Kendal 35, Aspatria 25.

Kendal retained the Story Cumbria Cup, but initially made hard work of it against the side to divisions below them in the national rugby pyramid.

Missing their two Kiwi stars who flew home after the end of the league season last week and without the Ladell twins on either wing because of John's stag celebrations in Benidorm, Kendal's usually cast iron defence was exposed in the opening minutes.

Aspatria carved through for a converted try then former Kendal player Mike Scott added a penalty to make it 10-0 with ten minutes gone.

It was not until midway through the second half that Kendal took the lead at 18-13 thanks to a gradual accumulation of six penalties from the boot of fly-half Dan Stephens to a drop goal by Scott.

Although Aspatria rarely threatened the Kendal line their determined defence kept Kendal at bay until the 65th minute when they illegally disrupted a Kendal forward drive and had a penalty try awarded against them. Stephens' conversion made the score 23-13 and minutes later the odds tilted heavily in Kendal favour when prop forward Billy Coxon scooped up a lose ball near the right touchline and made a superb 40-yard run which just beat the cover defence.

A pushover try touched down by No.8 Mark Wilson put the match beyond doubt at 35-13, but in the remaining 10 minutes both sides rang the changes with a handful of subs each and Aspatria caused a small flurry of anxiety among the Kendal spectators by running in two good tries, one convert for a respectable final scoreline of 35-25.