IT’S back to action for Cumbria’s league clubs tomorrow with a new series of tests awaiting them.

Carlisle can look forward with some relish, having seen what the North Premier has to offer, and know what they need to do to improve on the first-half of the season.

They start 2020 ninth of 14 in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone, and with sound prospects of improving on their five wins from the opening 13 games.

Coach Matt Shields knows better than anyone that the key to improved results is keeping 15 players on the field at all times and tightening up generally on discipline.

They resume the league programme with a trip to bottom side Ilkley who have only won one game so far.

Carlisle weren’t emphatic in the home game with Ilkley, just finishing on top 26-23, and the Yorkshire side ended the first-half of the season in Cumbria with a 41-7 defeat at Kirkby Lonsdale.

In North One West, there’s 39 points between Penrith and Keswick, who resume in the New Year with a derby clash at Winters Park.

Penrith won 39-10 at Keswick in the second match of the season but it’s fair to say the Davidson Park side have improved since then and it could be a bit tighter.

A lot will depend on injuries and Keswick have had a lengthy list for most of the season.

Penrith have had similar problems but have been particularly well served by the younger players who have been handed promotions before they probably could have expected.

At the moment Penrith are sixth, just four points behind second-placed Burnage in a tightly knit group of six who are separated by just six points. Leaders Wilmslow are 10 points ahead of Burnage.

Keswick, meanwhile, sit bottom of the table with just one win and one bonus point. Improving both columns will be the target over the second-half of the season.

In North Two West , Aspatria are involved in a relegation battle but are optimistic about their chances of escaping the clutches of the bottom three.

It’s a tight battle down there with just five points dividing the bottom six.

The Black Reds are third bottom but only two points better off than the last side Aspull and just two behind Eccles who are in the first safe position.

The Black Reds resume at home tomorrow to Bolton, a side they know well after a few feisty battles in recent years. Earlier this season Aspatria lost 50-24 at Bolton and will be extra keen to make amends at Bower Park.

The Cumbria League looks like developing into an exciting battle for honours with five clubs still in the mix, currently divided by six points.

St. Benedict’s share the lead with Cockermouth, both on 54 points but the Mirehouse side do have a match in hand.

Whitehaven are four points behind in third, level with Wigton and they are both two points clear of Upper Eden.

They all avoid each other tomorrow with Wigton probably having the toughest test at Egremont, who ran St. Benedict’s close recently.

Benny’s travel to Furness; Cockermouth are at Carlisle Crusaders; Whitehaven visit Windermere while Upper Eden entertain Silloth.