Walney Central are to play in the Iggesund Cumberland League this coming season.

The South Cumbrians applied to join and were unanimously accepted this week with the opening set of fixtures set for March 7.

League secretary Lorraine Degraff said: “We are delighted to have them back. They last played in the Cumbria Men’s League about four years ago, so they know the clubs up here.

“They had been playing in the North West Men’s League but obviously felt they wanted a change and they will be made very welcome with us.”

Fifteen teams will be involved in the 2020 programme, with seven teams forming the Premier Division and the other eight in Division One.

Walney will play in the Premier Division alongside Distington, Ellenborough, Glasson, Kells, Seaton and Wath Brow A.

The First Division will be made-up of Aspatria, Cockermouth, Egremont A, Ellenborough A, Hensingham A, Lowca, Maryport and Seaton A

Meanwhile, the reigning league champions Distington must wait until early March to play competitively again. They lost 28-14 at Underbank Rangers in the second round of the Coral Challenge Cup, missing out on the chance to cross swords with professional opposition again.

Assistant coach Carl Hewer said: “We have five weeks to wait for the start of the new League season so we will be trying to play at least two friendlies.

“We have already arranged to play Lowca and I’m hoping that we will be able to confirm a fixture with one of the clubs based in the north east.”

Hewer felt that the villagers could have got closer top their hosts in the Challenge Cup, having turned round only 14-6 in arrears.

“They have one of the strangest pitches I have come across and I can see why they don’t lose many home games. I think there was only Wath Brow who won there last year,” he added. “We had played up the slope in the first-half so were very muchin contention.

“We wanted to keep them penned back with some good kicking in the second-half but we never managed to execute the game plan effectively.

“It was a good hard game and we made them work for it but I think we could have got even closer.”

The three surviving west Cumbrian teams in the BARLA National Cup have home draws in the second round of the competition which is being played on February 15, a fortnight’s time.

Ellenborough Rangers entertain Sharlston Rovers from Wakefield who play in the Pennine League’s Division One.

Across town Glasson Rangers are also at home against Beverley from Yorkshire who are members of National Conference Division Two.

Kells complete the west Cumbrian trio still pursuing National glory and they also have Pennine League One opposition in Mirfield Stags.