The best efforts of stand-in skipper Michael Slack were not enough to prevent Cumberland from falling to a six-wicket loss against Norfolk.

With the match being held at Furness Cricket Club from Sunday until Tuesday, Carlisle’s professional Slack struck a half-century and then took four wickets to give the Cumbrians a 53-run first-innings lead.

But in their second innings, Cumberland were all out for 135, leaving Norfolk a target of 189 to secure the win in the Unicorns Championship Eastern Division match - and they did so with ease.

With regular skipper Gary Pratt on club duty, Slack took over the Cumberland captaincy and it was his side who batted first.

Carlisle opener Ben Davidson (15) and Cockermouth duo Matt Sempill (23) and Greg Platten (14) were all dismissed relatively cheaply to leave Cumberland 72/3.

But half-centuries from Slack (51), Sam Dutton (82), at his home ground, and Jacques du Toit (63) led the Cumbrians to 303/9 before they declared.

Toby Bulcock (3-70) and Liam Grey (2-50) then set about making inroads into Norfolk’s batting line-up, with Slack (4-65) dismissing most of the tail. S-J Marillier (59) and J-D Reynolds (50) top-scored for Norfolk.

Hoping to go about setting a decent total to defend, Cumberland slumped to 49/6.

Former Leicestershire man Toit did offer some resistance with 60, but Cumberland were all out for a measly 135.

With Cumberland in pursuit of early wickets, Bulcock got S-S Arthurton for 13 and Adam Syddall dismissed Matthew Plater for 25.

But Tom New (58) and Marillier (62 not out) got them close to the line, before New was dismissed and Ryan Findlay (two not out) saw Norfolk home.