[T]he winners of Cumbria’s two main Saturday football leagues will meet in a pre-season match to decide the ‘champion of champions’ in county football. The match, on Tuesday 26th July, will see Westmorland League champions Keswick take on Cumberland County League champions Workington Athletic.
Keswick had a dominant season in 2015-2016, winning the League without losing any matches, and the team also picked up the Benevolent Trophy and reached the semi finals of the Cumberland Cup where they lost to eventual cup winners Workington Reds at Workington.
Workington Athletic won their title with a win in the last game of the season in a hard fought division, and they also picked up the GMB Union Whitehaven Cup.
Like Keswick, Workington Athletic reached the semi finals of the Cumberland Cup, losing out to runners up Aspatria after extra time. The match will be played at Cockermouth FC’s ground as a neutral venue, and kick of is at 6.30pm.
Keswick’s new first team manager, Eddie Thomson, has lined up a string of other challenging pre-season friendlies against teams that include Cleator Moor Celtic from the Wearside League (July 22nd) and Cartmel & District, runners up in the North Lancs Premier Division (on August 16th).
Thomson said that the game against the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League champions was the ‘icing on the cake’ for a busy run in to the new season, when the team will finally return to their Fitz Park home in August when the flood damage from Storm Desmond will be completed.
The team’s clubhouse, and the newly relaid and reseeded pitch will re-open on Saturday August 13th with a match against Conway Cup winners Netherhall at 2.30pm. Workington Athletic have friendlies on Saturday 23rd July against Bootle and on Friday 5th August against Aspatria.
Sedbergh Wanderers have pre-season friendlies against Caton United from the North Lancs Premier Division on Friday July 22nd, against Ingleton on Friday July 29th (also from the North Lancs league) and play Cartmel & District on Monday August 1st.
Shap have two matches against Lunesdale United, meeting the first team on Tuesday 26th July, and then Lunesdale United Reserves on Tuesday 2nd August. Lunesdale also have a match on Tuesday 9th August against Division II Champions Wetheriggs Utd Res, and the Reserves meet Penrith Saints on Thursday 11th August. Braithwaite FC have a flurry of pre-season games meeting Ullswater at home on Thursday 21st July, an away match against Division II runners up, the newly promoted Pirelli on Thursday 28th July, and then travel to Gerystoke on Thursday 4th August.
Keswick Reserves have a match against Cumberland County Division One team Bransty Rangers on Saturday 23rd July, and travel to Cockermouth on Thursday 28th July. Westmorland High Sheriff Cup winners Wetheriggs United have matches against Westmorland League Division III’s AFC Carlisle on Tuesday 2nd August, then are away to Calgate from the North Lancs Premier Division on Saturday 6th August, and away to Cumberland League Premier Division team Wigton Harriers on Tuesday 9th August.
Division II Champions Wetheriggs United Reserves kick off their per-season friendlies on Saturday 30th July with a match against Windermere SC, followed by a game on Thursday 4th August against Penrith Reserves and then the match on Tuesday 9th August against Lunesdale United.