This Saturday sees the second-placed Whitby Maroons take on nearest challengers, third-placed Houghton, in a crucial promotion clash that will be pivotal to the outcome of the season.
Both teams come into the fixture on top form - Whitby are on an 11-match unbeaten league run while Houghton have won three of the last four, with their only defeat away to unbeaten league leaders Hartlepool BBOB.
Last week, the Maroons thrashed fifth-placed Yarm by 54 points with an accomplished display of attacking rugby, scoring eight tries away from home.
Houghton defeated the useful Chester-le-Street 32-17, scoring five tries.
Whitby first team coach Darryl Grason said: “This match has all the ingredients to be a great game of rugby with two of the top three going head-to-head.
“Houghton are a good, well-coached side who have improved as the season has gone on.
“The big differences in our side from the start of the season are that we are fitter, better organised on the field and have competiton for places.
“The form of our young back row has been outstanding in recent weeks and I hope we can have the confidence to stick with our positive attacking game plan.”
A big crowd is expected at the Showfield and kick-off is at 2.15pm.