CLAYTON bowed out in the opening round of the Andrew Bennett Trophy after a narrow 18-14 defeat at fellow Pennine League Division Two Central outfit Eastmoor Dragons.

The maroon and golds were missing a number of key players and were punished for a lacklustre start by the Wakefield hosts, who had 14 points on the board after a whirlwind opening.

Clayton buckled down to the task in hand and clawed their way back into the tie following touchdowns from centre Brandon Godward and prop Jamie Waterman.

Wingman Gareth Jacklin continued his recent try-scoring feats to cross the whitewash and full back Jake Barnes slotted over the extras to make it all square at 14-14 on the hour mark.

Eastmoor replied with an unconverted try and held on grimly to claim the tie thanks to unyielding defence which Clayton could not break down despite a number of near misses.

Meanwhile, the Pennine League is heading towards a frantic finish to the season in order to avoid a clash with the Yorkshire Men's League summer competition.

The management group have decided that the entire cup and league programme should, weather permitting, be completed by the end of March to sidestep the prickly problem of players migrating from winter to summer.

The Bradford ARL Cup semi-finals – Queensbury v Wyke and Clayton v Wibsey Warriors – will take place on Saturday, March 3.

The winners will go on to play in the Jack Senior Memorial Cup at Odsal Stadium on Saturday, April 7, while the losers will contest the Hudson Foster Supplementary curtain-raiser final on the same date.

* CLAYTON are in the process of raising funds to purchase a defibrillator following the recent incident when one of their players collapsed during a home game.

The unnamed individual concerned is well on the road to recovery but the proactive club are convinced that this potential lifesaving equipment is vital in today's game.

All donations can be made via their website, Facebook and also by direct contact with the clubhouse at Lidget Green.

* QUEENSBURY are holding an 80th anniversary reunion for all current and ex-players, coaches, committee members and supporters.

It will be held at the Queensbury Conservative Club on Saturday, April 7 from 7pm onwards.

For more information contact Andy Thornton (07836 657261) or Alan Senior (07983 403855).