Penrith Rugby Club can confirm their North One West status for next season tomorrow when they travel to Burnage.

The Winters Park side’s form away from home has been pretty poor all season, but their performances over the last three weeks suggest they have finally clicked.

A big home win over doomed Anselmians; a draw at fellow relegation candidates Warrington and Saturday’s 27-27 draw with top-four side Northwich was tangible evidence they are having a go.

It meant they had taken a four-try bonus-point in each game, making 11 points from a possible 15, and they are now six points above the third relegation spot with three games remaining.

Their fate is in their own hands as they travel to Burnage, where a win would almost certainly guarantee them their current status.

The point about Burnage, too, is that they have only one game left after tomorrow and, although 42-12 winners at doomed De La Salle last week, they are the most vulnerable in the battle to avoid the drop – especially if they lose to Penrith.

They currently trail Penrith by two points and are four points ahead of Warrington who occupy the last relegation place.

Penrith were 10 points down in the second half against Northwich and drew level very late on. In fact, the conversion attempt slid just wide or they might even have won it.

Tom Lindsay, George Graham, Lee Chapman and Dan Richardson scored the Penrith tries.

Carlisle inched a little closer to the North One West title when they produced an excellent performance to beat Birkenhead Park, who were lying third at start of play.

Matty Shields’ men romped to a 47-13 win to retain their six-point lead over Blackburn with just three games remaining.

On paper, this was the toughest game that Carlisle had left but they made light work of the team lying so prominent in the table.

The visitors had only lost twice since the turn of the year, so it was good that any Carlisle nerves were settled within two minutes with a try and conversion, both by Grant Connon.

By half-time, that lead had been extended to 28-8 with further tries from Shields (2) and Connon.

The visitors were given no respite in the second half, as a scrum inside the Birkenhead 22 gave Carlisle the platform to test the Birkenhead defence.

Angus Fulton, Kyle Lindsay and James Brocket scored tries in the second half to underline Carlisle’s superiority and keep them well on course for automatic promotion.

Carlisle are back at Warwick Road tomorrow against Manchester who are still in the relegation mix, a point behind Penrith, so five points clear of the last place which carries the threat of the drop.

Last week, they had a very good 35-22 home win over Stockport to suggest they have enough about them to fight their way clear, although they might not expect too much from their trip to Warwick Road.

The Cumbria League is now sorted with Keswick as champions and Aspatria claiming second place, which is still open to question of what it will actually mean.

It still hasn’t been resolved whether there will be a promotion play-off place game and there have been other proposals on how the league structure should operate at that level.

Suffice to say, the Black Reds made certain of second place with what some believe was their best performance of the season, and what happens next season is beyond their powers.

Aspatria clinched second place behind champions Keswick in the shortened Cumbria League for the top four sides.

They beat neighbours and traditional rivals Wigton 58-21 to guarantees them a promotion play-off game, although this may prove unnecessary if the pending league re-organisation is adopted. Watch this space!

Aspatria had more to play for than Wigton and they showed a greater ability to take their opportunities than their visitors.

The end result was still in question at half-time but Aspatria’s second-half performance simply overwhelmed Wigton. 

It was near perfect-rugby from the Black Reds who cashed in on near enough every opportunity that they created.
Wigton were less clinical with theirs and paid the price.

A couple of injuries early on did not disrupt Aspatria too much and they went on to score tries through Greg Dickinson (3), Heinie Jonker (2), Gary Hodgso, Grant Bethwaite (2) and Matthew Atkinson.

Greg Wrathall, John Story and Elliott Armstrong scored the Wigton tries.

After their defeat at Aspatria, champions Keswick got back to winning ways, beating Cockermouth 22-14. Andy Muir, Ryan Weir and Matty Roper scored the Keswick tries.

Tomorrow, Keswick host Upper Eden at Davidson Park in the re-arranged League Cup game, with the winners at home against Cockermouth just one week later.