Coach Darren Edmondson admits he is excited to see what the future holds for Carlisle United’s young players after they won the Cumberland Cup.

Two first-half own goals by Stuart Johnson and Tyler Bowman put the Blues in the driving seat in Tuesday’s final against Penrith AFC, before Shaun Gardner gave the Bonny Blues hope when he pulled a goal back in superb fashion after the restart.

But Gardner then was denied from the penalty spot by United keeper Louis Gray, the only senior player involved in Carlisle’s side, with Charlie Birch making sure of the win with a superb late long-range chip in the 3-1 win.

Edmondson was thrilled with how his young players came through the test at Brunton Park against Andy Coyles’ men in front of a 618-strong crowd as Penrith lost in the final for the third successive season.

“They are a good side, physically they are good. They played some good football,” said the 47-year-old.

“Firstly, we had to match their work ethic and desire which is what we spoke about in the last couple of days when we got the boys together in training. It was a really good cup final.

“Credit to Penrith, they scored a great goal, probably one of their own goals was a little bit unlucky but I thought it was good play by us that led to the other and he [Bowman] had no option but to put it into his own net. There were some good combination plays down that left-hand side.

“I’m, generally, excited for the boys. It’s a nice way to end the season.”

Carlisle also got the better of Workington Reds, Pirelli, holders Cleator Moor Celtic and Bransty Rangers on their way to the final where they picked up the trophy for the first time in four years.

And the former Barrow AFC and Workington first-team manager says seeing his players lift the trophy had made their cup run worthwhile for him.

“It does. We said that beforehand that, physically, the Cleator one was the toughest one they will have to come through and that if we can play football on that park and keep it open that we would have the legs to win that game,” said Edmondson who was in the dugout alongside academy coach Gavin Skelton.

“That’s what we did again on Tuesday and they have shown some good spirit, as well.

“It’s a great way to end the season and I’m really chuffed for them. There were also a lot of schoolboys playing, which is great.”

Edmondson also praised Liam Brockbank and Ceiran Casson for the attitude they showed by playing in the game, despite having last month found out they are set to be released by the club at the end of the season.

He said: “Brilliant. They will be delighted, and they got the chance to lift the trophy at the end, it meant a lot to them. They were the two that said they wanted to play in the game.

“It shows, if you find Cumbrians and bring Cumbrians in as schoolboys, what it can mean to some of them and that just typified that.”

Promising defender Jarrad Branthwaite, meanwhile, did not feature for United, missing out through illness.

“He just picked up a sickness bug so we couldn’t risk him bringing it into the football club and it spreading everywhere,” explained Edmondson.