A TRIP to Cumbria is a notoriously difficult away day for any club, but especially so for York City Knights over recent years.

The Knights will be hoping to end their long-running streak of matches without victory when they head to Whitehaven in the Betfred Championship on Sunday (3pm).

York have undergone two name changes since they last recorded a win at the Recreation Ground.

The last time a York club won away at Whitehaven was when they triumphed 26-13 on 20 September, 1992 in the Third Division.

John Lydiat, Nick Pinkney, Paul White, Phil Connell and Stewart Horton were the try-scorers for Ryedale-York that day with Gary Pearce adding the goals.

Since that day almost 30 years, Whitehaven are undefeated in their last eight home meetings against York club, having won seven and drawn one over that period.

When these two sides last met in Cumbria, Haven became one of only two sides to inflict a league defeat on York during the 2018 season as the Knights eventually won the League One title and promotion to the Championship.

The previous year saw Whitehaven win a dramatic League One play-off semi-final by a 21-20 scoreline after extra time, eventually hitting the winning drop goal in the 106th minute in a game thought to be one of the longest-ever in professional rugby league.

Fast forward to 2021 and despite Whitehaven’s imposing home record over York, the Knights will enter the contest as favourites.

As the Championship reaches its halfway point this weekend for most sides, it looks likely that Whitehaven will be among the three clubs battling it out to avoid relegation, alongside Oldham and Swinton Lions.

Haven currently sit 12th in the Championship and narrowly above Oldham in the relegation places.

From 10 league matches this year, Whitehaven have two wins, one draw and seven defeats.

They have not won any of their last five matches and, admittedly against some of the very top sides, have been susceptible to conceding big scores.

London Broncos put 46 points past them last week, Widnes Vikings reached 44 in May and Toulouse Olympique won 66-0 the week previously.

But despite their lowly status, the Marras have run some of the division’s top sides very close this year, particularly when playing on home soil.

Fifth-placed Batley Bulldogs had to come from behind to seal a narrow 24-20 win earlier this month while, back in May, Bradford Bulls won by a narrow 30-22 scoreline.

If Whitehaven are to secure only a third league win of the year, they may be reliant on their star off-season signings.

Rather surprisingly, Haven made several signings from Australian clubs before the start of the current campaign.

They brought in the likes of Ryan King, Nikau Williams, Lachlan Walmsley and Dylan Morris from Down Under.

On Friday evening, Haven also announced the return of mercurial half-back Louis Jouffret, formerly of Toulouse, Batley and Featherstone Rovers, although it is not known whether he will feature in the squad to face York.

On the injury front, Whitehaven remain without forward Marc Shackley, prop Tom Walker, loose forward Dion Aiye, hooker Callum Phillips and back-row Andy Thornley.