Cockermouth Cricket Club lifted the County Cup for only the third time since 1966 when they beat Cleator by nine runs in a thriller at Wigton.

Matthew Sempill was Sunday’s man-of-the-match, with an inspired innings, some tight bowling and a smart run-out.

Gareth White, Cockermouth’s captain who has had to sit out the season through injury, said: “I’ve been privileged to see some fine innings over the years but this was up there with the best, particularly as it was a difficult wicket to bat on.”

Opener Sempill’s 110 not out, as he batted through the 40 overs, was the rock from which Cockermouth built their total of 180-9.

But for a long time, it had looked as though 130 or 140 might be the limit of their efforts until a 72-run blitz in the final five overs.

It had started by taking 21 off an over from Cleator skipper Tom Sharpe and that sparked the fierce, late assault.

Cleator’s reply had started well with Dave Watson (61) and, at 112-1, they were well placed to go on and seriously challenge the Cockermouth total.

But Darren Clark was given out LBW, when he claimed an inside edge, and Cleator never recovered.

Some tight Cockermouth bowling kept Cleator’s response in check and, despite 60 not out from professional Supeshala Jayathilake, they were short on 171-8 at the close.

Sempill followed his innings with a fine eight-over spell of 2-23.