And now, the end is near and so we face the final… er… home game of 2012. How time flies…
It's been a long, frustrating, circuitous road and, having looked nailed on to gain promotion from Champonship 1 as champions, Barrow seem to have a dose of the yips. A 48-34 defeat to Workington at Derwent Park last week has pulled both Town and Doncaster right back into contention with two games running - and Worky have a game in hand!
With Town left with Oldham, Gateshead and Hornets to play, there's a palpable swing of momentum away from Craven Park - which will make Darren Holt's side even more desperate for a win at Spotland.
In fact it's a bit of a Cumbrian exodus on Sunday - Barrow at Hornets, Town at Oldham - so the A627M axis could play a major role in deciding which of these two Cumbrian clubs gets the £50k prize money for winning the league - if only by influencing their respective points differences.
But Holty's being philosphical about the possibility of Barrow chucking away the title.
“To be honest we’ve been a bit down in the dumps. It was a bad result, but also it was a disappointing performance. It was a game we could have won, never mind got a bonus point from. It was one of those days when nothing went right for us and it wasn’t a great performance."
Ah, it happens to the best of us, Darren. But he does appreciate that his strategy of recruiting the very best of local talent has turned Barrow around:
“We’ve looked back to where we were at the start of the season and how far we have come since. Expectations have risen as we have gone on, and to be honest, the game against Workington was the first time where the players haven’t done themselves justice, as they have done through the course of the season."
But, while Holt talks up his team's chances, between the lines you sense that Barrow's ship has sailed: “… in the whole scheme of things it has been a very successful season and we are not out of it yet. There is a still a chance. It’s out of our hands now … we need to look forward and just hope that someone else does us a favour, and that if we look after ourselves, things will take care of themselves.”
On the home front, we heard last night that ten players from Hornets and South Wales Scorpions have been charged following the… er… frank exchange of views just before half time last Sunday.
Gary Middlehurst, Phil Braddish and Chris Hough have been charged with Grade C fighting offences while Steve Bannister and Dayne Donaghue have been charged with Grade B fighting offences.
But South Wales' fighting, it seems, is considered less serious - Luke Kell and Nathan Mossop charged with Grade B fighting offences from the same incident while Joe Bullock has been charged with a Grade A fighting offence.
South Wales’s 'Mr Angry' Dom Crosby has also been charged with a Grade B head-butt head-butt on John Cookson while substitute Jason Howells has been charged with a Grade C offence for entering the field of play to punch Houghy in the back of the head.
In a strange way, the end of the season can't come quickly enough - and for us it does come a week early. After Monday's Barrow report, TLCRF80mins will be pulling down the shutters on the 2012 season. We'll miss the Workington game because we'll be somewhere else next week - great planning on our part :D
Hope you've enjoyed the resurrection of TLCRF80mins, we'll be open for business through the close season with our proudly biased view of all the news that's fit to blog. Cheers.