Two successive defeats, both in local derby games, have left Kells glancing over their shoulders in the National Conference Premier Division.

After the second loss, a narrow 13-12 one to Wath Brow Hornets, the Whitehaven club was left just two points above the drop zone.

They don’t have the easiest of tasks tomorrow, either, when they travel to Grand Final winners Thatto Heath who have hit top form recently after a slow start to the season.

The Crusaders looked back to their best when they won 30-10 at Egremont last week and are back challenging for second spot.

It won’t have escaped Thatto Heath’s attention that their only defeat was at Kells three weeks ago when they went down 26-10.

That was Kells’ best performance of the season and they will need to reproduce that tomorrow to see off a home side, buoyant after last week’s good win at Egremont.

One consolation for Kells, should they lose, is that the three teams below them, all have stiff fixtures.

Rochdale Mayfield go to 100 per cent leaders Hunslet Club Parkside; Wigan St Patrick’s visit Wath Brow and bottom side Myton Warriors are at home to fast improving West Hull.

It wasn’t one of Egremont’s best efforts so far, although they do still hold on to second spot. They are two points ahead of Wath Brow, Thatto Heath and Siddal.

Only Thatto Heath have a game in hand but they trail Egremont by 35 points on the scoring differential.

Egremont are back at Gillfoot tomorrow when they host Normanton Knights, who beat them 36-28 earlier in the season.

Wath Brow had ended a run of two successive defeats with that important win at Kells, courtesy of a Karl Dixon field goal near the end.

They will expect to continue in winning vein against a St. Pat’s side who have lost nine of their 12 games so far.

The top game in the Iggesund Cumberland ARL Premier Division was played last night as Distington claimed a narrow 12-10 win over Hensingham.

The other four sides in the division play tomorrow and they should both be tight affairs.

Seaton Rangers host Ellenborough while Kells A entertain Glasson Rangers.

Something has to give in that second clash as neither Kells nor Glasson have a single point so far.

In Division One, there’s a quick turnaround for Hensingham A and Wath Brow A.

They met last Friday when leaders Wath Brow beat a Hensingham side, bottom of the league without a point, 56-8.

Hensingham A will be hoping that ground advantage this time will even things up a bit.

The other game sees Cockermouth Titans hosting Lowca, with both teams fresh from close-fought victories last weekend.