Many clubs across Cumbria feel they may have played their final game of the season because of the coronavirus.

Penrith, Keswick and Penrith were all in action on Saturday two days before the RFU followed the lead of football and suspended their season.

No games were played in the Cumbria League while Carlisle had their North Premier game at home to Billingham called off.

Initially the RFU have said they will look again on April 13 but it seems highly unlikely that the games will be back on after that date.

The season is due to end on April 25 but already Carlisle have pencilled in early dates in May to play outstanding fixtures, again which might prove to be over optimistic.

The city side had called off their game with promotion chasing Billingham as one of the players was self-isolating and by Monday two more were in the same position while another three had shown initial symptoms of the virus.

They had played Wirral a week earlier and several of their players had shown symptoms so their game at Macclesfield was also called off.

In company with other clubs across Cumbria all training and matches from the youngest age group through to the seniors have been cancelled.

Penrith travelled to Northwich and were beaten 40-10, continuing their losing run since the turn of the year.

The previous week Penrith had been able to field their best side of the calendar year and had given the league leaders Wilmslow a good run for their money.

This time ten of that side were unavailable for various reasons and it was a very makeshift side that travelled to Northwich.

Almost the last 18 players on their feet took the trip and many of them were playing out of position. They were not short of forwards but hooker Ian McDowell played at scrum half and acquitted himself well but they were short of experienced backs, especially wide out and it would cost them.

They were 26-5 down at half-time, so the damage was done in the first half when Penrith had set off very well without being able to score.

Northwich had scored two converted tries before flanker Tom Lindsay, doubling up as a centre, seized on a loose ball and was away before releasing winger Lewis Stewart.

Although also a flanker by trade the young man has a turn of pace and made it to the 22 before the cover got to him. He was able to break the first tackle and then another two before going over in the corner.

Unfortunately Northwich scored two more tries, one of them converted and took a comfortable lead into the break.

Another two tries in the first 10 minutes of the second half then saw Penrith staring down the barrel having conceded 40 points with half an hour to play.

Their spirit could not be questioned though, and heads never went down as they battled away and prevented a rampant home side adding to their score for the remainder of the game.

With 17 minutes to go Penrith’s travelling support was treated to a glimpse of “Macca Magic” as Jamie McNaughton came off the bench having not played since January last year and undergoing a shoulder operation.

He eased himself through the gears and created some real problems for the home defence, and was instrumental in the visitor’s second score. He took the ball off Ed Swale to make a break and was then able to get the ball away in the tackle to allow Swale to score in the corner.

At the end of the game the travelling support applauded their side off the field as they could not have asked any more of them, and the captain Swale said: “We never gave up and the lads were a credit to the club.”

Keswick took on Warrington after securing a narrow home win over them earlier in the season but couldn’t secure a double as their hosts won 34-5.

It was, perhaps, slightly disappointing after a particularly strong effort in the second-half that Keswick conceded two tries very late in the game.

The better team on the day won but the margin of victory did not reflect the work done by Keswick, nor their refusal to give up.

They had trailed 22-0 at half-time and were first on the score sheet in the second half. Top try scorer Ryan Weir turned provider this time, setting-up Joe Bagnall for an unconverted try.

They then had a try disallowed for not grounding the ball over the Warrington line and it was an anti-climax when Warrington scored twice in the closing stages.

Even if the season does resume, Aspatria look safe in North Two West after a 43-8 win over Tarleton.

It did not improve their position as they remain in sixth but the five points put further distance between them and the final relegation slot currently occupied by Bolton.

Assuming the league programme is concluded there are only four games remaining and the 15 points difference between Aspatria and Bolton is surely enough to guarantee safety for the Cumbrians.

They only led 15-3 at half-time but by the end had pulled well clear.

James Ravell (2), Jamie Lightfoot, Matthew Atkinson and Patrick Noutch scored tries while Aspatria were also awarded a penalty try.