Neels Bergh, the top run-scorer in the Northern League, will play for Carlisle Cricket Club on Sunday in their catch-up game at Cleator.

The city side have contrasting matches this weekend as they play back-to-back fixtures in the North Lancs and Cumbria Premier Division.

They won’t have a sub-pro tomorrow against bottom side Haverigg, who visit Edenside on a high after shocking title challengers Cleator last week.

But Bergh, a 25-year-old South African, comes in on Sunday when Carlisle travel to Cleator to play the game that was postponed last month.

He is the pro for Fleetwood in the Northern League and has racked up 1,040 runs for them this season, including two centuries for an average of 57.78. His leg-spin has also brought him 21 wickets.

Skipper Marc Brown said: "It’s not easy at this time of the season to find sub-professionals when quite a few have gone home early.

"We have six matches left and it looks as though we will be without a professional against Haverigg and Furness.

"But Bergh comes in at Cleator and we have already booked Scottish professional George Munsey for the other three games.

“He will play against Cockermouth, Dalton and Workington and we are looking forward to seeing him again as he created a big impression last year.

"He played against Wigton for us and scored 50 while taking five wickets.

"He has recently been playing for Hampshire seconds trying to break into the County scene and, of course, he had that 50 against England in Scotland’s One-Day win."

Cleator were bitterly disappointed to lose to bottom side Haverigg at the weekend – going down to a shock nine-wicket defeat.

But the pain was eased dramatically a little later when news came through that title rivals Cockermouth had slipped up at Workington, losing by 21 runs.

It means that Cleator still have the opportunity to get back on top of the North Lancs and Cumbria League’s Premier Division when they play their catch-up game against Carlisle.

Mind you, before they host Carlisle at the JD Campbell Memorial Ground on Sunday, there’s the little matter of beating Furness, again at home, tomorrow.

Indeed, you could say Cleator’s destiny will be decided in the next eight days as those two big challenges are followed by the ultimate test, a trip to bitter rivals Cockermouth next Saturday.

Those are three really tough games to be thrown at a team in quick succession and, if they come through unscathed, will deserve to be top of the league.

Cockermouth, who now lead the table by seven points, travel to Dalton tomorrow with their hosts fourth from bottom but with 21 points in hand of the last club on the league ladder, who are still Haverigg.

Workington are also in the south of the county at Millom, while Whitehaven need to stop their rapid decline when they host second-bottom Lindal Moor at The Playground.

After a bright start to the campaign, Whitehaven have slipped badly and have to look over their shoulders now as they are only eight points ahead of Lindal and 11 in front of Haverigg.

There’s an interesting clash at Lowmoor Road where Wigton entertain Keswick with the hosts in a good run of form, fresh from a six-wicket win at Lindal.

Skipper Nico Watt was the most successful bowler for the second week in a row, taking 4-60 this time as Lindal were dismissed for 189.

Professional Mike Slack anchored the winning reply of 190-4 with an unbeaten 114 which included 16 fours and a couple of sixes.

Tomorrow’s visitors Keswick are still on a downward spiral and just can’t buy a win at the minute.

Skipper Dan Gaskell made 40 in all-out total of 120 against visitors Carlisle for whom sub-pro Ernie Kemm had 3-29.

Carlisle reached 121-2 with Tom Benn (63) and Ben Davidson (39) looking as though they might share another unbroken opening stand before both were out in quick succession.