For the first time in seven years, Cumberland’s cricket team have reached the Unicorns Trophy final.

Sunday’s last-four tie against Staffordshire, originally scheduled to be played at Carlisle Cricket Club, was cancelled due to the weather as the club’s Edenside pitch flooded.

Instead, hasty arrangements were made to organise a venue for a bowl-off which Cumberland won 3-0, as they edged a step closer to regaining the trophy they last won in 2012.

The final will see the Cumbrians face 2017 victors Berkshire in Wormsley and is scheduled to be played on August 28.

In the bowl-off at Penrith Cricket Club, five bowlers were due to bowl two deliveries apiece.

But the pressure was on Staffs from the outset, with Cumberland captain Jacques Du Toit hitting the stumps with his first couple of balls. And it was 3-0 after the next round.

Carlisle professional Michael Slack hit, while Staffordshire skipper Kadeer Ali - the brother of England star Moeen - missed the target, helping seal Cumberland’s win.

Cumberland secretary Rob Cairns said: “It’s very exciting. We haven’t been there [to the final] for a few years.

“It was so disappointing that the whole game was cancelled.

"But, instead, we had an exciting seven minutes at Penrith Cricket Club [with the bowl-off].

“I feel sorry for the Staffordshire players who have come all that way, just for a bowl-off. But five of them turned up.”

Cairns accepts there is plenty of excitement in the Cumbrian camp - but he warned the team’s players not too get carried away.

He said: “They certainly are excited, although they better realise they have a three-day game before it!

"We have the three-day game this weekend at Sedbergh School [starting on Sunday].

“Then, on August 28, it’s the final at Wormsley. The Wormsley cricket ground was owned by John Paul Getty.”

This weekend, Carlisle players Slack and Ben Davidson, along with Cockermouth trio Greg Platten, Matt Sempill and Alex Grainger, have been named in the Cumberland side.

Young Carlisle talent Stanley Mcalindon, meanwhile, last week represented the North of England at the annual Bunbury Cricket Festival.

After impressing, he will now play in a combined team from the North and the Midlands against a team from London and across the South, at Loughborough on August 26 and August 27.