Edenside will be the venue for Cumberland’s big Unicorns Trophy semi-final match against Staffordshire this weekend.

With a place in the final, at Wormsley on August 28 at stake, Cumberland officials have chosen to play this Sunday’s last-four tie at Carlisle Cricket Club’s ground.

Carlisle secretary Mark Davidson - whose oldest son, Ben, is in the home team's 13-man squad alongside club-mate Mike Slack - said: “The club are delighted to be hosting this national semi-final at Edenside.

"We anticipate a healthy representation of supporters from both counties.

“Bars will be open from lunchtime at the ground and, with play commencing at 11am, we encourage the public to arrive in plenty of time. On behalf of the committee, I’d like to thank the club groundstaff for all the hard work that has gone into staging this prestigious match at Edenside.”

Cumberland secretary Rob Cairns expects an exciting day.

“We haven’t been in the final for some years now,” he said. “We won at Wormsley seven years ago, so it would be nice to go back there.

“But Staffordshire are a very good side. They have some good players, some big-hitters and so it could go either way.

"It will be wonderful if it went Cumberland’s way.”

Indeed, Staffordshire’s side is expected to be led by Kadeer Ali, the older brother of England’s Moeen.

There will be no charge for admission to watch the match and Cairns added: “We would love a big crowd.”

Across all formats, Cumberland have fared much better this summer than they had in recent seasons.

In their latest Unicorns Championship Eastern Division game, at Checkley which ended on Tuesday, they fell just short of defeating top-of-the-table Staffordshire.

A two-innings anchoring role by Cockermouth’s Matthew Sempill helped lead the way for the team.

Having won the toss, Cumberland were 101-3, largely thanks to a 79-run partnership between Barrow man Toby Mowat (50) and Sam Dutton (44), who now plays for Blackpool, but is formerly of Furness.

But the heart of the innings was the 128-run partnership between Sempill (73) and club-mate Alex Grainger (64) as Cumberland were all out for 301.

In Staffordshire’s reply, Adam Syddall and Toby Bulcock were the leading wicket-takers as they restricted the Staffs to 215.

At the start of the 24th over, Cumberland were struggling to press home their advantage and were 61-4.

But captain Gary Pratt (51) and Sempill steadied the ship with an 89-run partnership, as Sempill ended 86 not out and Cumberland declared on 257-8.

With time running out, Liam Grey (3-43) and Sam 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.

“In our first three-day game, we did get heavily beaten [against Lincolnshire] but, since then, we have been a relatively good match for everyone,” Cairns said.