Whitehaven provide the opposition as Betfred League 1 action returns to Kingston Park Stadium this Sunday, as Thunder aim to further close the gap to the play-off places in the table.

Thunder currently sit ninth in the table with a four-point cushion between them and the four teams tied on 14 points, with Whitehaven in amongst that grouping it is an important first meeting of the season between the two clubs.

Having just missed out on promotion to the Betfred Championship in 2017 after losing out to Barrow 10-6 in the promotion play-offs, Whitehaven were expected to be one of the teams challenging at the front in the promotion race.

It is a position that the Marras find themselves in following 11 rounds of League 1 action, with seven wins to Carl Forster’s sides name already.

After a tricky start to the campaign with losses at home to Oldham and away to Doncaster, Whitehaven got their season back on track with a solid 30-6 win over Hemel Stags at the start of a what would become a five-match winning run.

That streak included a two-point triumph over fierce derby rivals Workington and a comprehensive 84-6 win over Thunder’s opponents from last weekend, West Wales Raiders.

Coming unstuck against North Wales in round nine back to back wins followed against London Skolars and York City Knights, as the Cumbrians became only the second team to beat James Ford’s side in League 1 after Bradford with a 26-18 win at the Recreation Ground.

Getting their re-arranged fixture from the blanket postponement of round two played last weekend saw Hunslet make it the four-way tie for fourth currently on show in the league, meaning Whitehaven travel to the North East in need of a win to maintain pace with the sides around them.

For Thunder, a win over Whitehaven would provide some valuable momentum to their season, in addition to putting themselves into contention to challenge for one of the promotion playoff positions.

Having taken the spoils in the last meeting between the two teams on Tyneside with a 46-16 pre-season victory in January 2017, Thunder will be aiming to make it two wins in a row at Kingston Park Stadium.

Tickets for Sunday’s game are on sale now and can be booked by clicking here, calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park Stadium box office.

Advanced prices remain valid until midnight on Saturday and offer savings of up to £3 per ticket over match-day purchases.