Barrow update

Date published: Thursday, April 12, 2012

DARREN Holt, Barrow’s veteran player-coach, will chalk up 400 career games when he takes charge of the Raiders against Oldham in Sunday’s fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie at Whitebank (3pm).

He hasn’t played for three weeks because of a calf injury and a one-game suspension.

He sat out the league game at Whitebank a fortnight ago, which Oldham won 32-26 in a thriller, but he is over his injury now and is expected to take charge of Barrow’s bid to avenge a league defeat by the Roughyeds which still hurts at Craven Park.

“After what happened last time the boys are fired up for this one,” said 35-year-old Holt.

He made six changes for Barrow’s next game against Gateshead Thunder and at least two of the players who were called up, centre Aaron Low and hooker James Dandy, turned in eye-catching performances in a 40-12 win.

Dandy was given the No 9 job ahead of Liam Finch and Jack Pedley, a try scorer at Whitebank two weeks ago.

Holt won’t show his hand on team selection until later, but he has already described Low’s return to the side as “exciting” and has expressed the view that “when Dandy is at hooker he gives us something different.”

Pedley (shoulder) and prop Andy Bracek (knee) will face late checks.

Roughyeds are continuing to monitor the fitness of skipper Neil Roden (dead leg), back-row forward Paul Smith (blurred vision) and centre David Cookson (dislocated finger) and they will be in for more treatment and tests tonight.

The squad will train again on Saturday morning by which time coach Tony Benson will have finalised his squad.

Going back to 1923 there have only been four previous Challenge Cup clashes between the clubs, each winning two.

Oldham won 24-7 at Watersheddings in 1973 and 11-8 at Craven Park in 1928, while Barrow triumphed 12-0 in 1923 and 40-8 in 2006, both at home.