With the season officially reaching the halfway point after this weekend, the OuRLeague cameras will be out in force as promotion-chasing Barrow Island head over to Dewsbury Moor hoping to keep pressure on Crosfields in Division Two. This game kicks off at 4:30pm on Saturday for free via the app and online.
We concentrate on some of the backgrounds behind both clubs.
DEWSBURY MOOR MAROONS
Formed in 1968, Dewsbury Moor entered into a newly formed Sunday 11 a-side league. A committee was formed and a set of second hand jerseys were purchased from Dewsbury Celtic and Jack Addy (now on the current committee)was appointed coach.
In 1972, the club received a major setback when the rented premises were sold. The club were offered the use of facilities at Dewsbury Celtic, on a temporary basis and after much searching finally bought an old ice cream factory for £1000. Many novel ways were sought to raise funds to make the repayments including the raffling of two pigs!
The players and committee, once again set about the hard work of converting this building, to provide baths, showers and changing facilities.
In January 1975, Moor was the first northern-based team to play a southern league team in an organised competition, when they were drawn at Ealing in the BARLA National Cup.
Following the success of the junior sides and the hard work of the committee, it was decided to join both sections of the club together and form a new committee. This was the beginning of a new era for the club including more junior development.
In 1977, the bar and its facilities were opened by the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees. More improvements to facilities came about in 1982.
Throughout the period 1968 - 1994, the club played all it's games either in the local park, nearby fields, or eventually on two pitches that the club rented from Kirklees Council. However, in 1994, the club was informed by the council that the two pitches were to be taken back as part of the landfill programme.
After much negotiation between several parties, the club was able to secure the land for three new pitches. Work on the project began in late November of 1995 with the seeding completed late spring of 1996, in readiness for the new season.
The club came into the NCL in 2015 and have been a valued member since.
Formed in 1935 on Barrow Island, a settlement deep within the town and a place very much at the heart of Barrow’s shipyard docks.
It wasn’t until 1983 before the club got a proper home at Rating Lane. From there, they have continued to develop off the pitch as well as on it. In the past couple of years, the club’s previously slanted main First Team pitch has finished being renovated with the first game on it taking place last year against local rivals Askam. Furthermore, a clubhouse extension has breathed new life into the club socially.
The club's first stint in the NCL was from 1989 to 2000. The Island enjoyed a modicum of success gaining two promotions to Division 1 in that time. The club fell back in to the then North West Counties, and embraced Summer amateur RL in the rehashed North West Men’s League in 2012. Then came a stint in the Cumbria Men’s League from 2013 to 2016.
The club then took a bold move to reapply to re-enter the NCL and were successful. 2017 proved somewhat of an eyeopener with many new questions presented on and off the pitch. 2018 proved much better as Island gained automatic promotion from Division 3, finishing behind runaway leaders Beverley.
The season after, they gained a play-off place, however, a long haul trip to Hull Dockers proved a step too far. After playing in a regional format for 2021, the club embraced playing against the likes of Wath Brow, Egremont and Kells.
For 2022, after cutting his teeth as A Team coach, having seen out his playing days in the early stages of Barrow Island's NCL rebirth, Jamie Curtis stepped up to the First Team reigns this season. He is ably assisted by ex-Barrow and Workington Town stalwart Dean Marwood, returning for another stint at the club.
Over time, the club has played its part in helping nurture the early careers of the likes of: Ade Gardner, Ben Harrison, Brad Singleton, Ryan Shaw, Morgan Knowles, Greg Richards and quite recently Ellis Gillam.
There are a number of other interesting fixtures in the National Conference League this week.
Lock Lane host West Hull in the Premier Division, while Oulton Raiders and Hull Dockers and West Bowling and Ince Rose Bridge clash in Division One. Division Two also sees Crosfields host Normanton Knights and Eastmoor Dragons host Leigh East in Division Three in a must-win game for both sides.
The full fixtures are:
- Egremont Rangers v Thatto Heath Crusaders
- Hunslet Club Parkside v Thornhill Trojans
- Lock Lane v West Hull
- Pilkington Recs v Rochdale Mayfield
- Wath Brow Hornets v Leigh Miners Rangers
- York Acorn v Siddal
- Milford v Kells
- Myton Warriors v Featherstone Lions
- Oulton Raiders v Hull Dockers
- Skirlaugh v Stanningley
- West Bowling v Ince Rose Bridge
- Wigan St Patricks v Saddleworth Rangers
- Bradford Dudley Hill v Woolston Rovers
- Crosfields v Normanton Knights
- Heworth v Dewsbury Celtic
- Hunslet Warriors v Clock Face Miners
- Wigan St Judes v Beverley
- Dewsbury Moor v Barrow Island
- Eastmoor Dragons v Leigh East
- Hensingham v Oldham St Annes
- Millom v East Leeds
- Seaton Rangers v Bentley
- Shaw Cross Sharks v Drighlington
- Waterhead Warriors v Batley Boys - live on Our League