Raiders bid to put Knights to sword in Challenge Cup
PAUL Crarey has his eyes on the prize – progress into the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and the chance to face Super League opposition.
But first his Barrow Raiders side have a difficult obstacle to overcome – beating York City Knights on their home ground this Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
The fifth round clash is sure to be a thriller as Barrow aim to complete a double over the Knights this season, having scored a 28-0 win at Craven Park in their League One encounter last month.
But despite that win, and having gone unbeaten in 2017, Raiders coach Crarey does not think it will be a foregone conclusion – far from it – especially after losing talented half-back Jamie Dallimore who copped a six-match ban earlier this week.
Barrow have lodged an appeal after he was found guilty of a Grade D charge of dangerous contact with Macaulay Davies in the Raiders’ 26-10 win over Workington Town at a hearing on Wednesday evening.
His absence though will give opportunities to other players, notably former Barrow Island amateur Brad Marwood who appears to be favourite to come into the half-back role.
Crarey is looking forward to the challenge of facing York and said: “They have put some great results and performances together, they beat Rochdale in the Challenge Cup and last week they put Doncaster to the sword and they were very impressive in doing so.
“They have some quality and are well structured as well, and I think it will probably be a bigger test than last week.”
The Challenge Cup and League One Cup are two competitions in which Crarey wants to see his side progress.
Barrow go into the match on the back of a 50-6 win at Newcastle Thunder, and Crarey said of tomorrow’s match: “I think it is important to get through because the trophy at the end for both teams is a shot at a big team.
“There is no way we are going to win it now, the way it is set up, and the bigger teams don’t come in I think until the fifth or sixth round, so again it is about getting to this stage and hopefully getting some prize money.
“If we go out now we have done well and if we get a Super League team in the next round it is going to be great for the club and it gets our fans to see high-quality sides come down here.
“We want to win, we want to keep this run going, we are on a bit of a roll and we have been training really, really hard.”
Regarding the Dallimore situation, Crarey said: “We have appealed against it and we will see what it brings.”
Crarey is sure Marwood, who is expected to come into the side for Dallimore, will do a great job, and he said: “He’s chomping at the bit, he has been outstanding in his attitude this year. It won’t phase him one bit, it won’t phase us as coaches. We have a great pack behind him.”
“We are looking forward to the game, we are pretty confident in the group we are putting out at the weekend, but again York are a very good side and they have proved that, James Ford really sets his teams up very well.”
Barrow are sure to get lots of backing with three supporters coaches heading to York, with Crarey adding: “I am very proud of what we have started doing at the club, Newcastle was phenomenal, they got behind us and there is a little bit of a buzz about the place.
“If we can get them to the Big Bash I think it would be outstanding.”