OTLEY'S director of rugby Peter Clegg paused for a few seconds when asked for his verdict on his team's display at Tynedale last Saturday.

His eventual response on the 69-10 defeat that helped the hosts leapfrog Hinckley and Stourbridge into first place in National League Two North was: "I was glad when it was Sunday!"

The Cross Greeners, who are in the highest of the three relegation places, have had a shortage of first-choice backs recently, and Clegg explained: "Michael Coady went off after about 25 minutes with a groin strain, so we moved back-rower Jack Scott Paul into the centres, and three minutes later he dislocated two fingers.

"We also lost Max Johnson (leg), but he should be okay for Saturday's match at home to Macclesfield (four points and two places in front of Otley), and we also hope to have Alex Beaumont and Jack Mackie back.

"Also we had the best training session on Tuesday night that we have ever had, and I include when we were in the Championship."

Bradford & Bingley, who are only three places and five points above the trapdoor in North One East themselves but have played most of the top teams away, have Dennis Tuffour at centre when they make the short trip to third-placed West Leeds.

Cleckheaton won 41-24 at Malton & Norton last weekend in the same division, and player-coach Thiu Barnard: "We were very good for 50 minutes until we took our foot off the gas."

Their only change for the home match against Percy Park is prop Paul Turner resting an ankle injury, with Niall Jackson coming into the squad.

Bradford Salem make their first visit to Acklam Park when they face Middlesbrough in Yorkshire Division One.

Baildon have prop Adam Hewitt, back row or centre Danny Pollard and centre or fly half Matt Withers returning for their Yorkshire Three derby at Aireborough, but are without player-coach Robbie Hill (shoulder).

Old Grovians have discovered the happy knack of winning when not playing at their best, as they by 26-19 at Wath in Yorkshire Division Two last weekend.

"We played okay for 30 minutes,"said Grovians' director of rugby Dan Nulty, "and then switched off for the last ten minutes of the half and ended up 10-9 down.

"We got out of the traps in the second half and blasted them for ten minutes and got two good tries, but couldn't put the game to bed and we got quite nervous in the last ten minutes, but the lads found a way to win."

Tim Jones, who made his debut off the bench, gets his first start at home to Barnsley, while Alex Masterson and Charles Cockshott replace the unavailable Elliot Cosgrove and Alex Dodd-Jones, and Joe Sowden and Ben Weaving also return. 

Bradford & Bingley (at West Leeds): A Sutcliffe; A Walker, D Tuffour, B Greaves, I Finau; J Malthouse, D Jeffrey; R Raper, M Cochrane, R Wederell, H Jeffrey, T Booth, L Fraser, T Cummins, M Mountain. Replacements: C Spencer, M Crotch,R Wilson.

Cleckheaton (home to Percy Park): J Wilson; M Hayward, L Darville, Matt Piper,P Foulstone; M Swetman, J Bickerdike; B Thrower, J Crowther, A Piper, R Piercy, L Pearson, B Marsden, J Seddon, J Plunkett. Replacements: N Jackson, N Cherryholme, R Evans.

Bradford Salem (at Middlesbrough): R Smith; N Fontaine, C Malarkey, A Robinson, J Abram; H Hall, J Simpson; J Bradbury, G Griekis, T O'Sullivan, B Whitaker, C Watson, A Veitch, C Wood, C Manchester. Replacements: D Belcher, S Markey, M Darragh.

Baildon (at Aireborough): L Strauss; D Fletcher, T Cluett, M Withers, N King; M Robinson, O Williams; G Price, J Robinson, W Tomlinson, M Fox, Z Orrell, G Kershaw, D Cookson, H Strauss. Replacements: H Fojt, D Pollard, L Robertson, A French, A Hewitt.

Wibsey (at Halifax) from: B Wright, J Rogers, J Cull, R Goldsborough, B Wright, S Birkbeck, J Birkbeck, D Hartley, A Cerson, M Grimes, S Foulds, C Farley, M Kite, R Hall, J Smillie, A Rose, N Light, R Burns, R Greenwood, J Nall.