It should be a free weekend but Carlisle Rugby Club and Aspatria will both be playing their catch-up league games.

Carlisle, encouraged by a convincing win against Rossendale on Saturday, have a stiffer task but, again, it’s at home, with Harrogate travelling over.

Aspatria, in a relegation battle in North Two West, have a vital trip to Sefton, the only team below them.

For Carlisle, their visitors Harrogate provide formidable opponents, having lost once in nine games so far and they have games in hand which could push them from fourth to second, behind unbeaten leaders Billingham.

But last weekend Harrogate were taken all the way by visitors Lymm before they edged it 14-11, which hardly suggests they are in rampant form.

Carlisle, by comparison, enjoyed a comfortable 35-15 win over Rossendale and with this catch-up game to play, they are sixth bottom, four points above the drop zone.

The continuous improvement seen against Wirral, then league leaders Billingham, albeit in losses, was turned into a win against Rossendale.

They did concede the first try, but then, player-coach Matt Shields ploughed over and Jason Israel converted.

By half-time, that advantage had grown to 21-5 after further tries from Grant Connon and Josh Holmes, both converted by Israel.

By the hour mark, Holmes had scored his second try while Max Connon got over, and with two more successful kicks by Israel, Carlisle were out of sight at 35-5.

To their credit, Rossendale finished strongly in the final quarter and scored two more unconverted tries.

However, Carlisle had eventually delivered a performance that had been coming for the last couple of games.

Another two yellow cards could have been disastrous, yet Carlisle managed to defend well while down in numbers.

Overall, though, the penalty count was down as well, which meant Carlisle retained possession much longer, another bonus, and it showed.

Aspatria go to Liverpool to take on Sefton, who are three points behind them at the foot of the table.

It’s a vital game for the Black Reds who, once again, lost a desperately close contest at Bower Park on Saturday.

Winnington Park fully deserved their 25-24 victory which owed much to a dominant first-half display. Aspatria fought valiantly to overhaul a 17-point half-time deficit, but the task proved too much and the Black Reds were left to stew on opportunities missed.

The result leaves Aspatria with relegation worries but the damage was not as bad as it might have been with all their nearest rivals suffering defeats. The situation at the bottom is extremely tight and a single win might prove sufficient to lift Aspatria out of the relegation zone.

They will be hoping this comes at Sefton who lost 29-17 at mid-table Bolton last weekend. With the halfway mark of the league programme fast approaching, this match feels very much like a "must win" fixture.

A Jack Clegg penalty was all they had to show in the first half but there were second-half tries for Gary Hodgson, Andrew Miller and Greg Dickinson. With 15 minutes left, they were 25-10 drift and only just failed to pull things around in the closing stages.

Penrith and Keswick will enjoy the break this weekend in North One West after both suffered defeats at the weekend.

Since a fine start to the season, Penrith have slipped from top to seventh but there was merit in their 29-24 defeat at Altrincham Kersal which allowed them to bring home two bonus points. It was especially rewarding as coach David Preston had spent a fraught week putting his side together.

The club had been reckoned to have put out the strongest side of the season the week before, but Preston was without eight of those players for various reasons. He relied heavily on the younger end of his squad and fielded five teenagers who all acquitted themselves really well.

Preston’s trials and tribulations were not over on Friday when he named his side. Travelling to the game, replacement hooker Ian McDowell could not travel because of an accident at work and, after frantic calls off the coach on the M6, veteran 47-year-old prop James Lund came to the rescue and turned up just in time for kick-off.

Two tries at the death from Fraser Nicholson and Ollie Gutteridge got Penrith their second bonus point after earlier touchdowns from Dylan Cowperthwaite and Jay Rossi.

Keswick, however, brought nothing back from their trip to third bottom Bowdon.

They had gone seeking a winning follow up to their first victory over Warrington but went down to a 36-5 defeat.