Workington and Whitehaven set for Cumbrian Easter derby

Marc Shackley and Andrew Beattie
Workington prop Marc Shackley (left) and Whitehaven centre Andrew Beattie in the colours of their former clubs

Separated by just over nine miles from ground to ground, the two West Cumbrian towns of Whitehaven and Workington go head-to-head in Good Friday's rugby league Championship One derby at Derwent Park.

Friday's encounter marks the first league meeting between the two sides in nine years, following Haven's relegation from the Championship last season.

Extra spice has been added by those players to have represented both clubs in both line-ups.

Marc Shackley and Marc Jackson were two of the former Marras to sign for Town last winter, while Whitehaven brought in Town utility back Andrew Beattie to bolster their ranks.

"It feels like a proper derby which we haven't had for quite a long time," Haven coach David Seeds told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"I think people have got to come out and watch this game, it's a big one."

Workington go into the game on the back of two victories over the 'old enemy' with a 20-12 success in the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy in January, and February's 28-18 Northern Rail Cup pool victory.

However Haven have overhauled the Rugby Football League's nine-point deduction for entering administration in the off-season, and recorded five wins from their six league games this term.

"We're building up for a hard game, all derby games are usually hard," Workington coach Gary Charlton said.

"All you can do is win your games and Whitehaven have been winning them.

"It's going to be a good, even, hard-fought contest and our boys are looking forward to it."

"The games have been a bit one-sided for the last couple of years, but now we've got two competitive teams, probably evenly matched.

"With home advantage I'd like to think we'll have an edge."

Town go into the derby with three wins from five in Championship One and fresh from a 64-0 defeat of strugglers Gateshead Thunder.

Meanwhile Whitehaven warmed up for the encounter with a 26-16 success against Doncaster at the Recreation Ground on Sunday.

"Workington are playing well and have only lost two this season, we've only lost one," Seeds added.

"I'm pleased with the performance against Doncaster and Workington have had a great result at Gateshead so it sets it up nicely."

BBC Radio Cumbria has match commentary of the West Cumbrian derby between Workington and Whitehaven on Friday, 22 April from 1500 BST.

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