JOE Elliott is confident Barrow Island have what it takes to down unbeaten Cumbria League table-toppers Distington when they visit Rating Lane tomorrow.

Island are the best of the rest in the division so far this season and their coach sees no reason they cannot be the first team to beat the visitors, after being impressed with their recent display in the away fixture.

Elsewhere, Walney Central will be eager to banish the memories of last weekend's defeat when they host Ellenborough, while Ulverston face the trip to the side just below them in the table, Seaton.

In the National Conference, Askam welcome Stanningley on a special charity day at Fallowfield Park in Division Two and Millom travel to Milford in Division One.

The day's North West Men's League Division One action sees Hindpool away to Bank Quay Bulls.


(Rating Lane, 2.30pm)

BARROW Island coach Joe Elliott believes his team can become the first to topple Cumbria League leaders Distington, who travel to Ratting Lane with 14 straight wins under their belt.

Island, who are pushing for second place come the end of the season, go into the game having put up a very good performance in the west of the county several weeks ago.

“I believe we can beat them,” said Elliott. “We are a team in form and at Rating Lane we are a very confident team.

“Two years ago, a very good Walney side came unbeaten into the final game and we beat them, so we are not afraid of Distington.

“I'm sure the lads will give a good account of themselves and we have to prove we can beat them, and, if so, it will put us in good stead for the top-four play-offs, when we could meet them again in the final.

“It will be tough. They are a good side and play good rugby, so if we can match them up front, I think we can then move the ball around.

"Our lads have a lot of pride playing at Rating Lane and, as a team, we play with a lot of spirit.”

Island are without hard-working prop Matt Parkinson and Gareth Shaw due to work, while Richard Chatfield's season could be over due to a neck injury.

Elliott is sweating on the availability of all-action man Joe Spenceley, who has a toe injury. He is rated 50-50, while Lewis Singleton comes into the squad.

Island are six points behind the leaders, having played the same number of games, and are looking to pip Walney for second as Distington are odds-on to lift the title.


(Central Drive, 2.30pm)

CENTS aim to put last week's hefty defeat at Maryport behind them as they entertain Ellenborough, but they go into the game without Mike Elliott and Ethan Furness, both nursing groin strains.

Stu Tippett has a similar injury but has a better chance of making the starting line-up, while Dave Warne is 50-50 with a knee injury.

On the plus-side, Mike Whitehead, Carl McBain and Adam Nicholson all return.

Coach Shaun Morrow was disappointed with the 49-24 defeat at Maryport, saying: “We found ourselves 27-0 down, then gave away three interception tries. Other than that, we played some good stuff.

“Ellenborough will be a hard game as they are still in contention for a top-four place.”


Phil Atkinson is hopeful of taking 17 players up the coast, but going to press he had 18 unavailable, including Steve O'Connor, Connor Saunders, Scott Houston and Joe Hambley.

However, he has been handed a boost by the return of Josh Rankin.

“It's not easy going with an unsettled squad, but these things happen (injuries, work and holidays),” said Atkinson ahead of the trip.

“We will give it our best shot, and look to Matt Storey and Liam Saunders to get us around the field.”


(Fallowfield Park, 2.30pm)

SPECTATORS at Fallowfield Park tomorrow will be greeted by an Askam side playing in a pink strip, which should dazzle the opposition.

The special occasion is a charity and family day at the ground, with many other attractions in aid of St Mary's Hospice and the oncology unit at Furness General Hospital.

On the field, Askam look to put last week's defeat at the hands of leaders Hunlset Club Parkside behind them as they continue to push their claim to finish second in National Conference Division Two.

Out for the rest of the season is hard-working forward Joe Dowsett, who has a damaged voice-box after taking an elbow to the throat last week.

Dan Sayle is unavailable and Rob Cockayne is rated 50-50, but Tom Goffatt and Barry Pugh come into the side.

“Stanningley are second-bottom, but we will be on our guard they have had back-to-back wins,” said Askam coach Mike Wilson.

“We have five games to go until the end of the season, so we will have to be cautious and not slip up. It is in our own hands as we look to finish second.”


THE Woollybacks welcome back Jonathan Hodgson, Owen Myers and Tom Newbiggin, but travel without Paul Carter and Adam Kelly due to work.

Hanley Dawson is also doubtful after taking a knock to the head in last week's 88-6 defeat at Normanton.

“We have to put that game at Normanton well and truly behind us,” said Millom coach Tom Sibley ahead of a second successive trip to Yorkshire.

“It came the day after Glyn Robinson's funeral, but that is not an excuse, it was just a bad day at the office.

“We had a good chat on Tuesday and we will work hard as a squad, and go down there and compete.”


HINDPOOL side travel to Warrington in North West Men's League Division One, but will be ring-rusty having not played for several weeks.

Hindpool are sixth in the table, while the Bulls are still in search of their first win.