Championship crunch – The relegation run-in

With the glass ceiling to Super League being removed from next season, the path to the top flight opens up for Cumbria once again.

A decade ago, it was Whitehaven flying the flag, cruelly denied their Super League dream in the National League One Grand Final for two years in succession.

Now, they face dropping to the third tier and out of the reformed “two 12s” as part of the controversial re-structuring of the game.

It is due to the re-structuring that the Championship season is well and truly still alive – five teams will drop out to League One at the end of the season.

Barrow have already been confirmed as one of the casualties, while it looks bleak too for Rochdale, Swinton and North Wales.

The other relegation place is between any one of five teams – Whitehaven (10th, 34 points), Keighley (9th, 35 points), Sheffield (8th, 36 points and game in hand), Workington (7th, 38 points) and Batley (6th, 38 points).

Workington face Whitehaven in what is being billed as the biggest West Cumbrian derby in years on the back of a timely six game winning run which has put them in pole position to avoid the drop.

There’s also the added twist that the top eight in the division go in to the play-offs, and a potential tilt at the Championship Grand Final.

Here are the respective run-ins for the teams involved:

Batley – 38 points, -10

Leigh (H)
Whitehaven (A)
Dewsbury (H)
Swinton (H)
Doncaster (A)

Workington – 38 points, -56

Whitehaven (H)
Doncaster (A)
Barrow (H)
Leigh (A)
Dewsbury (H)

Sheffield – 36 points (game in hand), +70

Doncaster (A)
Swinton (H)
Whitehaven (H)
Rochdale (H)
Featherstone (A)
Rochdale (A)

Keighley – 35 points, -9

Swinton (A)
Barrow (A)
North Wales (H)
Dewsbury (A)
Featherstone (H)

Whitehaven – 34 points, -141

Workington (A)
Batley (H)
Sheffield (A)
Rochdale (H)
Swinton (A)

North Wales – 25 points, -216

Rochdale (A)
Halifax (H)
Keighley (A)
Barrow (A)
Leigh (H)

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