Cumbria rivals ready for televised derby
Thursday July 16
Whitehaven v Barrow Raiders
Sky Sports 3 (7.30)
Whitehaven coach Ged Stokes has a slight doubt over winger Ade Adebisi (shoulder) but has an otherwise healthy squad for Thursday’s Sky televised Cumbrian derby.
The Co-operative Championship rivals come face to face in a mouth-watering clash just four days after the Raiders lost the Northern Rail Cup Final.
But Stokes believes that Barrow will have quickly recovered from last weekend’s disappointment.
Stokes said: “They’ll be good, there’s no doubt about that. They played well at the weekend, considering the side they had out. They had to change a few players around but they still did very well.”
He added: “People take the derbies very seriously in this part of the world. When we played them earlier this year it was 18-12 to Barrow and it was a good, hard, physical game. I can’t see it being any different on Thursday but it certainly helps that we’re at home and we’ve got our passionate supporters behind us.”
The Raiders are just one point behind Halifax and will go to the top of the Co-operative Championship table if they win on Thursday.
Coach Dave Clark has challenged his players to aim for the Co-operative Championship Grand Final in an effort to make up for Sunday’s defeat.
He said: “We are coming second with seven games to go, so there is still a lot to play for.
“The boys will take a lot of the Northern Rail Cup Final and I’m sure they’ll want that again. They will have to work hard now to get it for the end of the year.”
Jamie Rooney is available after being Cup-tied for the Raiders but Ned Catic remains suspended.