Raiders set for Mayfield challenge

PAUL Crarey is already dreaming of seeing Barrow’s name in the hat for the Challenge Cup fourth round draw on Tuesday night.

But first his Raiders side have to overcome top amateurs Rochdale Mayfield at Craven Park this Sunday, and in doing so complete a cup double over the National Conference League Premier Division outfit after knocking them out of the  League One Cup in Greater Manchester, (kick-off 2pm).

Raiders coach Crarey is determined to see Mayfield leave with just memories of the third round game by blasting them out of the competition with some heavy artillery.

Powerful forward Tom Walker is set to be unleashed after overcoming a hamstring problem, and Crarey also is ready to bulk up his back division by including Jarrad Stack.

After watching his side come away with the 46-18 win to earn them a quarter final home match against Keighley Cougars, Crarey, reflecting on the game, said: “We were disappointed on some the treatment we got,  late shots on our pivots and stuff like that but Rochdale Mayfield are coming into our backyard.

“We probably eased off a little bit, showed them a lot of respect last week physically, we weren’t full out, but this week we are going to go full out, I have told the boys to rip in.”

He added: “We will pick a very physical, big side, the pitch is going to be a little bit heavy, but we are just going to be aggressive and try and stick to structure and see what we can do.”

Crarey felt Barrow had a good first half at the Mayfield Sports Centre but got caught up in a dog fight for the remainder of the game.

“It was a pretty brutal second half, so we are just going to go full out, we want to be really physical,” he said. “We are going to play under the laws of the game but just going to get numbers in and see how long we can hold a very quick, aggressive tempo and get ready for the York game.

“We took some little, cheap shots last week when the ball had gone. It was me that held back on the day and told them to show some respect.”

Crarey said there would be changes to the side with Brad Marwood, Matty While and possibly Brett Carter set to get run-outs. However he is still waiting on Tom Loxam’s registration to come through from the RFL.

The Challenge Cup is high on Crarey’s list of priorities, as he said: “It is important for the club to progress and try and get to the stage where we get a Super League club at Barrow.

“If can get that far it would be absolutely fantastic. It would be a lifeline for us if we could get a Super League or big name team through the gates.

“We want to progress in the League One Cup, we have got a draw against Keighley there, and we want to progress in this. The more home games we can get, if we get the luck of the draw, the more revenue we will get for the club and survival is the key for Barrow.

“That’s what it’s all about, if it’s about people coming in and supporting us. If we get a good run going the crowds will grow and they might come and watch some other games as well, so that’s what we are trying to do.

“We want our name in the hat, we want a home draw and hopefully we can have a good run in the Challenge Cup, also in the League One Cup and in the league and see where it takes us at the end of the season. It is going to be some ride that we are in if we can get it right.”

Crarey is calling on the fans to come down the Mayfield game and get behind the team.

“It was tough down there, a small pitch, a hostile game, a hostile crowd,” he said. “We want to return the favour. The Barrow fans are brilliant and they get behind us and normally give us what we want. Hopefully they will come down and encourage us so that we can get through. It is not going to be easy, they are a pretty good team.”

He added: “I’m really enjoying it this year, I think we have got a great squad with a great attitude, everyone has bought in to what we have done, the mood in the camp is really, really good, the best it’s been since I have been here.

“We are on the right lines in regards of no loans, no dual registration, 21 locally based players and a few travellers who are dedicated to the cause. We have come a long way in two years to get to this stage. People are tipping us to do really well. It means as a group, board, players and coaching staff, we have worked really hard to get the respect off everybody, to give us that bit of ranking.”

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