AS the match report stated, it wasn’t pretty – but who cares? Two points was the objective against Rochdale Hornets and the objective was achieved.

The win puts Barrow Raiders in a very strong position to stay in the Championship and, barring a miracle, it will be Swinton Lions and Rochdale getting relegated to League One.

It was a tough, no-nonsense affair which Barrow just about deserved to win with a much improved second half performance.

Everyone played their part, but Australian import Alec Susino was impressive with his non-stop forward runs, topped off with a try, and it was good to see the return of pocket rocket Jono Smith, who also scored a try against his old Hornets team-mates.

That defeat for Rochdale has virtually condemned them to League One and on Tuesday the club announced head coach Alan Kilshaw will be leaving at the end of the season.

Kilshaw, who joined Hornets from Sarina Crocodiles ahead of the 2016 season, will remain in charge for the rest of the Championship Shield campaign.

Kilshaw said: “I count myself incredibly lucky to have coached such a historic and traditional rugby league club” and Hornets CEO, Steve Kerr paid tribute to ‘Killer' – but warned that the future would be very tough with Hornets expected to lose over £100,000 in central distribution.

That’s the consequence of relegation and, with Rochdale struggling to attract crowds of over 500, their time in League One could be a long one.

Swinton were comprehensively beaten by Dewsbury 40-7 and they are now seven points behind Barrow also. However, they play Sheffield Eagles on Sunday at home which is winnable, and they have games against Rochdale and Barrow to come also.

So, we can’t relax just yet and there is no reason why we can’t finish third in this Championship Shield play-off phase behind Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions. To do that we must beat Batley Bulldogs and Swinton at home, and Dewsbury and Sheffield away – why not?

We would earn significantly more prize money as well if we can finish 3rd so let’s go for it, starting with Leigh tomorrow.

Leigh are in turmoil and outspoken chairman Derek Beaumont is definitely leaving. He has had a difficult time recently, having to offload contracted players immediately once they knew that they weren’t going to make the Qualifiers.

Beaumont said: “I was hoping to have conducted enough player movement before the transfer deadline to have ensured the short-term future of the club was safe without any additional funding from me as I wasn’t comfortable putting money into something that had no future.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to achieve that fully and that will now worsen the Club’s position. I am disappointed that a small number of players asked to move on didn’t.”

Leigh have announced they will go part time next season and current coach Kieron Purtill is likely to move on also. This week the club confirmed head of rugby Keiron Cunningham, and Australian players Daniel Mortimer and Kyle Lovett have all left by mutual consent too.

Barrow will face a totally different team from the recent defeat at the Leigh Sports village, but last week the so called weakened team hammered Sheffield Eagles 68-6.

It will therefore be tough; Barrow haven’t won all season on the road, but tomorrow will hopefully change that unwanted statistic.

And finally, new Super League boss Robert Elstone has said: “We’ve had talks with the RFL, which are drawing to a close. I think they will deliver a solution that will work for Super League, the RFL and the game as a whole. The view on Super Eights and Qualifiers was made very clear: The format was well-intended, but the full consequences weren’t thought through.”

It’s looking like an extended Super League with one up and one down. The end of the Qualifiers is nigh.