ULVERSTON will find themselves up against the reserve team of professional side North Wales Crusaders in North West Men’s League Division Two this year.

The Dragley Beck side have joined the competition after withdrawing from the Cumbria League at the end of last year and will be facing Crusaders’ A-team after they too were accepted into the league.

The team is intended to function as a second string for Betfred League One side North Wales – and Ulverston will be their first opponents when they travel up to Cumbria on March 3.

“I’m really excited that we have been accepted into Division Two,” said Crusaders A head coach Kris O’Neil.

“It’s going to be a massive test for myself and the boys, and we’re looking forward to starting with a trip to Cumbria to play Ulverston, who are a very good and established side.”

Among the other opponents Ulverston will face this year are Manchester Rangers, who play at Manchester Regional Arena and have ambitions of joining the professional ranks in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Iggesund Cumberland Amateur Rugby League will have a new-look this season being split into two divisions.

With the Cumbria League now defunct, all the participating clubs in the west of the county come under the Cumberland ARL banner.

It was the decision of Ulverston and Walney Central to return to their roots in the south of the county which effectively signalled the death-knell for the county-wide league.

Last season’s champions Hensingham, along with Distington, Ellenborough, Kells A, Glasson Rangers and Seaton Rangers will form a new CARL Premier Division. Wath Brow A, who had opted to leave the Cumbria League before the Barrow clubs, will play in Division One along with Aspatria, Flimby, Broughton Red Rose, Egremont A, Cockermouth, Lowca and newcomers Hensingham A.