The Iggesund Cumberland Amateur Rugby League have introduced a new format for the coming season.

The 13 participating clubs will play each other once and will then split into two divisions when they will play home and away. The club which finishes seventh after the first set of fixtures will probably hold the key as to whether it’s a first division of seven clubs or six.

At a well-attended meeting at Kells, clubs had the chance to retain a two-division structure but the votes for one division, with a halfway split, won the day.

Although Flimby have not entered a team this coming season, there was a welcome back for Maryport who have been off-the-scene for two years, and also for a re-formed Ellenborough A side. Hensingham A have confirmed they will return, too, with their first-team now competing in the National Conference League.

The season will start on March 2 and the provisional fixtures are to be released soon. Any clubs wishing to change fixtures have until February 15 to raise their issues while there will be a further clubs meeting at Maryport ARLFC on February 25. Cockermouth have requested their first six games are played away while work is carried out on their pitch.

All cup games will be played midweek – preferably on a Wednesday. No cup games will be introduced into the fixtures until after the first 13 weeks of the season when the clubs will be preparing for the split.

The 13 competing clubs in 2019 are: Aspatria, Cockermouth, Distington, Egremont A, Ellenborough, Ellenborough A, Glasson, Hensingham A, Kells A, Lowca, Maryport, Seaton and Wath Brow A.

Five of those clubs will have the chance to get in some very useful pre-season pipe-openers tomorrow, weather-permitting.

They are taking part in the first round of the BARLA National Cup and three of them have home ties.

Stand-out game will be at Aspatria where the Hornets entertain the holders West Hull. West Hull are still standing in the Challenge Cup after their 42-12 win over the Royal Navy.

Kells A will want to make up for the disappointment suffered by the first-team, beaten by Rochdale Mayfield in the Challenge Cup on Saturday. They have a home tie against Bentley. Glasson Rangers also have a home tie, facing Drighlington, another Challenge Cup survivor after a 32-4 home win over the Gloucestershire side All Golds. Cockermouth Titans and Ellenborough Rangers both face away games against sides who were not involved in the Challenge Cup last week. The Titans travel to Upton while Elbra are on the road to Blackbrook.