AN away pitch is a strip of grass like most home grounds, but winning on the road is a difficult thing in the Northern divisions.

Both fifth-placed Bradford & Bingley and 11th-placed Cleckheaton face trips tomorrow in North One East, with the Bees at Pocklington and Thiu Barnard’s Cleckheaton making the short journey to West Leeds.

Pocklington may be 10th but they have won six of their nine matches at home this campaign, including taking the scalp of West Leeds, while they have lost narrowly to Morley (currently fourth) and leaders Scarborough.

“I would rather play them (Pocklington) in April rather than February as conditions will suit them better now,” admitted Bees coach Anthony Posa, “but we will prepare well.”

Coach Posa added: “I had mixed feelings about having no fixture last week.

“I wanted to keep the momentum from the 32-10 home win over York, but on the other hand we have a long injury list.”

Posa, whose team are without Cameron Bainbridge (shoulder) and Ali Macdonald (concussion) for the rest of the campaign, at least have Alex Keeton back, and promote Max Mountain and Corey Spencer from the second XV.

Cleckheaton are only one point and one place above a relegation berth, and coach Thiu Barnard, who gave his team some time off from training last week, admits: “We will have to step up massively this week.”

Next-to-bottom West Leeds have only won three out of eight at home this season, but they do include victories over the Bees (26-24) and York (35-29).

In Yorkshire Division One, ninth-placed Bradford Salem, who have lost five of their last six, are 13 points and four places above the relegation line ahead of their home match against 12th-placed Old Rishworthians, who have been bettered in their last three.

“It is a comfortable margin at the moment over second-from-bottom Hullensians, but things can change very quickly and we don’t want to be drawn into the relegation zone,” revealed Salem chairman Neil Klenk.

“This is a targeted game for us, but clubs who were at or near the bottom are starting to put runs together, with Keighley being a classic example, and tomorrow Hullensians are at home to Guisborough, who are bottom, so we are expecting Hullensians to win that.”

Keighley, disappointingly beaten 24-20 at Selby last time out, host Old Brodleians, who have lost four out of five of their Halifax derbies so far in 2018-19.

Another clash between 10th-placed hosts and sixth-placed visitors occurs in Yorkshire Division Two, with Old Grovians, winners of three successive matches, facing West Park Leeds, who have lost five in a row since a 24-20 triumph at Yarnbury in early December.

Next-to-bottom Baildon will do well to take anything from second-placed Harrogate Pythons in Yorkshire Division Three, but resurgent Aireborough have offered them a glimmer of hope with a 26-20 victory there last month.

North West champions Wibsey start their Yorkshire Division Fourth Premier campaign with a trip to Hessle, who are seventh.

Further optimism at Jenny Lane comes from their previous meeting against Pythons this season.

"We lost 30-19 but it was one of our better home performances this campaign and we conceded some late tries," revealed Baildon's player-coach Robbie Hill.

A newcomer at scrum half for the Jenny Laners is Tom Parnell.

Bradford Salem (home to Old Rishworthians) from: J Ashworth, C Baines, L Barker, D Belcher, C Clough, W Collins, N Fontaine, S Gardner, R Green, G Griekis, S Guttenbeil, H Hall, T Hooper, M Jurevics, C King, M MacDonald, S Markey, S Savage, D Scarbrough, J Simpson, R Smith, B Whitaker, A Wood, C Wood.

Wibsey (at Hessle): B Wright; C McParland, R Moore, N Marchant, J Payton; A Robinson, K Carter; A Cerson, J Brown, D Carr, E Cousins, M Grimes, J Tordoff, M Kite, S Smith. Replacements: B Mpofu, M Darragh, R Greenwood, A Rose.