CLECKHEATON’S player-coach Thiu Barnard has already more or less forgotten about their 43-17 North One East defeat at sixth-placed West Leeds last Saturday.

“We don’t talk about it any more,” said Barnard, whose team were 22-0 down within 20 minutes and trailed 36-0 before they scored.

“It was absolutely awful, and I said to (fellow player-coach) Mike Swetman when we ran onto the pitch ‘We are going to lose this game’.

“It just felt wrong. We were 36-5 behind at half-time, but played better in the second half.

“About the only other positive was Joey Carley, who played particularly well and was our stand-out player in the first half.”

With Niall Jackson and Mikey Hayward both unavailable, Cleckheaton make quite a few changes for the trip to fifth-placed Alnwick, including picking Swetman and Barnard, who said: “I don’t care how we win this game, we just have to win.”

BRADFORD & BINGLEY, who have only won six league matches so far this season, are bidding for a third straight triumph in the sixth tier at West Hartlepool.

After wins against fellow strugglers Dinnington (28-20 away) and Northern (36-30 home) the Bees, who are one place and two points below eighth-placed Cleckheaton, are picking from a similar squad, although they might add centre Dennis Tuffour.

A week tomorrow, the Bees are at home to Huddersfield YMCA, who are currently a place above Cleck, and one of the attractions is a players’ reunion luncheon.

Tickets are available from Bees rugby secretary Nick Patterson on 07812-039277.

OTLEY, who have won five out of seven and are at home to Leicester Lions, now have a bit of breathing space over the four clubs below them in National League Two North.

“We aren’t out of the woods yet, but Joe Rowntree’s goal-kicking last week at Huddersfield was phenomenal – three from 40 metres,” said Otley’s director of rugby Peter Clegg.

Cleckheaton (at Alnwick): J Wilson; L Darville, M Swetman, Matt Piper, P Foulstone; R Evans, J Bickerdike, P Turner, J Crowther, A Piper, R Piercy, T Barnard, J Carley, J Seddon, J Plunkett. Replacements: B Thrower, B Marsden, B Smith.