CLECKHEATON have avoided the potential snag of having players unavailable at a week’s notice when they face second-placed Rossendale at Moorend on Saturday in National League Three North.

The match should have been played last weekend, but was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The problem area was between the 22 and the try-line near the scoreboard, which was frozen, and Cleckheaton’s coach Scott Benton said: “I was surprised when the game was off."

Cleckheaton's rugby chairman Neil Gillan was also caught on the hop, saying: "A lot of the pitch was playable, but it was just the end near the scoreboard that was rock hard.

"We got local referee Barry Dolby in to inspect it and you couldn't get car keys into it it was that hard, and we couldn't risk things like scrum collapses in that area."

Cleckheaton haven't been hindered by the short notice of the re-arrangement, however, with Benton adding: "We hope to have Jack Bickerdike (scrum half) and Tom Austin (flanker) available, although hooker Mark Chivers is still out.”

After the disappointment of the 21-7 defeat at Morley before Christmas, fourth-from-bottom Cleckheaton notched a 12-6 victory at Ilkley before the Rossendale postponement, and Benton said: “We would like to carry on that momentum as we had good training sessions on Tuesday and last night.

“Our pitch is in better nick than many of the cow fields that we have to play on, and is one of the best in the division, but although we can play in boggy conditions, we have also shown that we can play on other surfaces.”

Rossendale won the reverse fixture 57-15 in October but they were given a good test by Morley last time out, only winning 17-10 at Marl Pits.

On a day when many teams have the day off, Keighley are also in league action at home to a second-placed team when they face West Leeds in Yorkshire Division One.

However, this match was not postponed last weekend, but instead was put back from December 3 due to West Leeds’ involvement in the RFU Intermediate Cup.

Keighley’s head coach Danny McGee said: “It hasn’t caught us on the hop but due to the weather that we have had in recent seasons, we told the players to try not to arrange anything during the season anyway.”

Buoyed by their 23-21 home victory over Hullensians, McGee said: “We are without hooker Will Armitage, who has damaged knee ligaments, although we are not yet sure how serious the injury is, so we are going to have to be a bit clever there.

“We may have Josh Hannah available, however.

“We know West Leeds as we came up with them last season and they are having a good season.”