A BIG Cumbria League derby takes centre stage tomorrow as old rivals Walney and Barrow Island go head-to-head.

Ulverston, Millom and Hindpool are all at home, while Askam and Roose Pioneers travel on a rare weekend when all the South Cumbrian sides taste action.


(Central Drive, 2.30pm)

KEY players Brad Nicholls (Walney) and Luke Creswell (Island) are both unavailable for the clash of the day in the Cumbria League.

The dynamic pair are teaming up on a stag weekend and the Cents could be forced into a new half-back pairing.

Nicholls' fellow half-back Jamie Morrow is facing a race against the clock after picking up a leg injury in the County Cup semi-final win over Seaton, while Liam Finch – who would have slotted in – has a hamstring problem and brother James has work commitments.

Jordan Staffieri, who has hardly missed a game over the past few years, is also likely to be absent with a groin injury.

In the Island camp, Matt Sayle, Andrew Cairns, Perry Singleton and Scott Hadwin are all unavailable.

Into the Walney squad come Mike Whitehead, Eddie Matcine and the Elliott brothers, Mike and Matty – who have both missed recent games through holidays.

Island boss Joe Elliott has yet to finalise his 17, though Chris Burns and Jamie Curtis retain their places after solid performances against Ulverston last week.

Walney coach Shaun Morrow said: “Both teams have important players out, but that's the nature of the game you just get on with it. It's 17 against 17 on the day.

“Half-back could be a problem for us, so a bit of shifting has to be done, but we will still have a decent side out.

“It will be a good game and hopefully a dry pitch as both teams like to play open rugby.”

Elliott added: “It will be close and we have to cut out silly errors that occurred against Ulverston. Both us and Walney are going well this season, and I just want a good all-round performance.

“This game will be a good test of our character – if we are a bit off our game, Walney will run away with it.

“I have every confidence in the lads. We are playing good rugby and we are capable of winning and getting one over on them. They knocked us out of the Barton Townley Cup, but that was early days and we have come a long way since then.”

He added: “Chris Burns and Jamie Curtis have earned their places. They have added a new dimension to the team, and in the pack Dan White and Callum Nelson have been massive.”

Island are second in the Cumbria League, with five wins from six, while Cents are unbeaten with four from four.


(Dragley Beck, 2.30pm)

ULVERSTON look to get back on track after their 24-22 Cumbria League loss to Barrow Island last week.

They bring Marc Dixon, James Porter and Duane 'Dinger' Bell into the squad to replace the unavailable Tom Spedding, Keiron Chadwick and Josh Rankin.

Coach Phil Atkinson said: “We are scoring more than 20 points a game, but we are also leaking points. Our defence tightened up against the Island and we were unlucky to lose. We are also improving with ball and another good performance like last week should see us win.

“Glasson are well coached and organised by former Workington player Martin Oglanby. They are a physical team, so whoever turns up on the day will win.

“My lads know they have to perform as we have several lads in the A-team pushing for places.”


(Brisbane Park, 2.30pm)

HINDPOOL face a tough home test in North West men's League Division One, as unbeaten Warrington side Latchford Albion come to town.

Tigers coach Phil Cubiss said: “I will be looking for our players to continue moving forward and improve on last week (a 14-10 win over Folly Lane).

“We did some really good things, but we were still missing that killer instinct when close to the try line. We controlled that game for long periods, but when we dropped off we let them back in the game.

“It needs to be 80 minutes of concentration and control this week. We're heading in the right direction and we just need to keep the momentum going.”

Lee Boyd, Grant Burns, Callum Dale and Jamie Lynn are unavailable tomorrow, but Daryl Archer, Tom Heighton and Brad Wrightwebb are back in contention.


(Devonshire Road, 2.30pm)

THE Woolybacks welcome back Steve Dawson, Rickie Donaghue, and Adam Kelly for the National Conference Division One clash with Normanton.

Coach Tom Sibley said: “We have key players back who missed the game at Featherstone Lions (a 62-18 defeat last week). Though we were heavily beaten, we did score three good tries in the second half, which was encouraging as we only took 15 players.

“We have had decent numbers at training and we are all up for it and looking to get that first win. We must stay focused.

“With the Barton Townley final coming up (on May 27), places are up for grabs, so the lads are aware they have to perform.”


PIONEERS coach Steve Neale can sniff that first win of the season as his bolstered squad make the trip to the west of the county.

He said: “We are in better shape this week and I feel quietly confident that we can get the win.

“I will have probably my strongest team this season. I haven't had the normal headache of how many players I will have. It won't be easy, but I feel we can do it.”

Neale has Adam Batty, Corne Ells, Martin Ward, Russ Birch and Jack Budgeon back, along with Joe Mallinson.


ASKAM are on the crest of a wave and go to Dewsbury with an air of confidence following last weeks 36-22 National Conference Division Two win at Thornhill.

Dan Sayle, Jonathan Walsh, Jordan Herdman and Barry Pugh return, while Jamie Butler and Tom Wilkinson are unavailable.

Coach Mike Wilson said: “We had a great win at Thornhill – their first home defeat for some time. I was happy with the performance and we are improving week by week.”

The funeral was due to take place today of former Walney and Marsh Hornets stalwart Chuck Humphries, died last week, aged 55.