Cockermouth's Matt Sempill hit two half-centuries in Cumberland’s Unicorns Championship Eastern Division draw with top-of-the-table Staffordshire.

After opener Toby Mowat had set the platform for Cumberland in their first innings with 50, Sempill (73) and his Cockermouth captain, Alex Grainger (64), did most the damage.

The pair put on a 128-run partnership to help steer Cumberland to 301 all out.

In reply, Staffordshire captain Kadeer Ali - the brother of England man Moeen - and Matthew Morris put on 29 for the opening-wicket partnership.

But only Tim Maxfield (63 not out) went past 50 for the hosts who were all out for 215, 76 runs behind Cumberland’s first-innings total. Toby Bulcock (4-79) and Mowat (2-12) did the damage with the ball.

Looking to build on their first-innings lead, Cumberland lost Mowat, Carlisle’s Ben Davidson, Sam Wood and Sam Dutton relatively cheaply to be 61-4.

But captain Gary Pratt (51), Sempill (86 not out) and Grainger (34) helped Cumberland reach 257-8 before they declared as they chased victory.

With time running out in the three-day match, which ended at Checkley on Tuesday, Liam Grey (3-43) and Wood (3-37) did their best to force a Cumberland win.

Staffordshire, though, were indebted to a ninth-wicket partnership from Spencer Byatt (32 not out) and Paul Byrne (31 not out) which saw them through to a draw.