29th September 2017, 18:27 | league1
It’s an all Cumbrian clash in the race for promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship as Barrow Raiders host Whitehaven in Sunday’s League 1 play-off final.
After narrowly missing out on automatic promotion by four points, Barrow come into the final in hot form, with five wins from their last six, including last Sunday’s semi-final against Newcastle Thunder, who they comprehensively beat 60-0.
Raiders also won their most recent meeting against their Cumbian rivals, a 15-2 away victory in July during the Super 8s.
FULL-TIME! - The Raiders are through to the League 1 Play-Off Final after beating @ThunderRugby convincingly with the score finishing 60-0!— Barrow Raiders (@BarrowRaiders) September 24, 2017
Coach Paul Crarey told the Barrow Mail: “We've got to focus on us, it's a Cumbrian derby and I think Craven Park will be packed.
"We've got some big players who have played in big games and so have they; they're a side who came down from the Championship and retained most of their players, so they know what it's like to play up there.”
Whitehaven come into the final after a dramatic 105-minute golden point 21-20 win against York City Knights last Sunday.
Carl Forster is worrying about the fitness of two of his players, Jessie Joe Parker and Craig Calvert, but expects both to be available on Sunday.
Forster told the News & Star: “I suppose in some circumstances we might have rested them but it’s a final and they will be fine to be involved. I know their presence in the line-up is best for the team.
“We have tremendous spirit in the dressing room and that’s matched by grit, character and determination.
“There won’t be any motivation needed. Everyone is up for the final as this is what we’ve been planning for over the last ten months.”
Sunday’s play-off takes place at Barrow’s Craven Park and kicks off at 3pm.