Barrow Raiders were crowned League 1 champions following their 76-0 victory over West Wales Raiders at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium over the weekend, winning promotion back to the Championship for the 2022 campaign.

The Raiders finished the season with 13 victories, having led the competition with Cumbrian counterparts Workington Town.

Ritson broke club records after scoring seven tries in the ultimate game of the season against West Wales, capping off an impressive season under head coach Paul Crarey in 2021.

Speaking of the promotion, Ritson said: “It’s definitely a career highlight of mine. I can’t praise the lads enough for their efforts throughout the year, they’ve also helped make it my most enjoyable year yet.

“There’s been many times this year where we’ve had to face adversity but finishing the year as champions makes it all the worthwhile. The time and effort put in by everyone at the club, the staff, coaches and fans has been awesome too so it’s nice to be able to return the favour by winning some silverware.

“The fans have been invaluable all year, they act as our 18th man. Their support throughout the season has been immense and I would just like to personally thank them for that. It’s a crowd I will always love playing in front of.”

Ritson finished the regular League 1 season with 22 tries, finishing joint-top scorer alongside North Wales Crusaders winger Rob Massam, while also winning the club’s James ‘Yorkie’ Coyle award for Dedication and Supporters’ Player of the Year.

“I’m overwhelmed to have finished up there at the top, despite missing a chunk of the season through injury,” said Ritson.

“But it wouldn’t be right of me to receive all the credit, my team mates have been exceptional all year and they have helped create a platform for me to thrive.”

On the new adventure of the Championship, the Thailand-born winger continued, “As a player I always welcome a challenge, and rejoining the Championship is no different. We have been here before and we know what to expect. I firmly believe this time around we’ll be ready, and I look forward to the task ahead.”