BRADFORD Salem have lost six of their last seven matches and have dropped to third from bottom in Yorkshire Division One.

Although they have a game in hand, they are only seven points above Selby, who are in a demotion berth.

“I don’t like that expression ‘flirting with relegation’,” admitted Salem’s chairman Neil Klenk ahead of their home match against Old Rishworthians.

“It is frustrating because we have suffered from injuries and unavailabilities – we have used close to 50 players for the first XV this year, and I sympathise with the comments made last week by Bees director of rugby Martin Whitcombe.

“We lost six players injured in the match against Old Brodleians alone, all of them long term and two of them very long term, and the injuries have been across the team rather than affecting one specific area.

“Injuries have been knees, ‘dead legs’ and shoulders, and we just haven’t been able to field a consistent team.”

Salem may have targeted tomorrow’s match against Rish, who are four places and 16 points better off, for a win, but they are without centre Harry Hall, as well as longer-term injured John Morrell and Connor Malarkey.”

CLECKHEATON conceded 15 penalties against five and had two players sin-binned in their 9-5 home defeat to Dinnington last week in North One East.

“You aren’t going to win any matches with stats like that,” said Cleckheaton’s player-coach Thiu Barnard, “and we had a player-led meeting on Tuesday to sort out discipline, and some good points were raised.

"We will see if it has any effect tomorrow.

"On one occasion last week we had driven them 15 metres and a player says something to the referee and he penalises us, and I am fed up with our lack of discipline.”

OTLEY, who are at home to Sheffield Tigers in National League Two North, must be hoping for better luck than at Sedgley Park last week where both teams wanted to play but the referee deemed the pitch unfit.

Otley's secretary Marc Lawrence said: "The referee was not happy with two areas of the pitch, which were about ten metres by five metres, whihc he said were too wet.

"He said 'You can kick off but I am going to call the game off as soon as it starts'."

Cleckheaton (at Morpeth): M Hayward; B Smith, M Swetman, Matt Piper, J Wilson; R Evans, J Bickerdike; P Turner, J Crowther, A Piper, R Piercy, T Barnard, J Carley, J Seddon, J Plunkett. Replacements: B Thrower, J Clough, G Fitzsimmons.

Bradford Salem (home to Old Rishworthians): D Belcher; M Bokiss, M Trueman, J Abram; A Robinson, J Simpson; C Wood, G Greikis, J Bradbury, E Cousins, B Whitaker, S Savage, C Baines, N Fontaine. Replacements: S Markey, J White, C Clough.