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KINGSTONE PRESS LEAGUE ONE ROUND TWO – BARROW RAIDERS VS SWINTON LIONS PREVIEW

Date: Saturday 11th April

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness

Swinton overcame a gruelling game against Newcastle on Tuesday to book a trip to Blackpool, but with a tricky test at Barrow the bright lights of the illuminations are in the distance for now.

Last Time Out

Barrow started the League campaign with a defeat away at Newcastle in a game which the home side controlled throughout.

Despite only trailing by two at the interval, a Jason Tali hat-trick set the tone for a dominant Thunder spell in the second half to put the game beyond the Raiders reach but Barrow did restore some pride through late tries from Anthony Bate and Peter Lupton.

Whilst the Raiders lost to Newcastle on the Friday, Swinton defeated the Thunder on the Tuesday in the iPro Sport Cup semi-finals. Despite falling behind to a Jordan Meads try, Jordan James and Chris Atkin put the Lions into the lead.

Sheriff brought Thunder level before Darren Hawkyard restored the Lions advantage. Meads would bring the visitors back on terms before a Mat Gardner effort and second from Atkin along with a penalty kick from the full back put the game beyond Newcastle despite efforts from Mead and Charlie Wabo. Andy Ackers wrapped things up on the hooter.

Team News

Barrow Raiders coach Paul Crarey will be glad to have bodies returning for the visit of the Lions with Leigh loan trio Joe Bullock, Craig Briscoe and Josh Ward back in the side with Andrew Dawson having an outside chance of featuring in this one.

Swinton could make changes as they head north on the back of two gruelling games in the space of four days. Darren Hawkyard could make a second appearance in five days following a return to full fitness whilst Connor Dwyer is still missing with a shoulder injury sustained in the Challenge Cup triumph against Rochdale.

Key Battle

The front rows could prove pivotal in what is set to be a hardly fought contest on what is traditionally tough Craven Park playing surface.

Swinton can boast the explosive Andy Ackers who uses the veteran Jordan James and the hard hitting youngster Mike Morrison to his advantage but Barrow have the Leigh loanees of Joe Bullock and Craig Briscoe to rough up the Lions pack whilst being led around the line by Nathan Mossop.

What The Coaches Say

Barrow Raiders Coach Paul Crarey: “We are a little bit off where we need to be but we’re starting to get bodies back, we should have Craig Briscoe, Joe Bullock, Josh Ward available and maybe Andrew Dawson.

“With home support we’re looking to put up a good challenge against Swinton. They’ve got a good squad. They’ve built on what they had last year, they’ve bought wisely and have a lot of quality in the side. This is a real physical division and our lads have to get up to speed with that but as the season goes on we’ll learn.

“With the senior players they’ve got, we’re expecting it to be real tough. Having played on Tuesday they’ll be looking to slow everything down and we’ve got to speed everything up so we’re looking for a quick game.”

Swinton Lions Coach John Duffy: “There’s been doom and gloom around here for a few years so it’s nice to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m glad for the boys because they’ve been great all the way through pre-season but we’re going to have to look after them because we’ve got a big game at Barrow on Saturday. It’s never easy up there and after two games in four days we’re going to have to go up there with a good attitude and play tough.”

Prediction

Barrow showed signs of promise in the latter stages against Newcastle and will be the fresher side after Swinton’s Cup semi-final on Tuesday whilst John Duffy will be hoping his sides superb start to 2015 can continue in Cumbria – Barrow by 4.

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