Distington have only one thought in mind for Sunday’s Coral Cup Challenge Cup trip to Keighley – enjoy it!

Coach Carl Hewer knows his players will enjoy the challenge of testing themselves against the semi-professionals of League One.

But they are travelling to Lawkholme Lane (or Cougar Park as it has become known) determined to enjoy the occasion – and give it their best shot.

Hewer will be taking a full-strength squad, in very good heart after a winning start to their Iggesund Cumberland ARL title defence on Saturday.

“We’ve even got a bonus because Clayton Sutton, our half-back who signed for Town, can play in this one on dual-registration. He played in our first round game so was cup-tied for Town who play Siddal on Sunday. We can use him which is excellent news,” said Hewer.

The Distington coach went to watch Keighley when the Cougars played their opening game of the season at Whitehaven.

“I thought they were going to win well because they were a lot sharper in the first half than Haven.

“Their line speed was very good and, although he’s nearly 40 now, Jamie Thackray was the best forward on the field in the first 20 minutes.

“Ben Hardcastle was excellent at half-back and they lost a bit when he had to come off injured. But I see he played for them at the weekend which might be bad news for us,” he added.

Distington applied to join the National Conference during the winter but their application fell short because they don’t have a second team or junior sides.

“We were a bit disappointed by that because we were looking for a new challenge, having won our league locally.

“As a consequence we lost a couple of players but are determined to do as well as we can this year.

“For a small club I don’t think we do too badly at all and I hope we can do the village proud on Sunday,” said Hewer.

Because it’s the third round of the Challenge Cup there are no games in the Premier Division of the National Conference tomorrow.

But Hensingham are preparing to tackle Gateshead Storm away in their third game so far in Division Three.

After an opening defeat at Woolston the league’s new boys went close to a first win before going down 14-12 at home to Eastmoor Dragons on Saturday.

They are among four clubs still to open their account at the higher level, and significantly perhaps the two other newcomers Heworth and Batley Boys are with them, as well as Millom.

Gateshead Storm won their opening home game but crashed 46-16 at Waterhead Warriors at the weekend.

Six games are scheduled in the Iggesund Cumberland League with Hensingham A and Distington the absentees, because of the latter’s Coral Challenge Cup commitments.

Maryport, who recorded a good win on their return to the league after a two-year absence, have a good test at Cockermouth Titans.

Two new teams, Elenborough Rangers A (at Egremont A) and Seaton Rangers A (at home to Glasson Rangers) have tough opening fixtures.

The best game could be at Wath Brow where the home A team entertain Seaton Rangers.

Other games are Lowca v Kells and Ellenborough Rangers v Aspatria Hornets.