Both camps emerged satisfied from Sunday’s clash between BARLA Lions and Cumbria, which the international side won 26-6.
BARLA, who are to tour Fiji next month, put in a satisfactory performance against a Cumbrian side that is preparing for the autumn’s BARLA County Championship Tri-Series.
The game was arranged at relatively short notice following the withdrawal of the Army, for militarily logistical reasons, from a scheduled match with the Lions.
Both sides will have benefited from an exercise in which Cumbria fielded eleven substitutes and BARLA had seven men on the bench.
The Lions owed their success largely to a strong opening in which three tries – all, ironically, scored by Cumbrians – were registered without reply.
The first went to Barrow Island winger Sam Jones, after only five minutes, and Cockermouth Titans’ centre Jack Clark followed suit midway through the opening period.
Substitute Ethan Kelly, of Millom, added a further try before the interval and with Yorkshireman Ian Jackson, the Featherstone Lions fullback, landing a conversion, BARLA were in the driving seat at lemons-time with a 14-0 advantage.
Cumbria, though, were firmly back in the frame within two minutes of the resumption, Barrow Island prop Carl McBain crashing over and Ulverston scrum-half Connor Saunders adding the extras.
The Lions, however, controlled the closing quarter in a manner that augers well for the trip to Fiji.
Hooker Craig Savage, of Lock Lane, bustled over in trademark style on 62 minutes and further pressure gained its reward when York Acorn second row Reece Rushworth powered over some ten minutes later.
Jackson added the extras on each occasion to leave BARLA as comfortable winners although the hosts will certainly take plenty of positives from the initiative.
Cumbria travel to meet reigning champions Yorkshire on the first day of the series, York Acorn staging a double-header, alongside the Under 19s match between the same counties, on Saturday 3 November.
Lancashire travel to Millom for the clash with Cumbria on Saturday 10 November, and the last match, between Lancashire and Yorkshire, takes place on Sunday 18 November, at Leigh Miners Rangers.
CUMBRIA: Blain Marwood, Emmerson Allen, Russ Bolton, Steve O’Connor, Jonathan Walsh, Adam Jackson, Connor Saunders, Liam Saunders, Josh Banham, Carl McBain, Peter Rimmer, Bobby Wright, Callum Kinrade. Subs: Lewis Mason, Luke Penrice, James Motum, Peter Wood, Ryan Wilson, Liam McNicholas, Oscar Harris, Luke Crossman, Jonathan Hodgson, Phil Flavell, Gary Tierney.
LIONS: Ian Jackson, Sam Jones, Jordan Gibson, Jack Clark, Ryan Chalkley, Andy Hullock, Jack Jones, Andy Lea, Craig Savage, Aidy Gleeson, Reece Rushworth, Tom Hopkins, Jack Howdle. Subs: Ethan Kelly, Johnny Goulding, Marcus O’Brien, Matthew Henson, Mark Tyson, Declan Sheridan, Lee Postlethwaite, Kevin Hoban.