Carl Hall: Whitehaven win was fitting tribute to Liam Maughan

Jayden, left, leads the teams out. Photo: Rob Terrace
Jayden, left, leads the teams out. Photo: Rob Terrace

The Dons are well into our Super 8s fixtures now, and the past couple of games were real toughies against the big two from Cumbria who are joint second in the League One table.

The first match saw us travel up on the day to Barrow. The club gave the boys the option of an overnight stay in a hotel on the Saturday but the players wanted to travel on the day for this one.

Even though we didn’t get a win, the performance was a real confidence booster for the lads who put on a great show before losing out narrowly 14-10 to one of the best sides in the division.

The game showed us exactly where we are, and we are not to far off. I genuinely feel we got a couple of harsh calls from the man in the middle but couldn’t fault the players’ efforts and we hold no fear if we meet them again in the play-offs.

The next fixture was against Whitehaven at the Keepmoat Stadium. It was another cracker of a game. The challenge to our lads, having set the bar with their showing at Barrow, was to back that up. Well they showed they could as we were in full control of this game - even when we let Whitehaven take the lead with ten minutes to go, I always felt if we got an opportunity in their half we would take it.

That turned out to be the case as we went on to win 30-22 so well done to the lads.

These two games have seen our new French player Hakim Maloudi make his debut against Barrow before getting man of match and against Whitehaven. He has fitted in really well with the team and has certainly added something different to us, he is playing with us until the end of the season to stay match fit for the upcoming World Cup in Australia where he will be playing with France.

Our game against Whitehaven was in memory of Liam Maughan - we play a fixture every year for Liam. who never got to see his young lad.

He was only one week away from coming home from Afghanistan to meet his son Jayden when he was killed, which touched all our hearts at Doncaster RLFC.

It was really special that Jayden could lead the team out on the weekend for his dad’s memorial game, we also had a collection to contribute to Liam’s memorial garden which was recently vandalised by some heartless idiots. It was great to see Andrea, Dave, Callum, Jayden and all Liam’s friends at the game, they always bring us luck - we had special instructions from Jayden that we had to win, and I’m happy we could do that for him and his dad.