Only four games were played across the whole of the north on Saturday as Rugby Union virtually ground to a halt.

Two of those games were in west Cumbria, at Egremont and Whitehaven, but it was the result of a game in Altrincham which had most effect on one of Cumbria’s leading clubs.

Altrincham Kersal beat Burnage 23-17 to move out of the North One West relegation zone for the first time this season, and leave Carlisle dangerously poised third from bottom.

Carlisle’s home game with Blackburn was a victim of the snow and frost, and although they are now a point behind Altrincham, they do have a game in hand.

Altrincham have to come to Carlisle on April 7 which is likely to be a key game in the battle to avoid the drop.

Carlisle also face a major fixture this Saturday when they will travel to Manchester who are only four points better off from the same number of games.

Penrith’s match of the day at home to Morpeth in North One East was also put on ice, and St Benedict’s home clash with Rochdale in North One West went the same way.

All the games in North Lancs/Cumbria were called off with Aspatria, Keswick and Wigton all still having plenty to play for.

It was in the Cumbria League where there was some action with victories for the two leading sides.

League leaders Upper Eden took the role of the beasts from the east of the county to take maximum points from a skilful and entertaining encounter at Bleach Green.

The visitors took an early lead from an unconverted try, but this spurred Egremont to produce some of the best attacking play seen this season as they responded to the challenge in fine style.

The first of three tries in the opening half came from left-wing Jack Gascoyne, who looked confident and threatening throughout the game in an excellent debut performance.

Full-back Brad Jackson converted for a 7-5 lead and, soon after, added a converted try of his own to extend Egremont’s lead.

True to their league-leading status, Upper Eden scored again in a gripping period of play to narrow the gap once again to just two points.

Egremont surged back into the visitors’ half and were rewarded with a very well-worked try by flanker Graham Temple from an attacking scrum, again converted by Jackson, to stretch the lead.

An excellent half of rugby closed at 21-19 to Egremont following another converted Eden try, allowing the good-sized crowd to catch their breath during the interval.

The visitors added their fourth try within minutes of the restart to take the lead for the first time since the opening moments.

However, Egremont were not overawed in the slightest and with powerful flanker Richard Marr, intelligent half-backs Jack and Billy Thompson, and debut lock Ben Brock to the fore, the Bleach Green side immediately responded to secure a bonus point fourth try of their own through the dangerous Gascoyne for a 26-24 lead.

Unfortunately, after an awkward fall from the restart, Egremont No.8 Jimmy Temple was stretchered off and taken to hospital.

It became clear that the loss of the talismanic Temple had a completely opposite effect on each team.

Egremont were clearly rattled while Upper Eden gained increased confidence, allowing the visitors to shake free of the home side for the first time in the match as they posted three tries in quick succession for a seemingly unassailable lead.

To their immense credit, Egremont once again recovered their all-action style and finished the match the stronger with two late tries.

The final score was 50-38 to the league leaders, with an 8-6 try count, which was a fair reflection of the terrific entertainment on offer in this enthralling encounter, which was very well-refereed by Barrow’s Ciaron Trainer.

Whitehaven picked up maximum points with a 68-19 home win over Millom.