’t that bothered and have a variety of options on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It’s frustrating and I fly the flag for the club every week, so once again please encourage friends and family to support the Raiders because the current financial model isn’t sustainable and the potential consequences could be dire.

On the national scene, Super League has confirmed the appointment of Robert Elstone as its new chief executive.

Elstone, who started on June 4, brings a passion for rugby league and a wealth of experience gained from several senior executive positions across different sporting organisations, including, most recently, chief executive of Everton Football Club.

His appointment is Super League’s first major step into a new era and no doubt he will be working with the RFL on a new structure.

The possible new structure is discussed regularly, particularly on FreeSports show Rugby League Backchat . I watched with interest last week’s edition with Crarey, who conducted himself very well and put the journalists straight on several Cumbrian issues.

It is very frustrating hearing the merge word again for a Cumbrian Super League franchise.

A merger between Barrow, Whitehaven and Workington Town will never happen; Haven and Town might merge for a West Cumbrian franchise, but even though they are only eight miles apart, that is also unlikely.

The only way is the creation of a new Cumbria Super League entity with the county’s three professional clubs maintaining independence, but gaining from their membership of the entity by hosting games and sharing player resources – a bit like dual-registration.

Matches could be played at all the three stadiums (which need substantial RFL money to improve facilities and bring up to standard) and for growth, a game each in Kendal, Penrith and Carlisle. Sharing of gate receipts and associated revenue would ensure a win-win, developing a tremendous low-risk revenue option for the likes of Barrow.

Just contemplate Cumbria versus Wigan at Craven Park. Would the Cumbrian public support such a model in sufficient numbers? What do you think?

See you tomorrow.