Bradford Salem’s first-team manager Neil Klenk reckons that waiting for the SSE Yorkshire Division Two results every Saturday night is akin to watching the National Lottery.
“It is the most unpredictable league I have known,” said Klenk, whose side are fifth in what is a topsy-turvy table.
“When the results are read out each week, you know there is going to be a surprise in there somewhere, and often there are two.
“Sheffield Medicals are top of the table and they have already lost five, which is unheard of.”
To back up Klenk’s statement. the most the leaders have lost in in any other Yorkshire division is two.
Klenk added: “Each team seems to have a bogy side in our division.
“Leodiensian are our bogy side, although they said that when they beat us last week they said that was the best they have played all season; we are Hullensians’ bogy team and West Park Leeds are Sheffield Medicals’.
“When we are at full strength, I would back us to beat anybody in this division, but when we have a few injuries then we have to really be on our game to win.”
Salem, who are only five points behind second-placed Hullensians, are without flanker Dave Hutton (shoulder) and scrum half Jack Mitchell (family commitment) at West Park Leeds.
Fly half Andy Robinson therefore reverts to No 9, with Danny Belcher moving from full back to No 10 and Adam Sutcliffe switching to full back.
Former skipper Damien Pearson, normally in the back row, is at centre.
Baildon probably reached the point of no return in their fight against relegation last weekend when they lost 13-6 at home to Old Rishworthian but that would seem to be even more the case if they lose at next-to-bottom Ripon.
Cleckheaton, who are at Alnwick, are keeping their foot on the gas as they bid to win SSE North One East.
“Our aim is to win every match and gain a bonus point from every match,” says fixture secretary Alan Bentley.
Craig Blackburn, who had a tight hamstring last week, has recovered sufficiently to be on the bench.
Cleckheaton (at Alnwick): R Hayden; M Woodhead, J Wilson, Matt Piper, James Marshall; Michael Piper, J Bickerdike; P Turner, B Thrower, A Piper, G Turton, R Piercy, R Afoa Peterson, R Piper, O Akroyd. Replacements: C Piper, C Blackburn, A Dawson .
Bradford Salem (at West Park Leeds): A Sutcliffe; C Malarkey, T Barnes, D Pearson, S Savage; D Belcher, A Robinson; J Bradbury, A Veitch, D Luxton, J Cunliffe, R Green, J Booth, K Falwasser, J Fawcett. Replacements: J Ashworth, S Markey, A Wood.