A TASTY encounter is in store in the Cumbria League tomorrow as fast-starting Ulverston and Barrow Island go head-to-head.

Walney Central and Askam also welcome teams to South Cumbria on a full weekend schedule, with Roose Pioneers, Millom and Hindpool travelling.


(Dragley Beck, 2.30pm)

ULVERSTON look to put last week’s first defeat of the season behind them when they entertain Barrow Island.

Phil Atkinson’s boys went down 18-12 at Hensingham, while Island were enjoying a 22-14 win over Glasson.

The game has all the ingredients of being a great contest, as both clubs have started the season with three wins from four and are playing excellent, open rugby.

The home side are still without Matt Storey and Liam High (holidays) and possibly Tom Spedding (work). Spedding and Storey both made an impact in their last home win over Ellenborough.

Back in contention are Mark Wilkinson and Island old boy Spencer Hoyland, while Sam Shepherd is 50/50 due to an elbow injury.

Sixteen-year-old prop forward Jordan Rankin is out having had an outstanding game at Hensingham in only his second senior appearance.

Coach Phil Atkinson said ahead of the derby game: “Jordan will be missed. He had a great game last week, but we go into the game with an air of confidence.

“I think this will be our first real test to see how far we have come from last season. Barrow Island are going well and this game will see how much we have progressed.

“We had a good run-out with Furness Raiders earlier this week and we would like to thank Darren Carter for a good session.”

Atkinson’s counterpart Joe Elliott is also looking forward to the game, and said: “We are expecting a tough match.

“Ulverston are going great and have pulled in some good players, but we also are having a good run.

“I believe we are going in the right direction and have strong competition for places. The squad numbers are high this season and there is a buzz around the club.

“We have a number of young lads pushing our senior players and this can only be good. We are playing good rugby and are always working on our approach to games – I think it will be a very close result.”

Island’s squad is boosted by the return of Dan White, along with the elusive Joe Spencely and Lewis Singleton. Perry Singleton is getting back to match fitness after a lengthy lay off.


(Central Drive, 2.30pm)

AS one Finch goes out another comes in for the clash with old rivals Maryport.

Last week’s hat-trick hero James has work commitments, with Liam replacing his brother.

Connor Pearce is back in contention, but rated 50/50 are Dave Warne (knee) and Brad Nicholls (hamstring).

Cents were pushed all the way by Seaton last week as they won 32-24, with coach Shaun Morrow anticipating an enthralling 80 minutes tomorrow.

“It should be a great contest, as we have had some very good games with Maryport in the first three years of the competition,” he said.

“Both of us dominated the trophies and they are back to their best after a not too good a season last year. We’ve had some good battles with them.”


(Fallowfield Park, 2.30pm)

A SHOULDER injury rules out Tom Goffatt against high-riding National Conference Division Two side Dudley Hill, but back in contention are Tom Hopkins, Gary Bolton, Adam Jackson and Stu High.

Coach Mike Wilson is aware his team face a tough hurdle after last week’s 18-16 defeat at Hunslet Club Parkside, despite having had a decent start to the season.

He said “It is not going to be easy. They are a good side and are undefeated, but we are going okay ourselves and we are at home – it’s at home you have to win your games.

“I thought we were the better side last week against a bigger, more physical side, but we have to be more clinical with ball in hand. We spilled several chances.”


JONNY Sloane misses Roose’s trip to Wath Brow as he recovers from a double wrist injury.

Also out are Russ Birch and Liam Johns (work commitments) while James Armistead is lost to Cumbria Academy.

Back in the fold is play-maker Adam Batty and hopefully coming in are Furness players John Mallinson and George Smith and possibly one or two others.

Coach Steve Neale is still trying to finalise his squad for a game he believes his side can win, and said: “Though we have players missing and have such a small squad, a win at the Brow is highly possible.

“These lads work hard and, after two tough games with Seaton, we are capable of getting that first win.”


A SECOND trip to Humberside awaits the Woollybacks as they seek their first National Conference Division One win.

They go without Paul Carter, Luke Brady, Ian Armstrong (all work) and possibly Steve Dawson, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Coach Tom Sibley said ahead of the four-hour trip to the east coast: “We were blitzed in the first half at Oulton last week, finding ourselves 32-0 down, but we pulled together in the second half losing only 12-6.

“This second-half effort will lift the lads for tomorrow and, if we can give the same commitment, we are in with a shout.”


HINDPOOL have a hefty injury and absence list as they head to Heysham in the North West Men’s League.

Coach Phil Cubiss said: “With lads that are working shifts, we are really depleted.

“I have eight players potentially missing from the team that played against Orrell last week.

“Mike Kummer (back) and Matthew Preston (dislocated shoulder) are both injured, Jamie McIlroy and Callum Dale have both gone back to the army and Scott McGuckin, Paul Rickelton and Dale Sneesby all miss out through work, with Lee Boyd a doubt as well.”

With no players in a position to come back, Hindpool have postponed their A-team fixture in an attempt to get a side together.

Cubiss added: “Heysham are a good team and it is always a tough game, especially on their own ground.

“I will be looking for a big improvement from last weekend, where the lads really under-performed and didn’t give a very good account of themselves.

“I will be looking more at an improved performance than anything else and for us to complete our sets and be a lot smarter in attack and defence.

“If we can sort that out, then who knows what can happen on the day.”

There is only one Barrow and District League game tonight as Walney host Ulverston (6.30pm kick-off).