"It's been one of my best years" - Barber bows out after Panthers lose in play-offs

Halifax Panthers star Ed Barber officially bowed out of rugby league on Sunday as his men fell to an agonising play-off defeat against York City Knights.
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The 32-year-old announced his intention to retire last July when he vowed to continue until the end of the Championship season.

That ending came a week or two earlier than expected as Fax were dumped out of the play-offs in the very first round.

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York City Knights were able to capitalise on an out of character Panthers display as they completed a second-half comeback to seal the 26-24 win at The Shay.

Ed Barber. Photo: Simon Hall/OMH Rugby PicsEd Barber. Photo: Simon Hall/OMH Rugby Pics
Ed Barber. Photo: Simon Hall/OMH Rugby Pics

Looking back at the result, Barber said: “Personally I was disappointed in the way I played. I made a couple of errors which I don’t normally make. It was not the best way to go out at all.”

Barber joined the Panthers in 2015 and has since gone on to make over 140 appearances for the club.

Reflecting on his eight-year spell, the forward does believe his last campaign was one of his strongest.

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He said: “Throughout the season I’ve been playing like a utility – where Simon wants me to play or whoever comes off injured, I fill that role.

“But the back end of the season I was starting in back row and I found some form with some consistent performances. It’s been one of my best years but I think I’ve had better.”

Despite enjoying a successful season, helping the team to a third-placed finish, winning three derby games over Bradford and collecting a plethora of great memories, Barber was still frustrated with the way Fax’s play-off campaign came to an end.

He added: “Very frustrating, all the lads are down. We didn’t expect to lose but it’s rugby league at the end of the day. It’s a knockout competition and you’ve only got one chance.

"Fair play to York, they beat us on the day.”