It's the game they have been waiting for – to test themselves against the North Lancs and Cumbria League leaders.

Carlisle Cricket Club host Cleator at Edenside desperate to pull back some of the 23-point leeway that currently exists between the unbeaten leaders and the third-placed city side.

In actual fact, the sides will be sick of the sight of each other in the next three weekends as they meet on all of them.

After tomorrow’s league clash at Edenside, Carlisle take them on again in the semi-final of the CN Higson Cup a week on Sunday, and the following Saturday, they have to do it all again in the league at Cleator.

Skipper Marc Brown is expecting a big performance from his side tomorrow to lay down a marker for what follows.

“I feel very confident actually. We beat Cleator last season in the league and also in a big cup semi-final,” he said.

“Apart from the rain hit game at Cockermouth, we have been doing well recently and, if we are to make inroads on their lead, we know we have to beat them, starting tomorrow.”

Carlisle are still looking for a sub-pro to fill in tomorrow, but for the County Cup quarter-final at Workington on Sunday, Ernie Kemm who made such a good impression on Saturday, will again play as their professional.

Enamul Haque, who is to come in as Carlisle’s replacement professional following the departure of Derval Green, has still not received his visa clearance. The Bangladeshi Test player hopes to be here in a fortnight.

“We have somebody in mind for Saturday, but it has not been confirmed, but it will be good to have Ernie at Workington on Sunday. He made a very good hundred against Dalton on Saturday. It was chanceless and laid the base for a good win,” added Brown.

“Ben Davidson and Henry Walker, two of our very promising players who were missing on Saturday, will be back to face Cleator. Jordan Whinn plays for the seconds and Phil Frazer is unavailable.”

Whinn missed out against Dalton when there were runs for Kemm (118), Brown (51 not out) and Tom Benn (40). Kemm faced 150 balls and hit 16 fours as he helped Carlisle to 265-4.

Kemm took 3-12 from seven overs and 17-year-old Taryn Reay had 3-18 when Dalton were bowled out for 96.

Cleator showed they won’t be dislodged from the top very easily as they beat reigning, but fading, champions Workington by 33 runs.

The highlight was 110 from Darren Clark who only faced 140 deliveries and hit 13 fours and three sixes as Cleator recovered from 85-5 to reach 191-8.

Workington pro Kaushalya Gajasinghe, who had taken 3-56, top-scored with 64 not out as the visitors were bowled out for 158. Clark showed his worth to the side by taking 4-21.

Popular long-serving pro Geeth Kumara was the match-winner for Keswick in a nail-biting win at Lindal Moor.

One Keswick stalwart was of the opinion that his match-winning knock of 169 not out was the finest innings he had seen by a Keswick batsman in over 50 years.

There were 1.3 overs left when he stroked the winning runs and his mammoth innings had taken 127 balls with a massive 130 of his runs coming in boundaries with 22 fours and seven sixes.

It was a knock played out against a backdrop of the batsman and his team being under sustained pressure all through the innings and it was not until the end that Kumara and Keswick took the game away from a home team that had been in the ascendancy for much of an absorbing contest.

The Lindal openers Sam Beckman (70) and Alasdair Grunshaw (113) had put on 151 for the first wicket and the hosts eventually got to a satisfying 282-5 at the end of their 50 overs.

Keswick were 23-2 in reply when Kumara and Joppy Hodgson (59) put on 125 for the third wicket.

Kumara then held the reply together and, despite the threat of running out of partners, got his side to victory at 283-7 with nine balls to spare.

Wigton were in all kinds of trouble against Cockermouth.

Another gritty knock from pro Mike Slack (46) saved them from complete capitulation as they were bowled out for 84 in 24 overs. Jonathan Norman was the most successful bowler with 4-5 off four overs.

Cockermouth swept to victory at 87-1 in 12.2 overs with openers Alex Grainger (40) and Gareth White (30 not out) doing most of the work.

Furness won equally easily at Whitehaven while Millom beat Haverigg by 53 runs.