CUMBRIA County Cricket Club had another disappointing weekend on Sunday - losing both matches against Staffordshire in Carlisle.

However the second match was a last-ball-thriller and there were very encouraging performances from some young Cumbrians.

In typical warm and sunny Carlisle weather, Staffordshire won both tosses and elected to field.

In the first match Cumbria got off to a horror start with Sam Dutton, of Furness CC, bowled off his pads on the first ball.

Cumbria just couldn’t get going and wickets fell regularly. Noteworthy contributions came from Michael Slack, Carlisle CC, 21, and Nathan Waterstone, Furness CC, 16.

The highest partnership was 23 for the sixth wicket between Matthew Sempill, Cockermouth CC, and Penrith’s Brodie Glendinning, recently Durham Seconds.

Sempill forced a good final over, scoring 16 (a six, two fours, and two singles) to bring his contribution to 38 and Cumbria’s total to 107, which looked insufficient even on the low, slow wicket.

It seemed that history would repeat itself in the second match when Dutton was bowled off the second ball he faced.

However, this time, meaningful partnerships were established.

Former and current captains Gary Pratt, of Richmondshire CC, and Slack put on 44 runs for the second wicket. This was followed by a 38-run partnership between Pratt and Waterstone for the third.

A middle-order collapse brought the threat of another low total. But Marcus Stables, Nantwich CC, formerly Cockermouth CC, and Glendinning put on 16 for the sixth wicket and helped bring the total to a respectable 120.

With the visitors on nine after their first over, the ball was thrown to 17-year-old spinner Josh Stirling, Carlisle CC. To the absolute delight of the crowd and his teammates Stirling bowled Wessels with his first ball.

Not to be outshone, 20-year-old Glendinning bowled Mellor at the end of the third over. Seven balls later, Sterling tempted a big shot from Louis Allison who was caught on the long-on boundary. Catch of the day went to Dutton who ran 30 metres from the boundary to take a diving catch at deep mid-wicket.

Jackson got into the wicket-taking action in the 14th over, creating catching opportunities that were pouched by fellow members of the ‘tyro trinity’ - Stirling and Glendinning.

Spinners Sempill and Watt dismissed two more batsmen in the next two overs to leave Staffs needing 50 off 4 overs. With one ball to go Staffordshire needed one run to win and sadly for the home team they scored a four to finish.