St Benedict's face tricky trip to Carlisle hoping to avenge cup defeat

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Action from last year's Cumbria Cup Final between Carlisle and St Benedict's
Action from last year's Cumbria Cup Final between Carlisle and St Benedict's

St Benedict’s have an early opportunity to avenge their Cumbria Cup defeat by Carlisle at the end of last season.

The West Cumbrians travel to Warwick Road tomorrow for their second North One West fixture of the new campaign.

Both sides lost their opening fixtures with Benny’s going down 28-12 at home to Manchester while Carlisle were beaten 34-18 at Wilmslow.

Benny’s were without a number of regulars for that opening game as some of last season’s injuries have not cleared-up.

There was also a wedding and work commitments, which affected team selection.

The situation is not likely to have eased until the end of the month, but by October they should have many more options.

A club official said: “Given the performance of those young players who stepped up to the plate, there is room for optimism, especially if the team is bolstered by the return of those players who were unavailable for this League opener.”

After their defeat at Wilmslow, the Carlisle head coach David Stout said: “This was going to be a tough start for us and at 19-18 well into the second half the game was there for the taking.

“A couple of decisions cost us in a good game of rugby. Despite the loss I was pleased with our general performance against a very good side who will certainly compete for promotion.”

North Lancs Cumbria kicked-off with an old fashioned derby clash between two of the county’s oldest rivals – Wigton and Aspatria.

The Lowmoor Road crowd was treated to a thriller which ended in favour of the home side, 27-26.

That single point was enough to give the home side all five points with Aspatria collecting two; a losing point and also a try bonus.

Both sides experienced disruption going into the game as Wigton were without influential players, Ledingham, Hanabury and Smith who are all long term injury worries while Aspatria’s backline lacked the familiar faces of Akehurst, Vickers and Tinnion due to personal commitments.

Given the pattern of recent matches between the two sides, few neutrals would begrudge Wigton being the beneficiaries of a little bit of luck.

Tomorrow Aspatria play their first home game against a Bolton side who are expected to figure prominently in the promotion race. They had opened with a 70-19 home win over Trafford.

Wigton will travel to De La Salle in Salford and they opened the season in Cumbria, playing-out a 24-24 draw at Keswick.

Newly promoted Keswick shared an eight-try thriller which kept the large and enthusiastic crowd enthralled until the final whistle.

De La Salle had pipped Aspatria to the runners-up slot but lost the promotion play-off game so Keswick knew it would be a tough baptism.

They acquitted themselves well to lead 12-0 at half-time and late in the game they held a 24-12 advantage.

Crucially the home side was reduced to 14 men by a yellow card and late-on De La Salle scored two tries. The second was converted off the final play to earn the visitors a draw, and three points apiece.

Tomorrow Keswick travel to Oldham who had opened on Saturday with an excellent 31-8 win at Fleetwood.

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