A CUP final rehearsal and a relegation battle are among the highlights on the weekend’s amateur scene.

In the Cumbria League, Barrow Island travel up the coast to face Distington, the team they will meet in the Cumbria Cup final next month, while Millom cross into Yorkshire for a bottom-of-the-table clash in National Conference Division. Their opponents are Elland, who occupy bottom spot.

Askam are also on their travels – they are off to Eccles to face Salford City Roosters. Local fans have a choice of either Ulverston at home to Hensingham or Hindpool Tigers ,who entertain Bamber Bridge.


(Dragley Beck, 2.30pm)

COACH Phil Atkinson gives newcomer Mattie Kaye, who has been playing for Kendal RU, his debut and Jamie Sandon and Liam High return to a strong side as Ulverston aim to get back to winning ways following their recent defeat at Roose Pioneers.

“The lads are keen to come back from that defeat but this is a league where anybody can give the rest a good game on their day,” said Atkinson. “We have had a week off to recover from the defeat at Roose and the players are keen to put that behind them.

“This is going to be a tough game, because they are just a couple of places below us in the league.”

Ulverston, with three wins, are again relying on the club’s young talent, with several teenagers retaining their places.

“We are a very young side with not a lot of experience, but that bodes very well for the future,” said Atkinson.

Ulverston will be looking for revenge following the narrow 18-12 defeat they suffered on their visit to Hensingham in April.


(Brisbane Park, 2.30pm)

DESPITE receiving the gift of two points, the Tigers will be hoping for better luck than last weekend when Golborne Parkside were unable to raise a team to travel to Hindpool.

Although the victory by default hoisted the Tigers into the top three of North West Men's League Division One, they will welcome a return to action.

They know they can take nothing for granted as they go for a league double following their 20-16 win at Bamber Bridge two months ago.

However, after a slow start, Bridge have hit form and in their last two games have piled up 84 points to lift them into sixth spot.

Tigers captain Phil Cubiss said: “Games between the two clubs over the years for the most part have always been close and I expect this weekend to be no difference.

“With home advantage we will be looking to kick on and try and move that little bit closer to cementing ourselves as a top-four team and the play-offs.

“I have been happy with the way the lads have conducted themselves lately and the brand of rugby that we have been playing. We’re not quite at 100 per cent yet, but we are getting there week on week.”

Daryl Archer, Josh Archer, Connor McDermott, Jamie McIlroy and Brad Wrightwebb are unavailable, but Matty Archer, Tom Heighton, Mike Kummer, Jamie Lynn, Adam Martin and Tony Rickelton are back in contention.

Tomorrow also sees Hindpool wearing their new charity kit, designed by Graham Shaw, to raise awareness of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, their chosen charity for 2016.

Replica shirts are on sale through the club at £35 for adults and £30 for children, with £5 from each shirt sale going to the charity.


BARLA tourists Luke Cresswell and Perry Singleton return for the Cumbria League’s biggest game of the day – a County Cup final rehearsal.

Fresh from their semi-final victory over Glasson Rangers, Island travel up the coast confident they can give the unbeaten leaders fair warning of what to expect in next month’s final.

“We are not going there over-confident, but we will be taking a full-strength team and will give a good account of ourselves,” said coach Joe Elliott.

In addition to the return of Cresswell and tour skipper Singleton, Island also welcome back Dan White and Joe Spencely.

Elliott added: “Although we did not play particularly well last week, we had a few missing, so it was a good win under the circumstances. We should have a really strong squad from now until the end of the season with competition for places.”

Distington are unbeaten in eight games and have rattled up 324 points, in addition to the half-century that sent Walney out of the Cumbria Cup last weekend.


ASKAM travel down the M6 without key man Mark Tyson, who is expected to be out for up to six weeks with a broken arm.

He suffered the injury against Blackbrook three weeks ago, but the damage was only discovered after he helped the club lift the Barton Townley Cup against Millom at Craven Park a fortnight ago.

But coach Mike Wilson can welcome back Tom Hopkins, fresh from a successful tour to Jamaica with BARLA Under-23 and can call on Stuart High to fill in for the missing Tyson.

Askam are on a good run, lying second to Hunslet Club Parkside in National Conference Division Two and Wilson says the side will travel full of confidence.

“Losing Mark is a blow but we have plenty of cover and we will travel with a strong team, pretty much the same as the one that played in the final,” he said.

“We have had a week off, which helps to shake off the bumps and bruises, but Salford, who were relegated at the end of last season, are a big physical side so we will have to hold them up front.”


STRUGGLING Millom welcome back hooker Marcus O’Brien – who was voted BARLA’s player of the tour – and player/coach Tom Sibley from the successful trip to Jamaica for their visit to Halifax in a crucial relegation battle in Division One of the National Conference League.

But they will be without the services of Chris Warren, who is attending a wedding.

Coach Sibley will be hoping some of the form from the tour – from which BARLA returned unbeaten – will rub off on the Woollybacks.

“It is sure to be a tough place to go but these are the sort of games we have to win if we want to make any impression in this division,” he said.

Both sides have only one win to their credit, with points difference keeping Millom just ahead of the Yorkshire club.