HOW ironic after all those fabulous performances that in the one opportunity the club has to showcase itself on TV, we disappoint.

It was the worst performance of the season at the Summer Bash, resulting in a comprehensive defeat against fellow strugglers Sheffield Eagles.

Cory Aston, son of Eagles head coach Mark, was the main difference. The half-back, making his first appearance after returning on a one-month loan from Castleford, bagged a hat-trick and kicked eight points as he guided his side to their first win in four and a first success in three against Barrow.

The coach, who has been ultra-critical in recent weeks, was delighted after his side stuck to their guns and were clinical in the second half, overturning a 12-8 half-time deficit and out-scoring Barrow five tries to two after the break.

“We were a desperate team today and we showed it,” said Aston Snr.

This was a significant blow to Barrow, as Sheffield on a neutral ground was a target victory, having beaten them twice before.

We were under pressure from the kick-off and couldn’t cope with the speed and power of the opposition. How we managed to go in at half-time 12-8 up was a mystery, however, the writing was on the wall when one minute after the break Aston Jnr kicked on the last and the ball rebounded off the crossbar straight into his hands for a try.

That gave Sheffield the lead and an impetus to kick on, which they duly did.

We just couldn’t hold them, which is a bit of a concern; the squad is stretched and a couple of fresh faces are required going into the final stages of the first phase.

In the second phase, we will play all the teams around us once more, so we must be ready for seven cup finals.

There is no game this weekend, and with Sheffield, Dewsbury and Swinton improving, we must win our next game at home to basement club Rochdale Hornets a week tomorrow.

Rochdale had an even worse experience at Blackpool, beaten by Swinton Lions, who gained their first win of the season with an impressive performance. Ex-Raider Chris Hankinson kicked seven from seven conversions and I was impressed with centre George Tyson, the key to victory with his non-stop, all-action display.

Swinton host Rochdale this weekend in a rearranged fixture, so another victory would boost their confidence as they chase the likes of Barrow and Sheffield (whom they play next week).

As for the Bash itself, I think its days are numbered unless the format is changed. With a combined attendance of 11,805, spreading the event over two days, and with a second-day attendance of 3928, is ridiculous.

The rugby was first-class, but showcasing the best of Championship rugby on TV in front of a sprinkling of supporters isn’t doing the game any favours.

Next season, the RFL should experiment with six games on the Sunday. I know it's a logistical challenge, but it’s not insurmountable.

The stadium would be fuller and the atmosphere would be better. It is a fair bet Bradford will be there, and there may well be a couple of ex-Super League teams, with Widnes (who sacked Denis Betts this week) and Hull KR looking vulnerable.

The RFL are looking at similar concepts, and this week they announced that the Challenge Cup semi-finals will be played as a double header at Macron Stadium, Bolton.

For the first time in Challenge Cup history, the semi-finals will be played at one venue on the same day. I think that is the way forward.