Whitehaven aiming to rise to derby pressure in Blackpool

Whitehaven centre Scott McAvoy is predicting that Saturday’s crunch Cumbrian derby against Workington Town will be his club’s most important fixture of the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship season.

The West Cumbrian rivals meet in the Summer Bash at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road with a 2.30pm kick-off when McAvoy admits the pressure will be on Whitehaven.

Whitehaven are currently second bottom of the Championship table having only claimed three wins so far in 2015 and in the last meeting with their neighbours they were hammered 40-0 on Good Friday.

“Derby games are always intense, but there seems to be a lot more at stake this weekend with where both teams are in the league,” he said.

“Obviously two points will be important. I’d take a 1-0 win if it meant we were to come away with the two points. It’s a must-win game for us if we want to create a gap between ourselves and those who are currently around us in the bottom half of the league.”

Whitehaven and Workington will be the first two Championship sides to take to the field in the inaugural Summer Bash after the iPro League One Cup final.

McAvoy, who is in his tenth season with Whitehaven, is excited by what the Summer Bash will offer during its inception this weekend.

“It’s really exciting for the league, not just for the players, but everyone involved with the competition,” he said.

“It’ll be different to have all the teams playing over the weekend. For the fans it will be great to get down there to enjoy some rugby.

“I’m all for the Summer Bash. It’s worked well with Super League so there’s no reason why it can’t do well in the Championship. With the derbies thrown in there, it’s sure to be a cracking weekend for the competition.”