HAVING recently been shorn of their Tongans, Bradford & Bingley have suffered another blow with the departure of Jamie Martin back to Bridlington.

"He just could not settle in the area, which is disappointing because he has been a great asset," said Bees coach Hugh Gumbs of the strong-running centre.

Bradford & Bingley, who are eighth in North One East, face the ultimate test tomorrow with a trip to leaders York, who have won five of their seven home matches this season.

"They have a lot of players who have featured at the high end of league rugby and who have also played for England Counties and for me at Yorkshire," said Gumbs.

"They have won endless accolades, are very experienced and have a great game manager at fly half in Declan Cusack, who has played for Doncaster Knights."

The Bees, meanwhile, will again have to put some square pegs in round holes and are likely to go with an experienced squad themselves, including a strong pack that is only missing veteran front-rower Roger Raper.

Second-placed Cleckheaton, who are at home to York a week tomorrow, have a tricky test at next-to-bottom West Hartlepool and travel without Brad Marsden, Tom Austin and Niall Jackson.

Bradford Salem face familiar foes in Leodiensian at Shay Lane in Yorkshire Division One in a battle of teams placed ninth and 10th.

Leos may have only won two of their seven away matches this campaign, but they are the only side to defeat leaders Old Brodlieans this season (17-12 at Leos on November 23) and also ran second-placed Heath close (losing 29-24 at Leos).

"We owe Leos one as they sneaked it at the end at their place 38-35," admitted Salem chairman Neil Klenk, "but it is a game that we have been targeting to an extent."

Keighley, who are 12th, are at seventh-placed Goole, who lost 19-5 at home to Brods last week in the only game played in the division.

Old Grovians, who are fifth in Yorkshire Division Two, face a stern test of their character at third-placed Ripon, but at least they have prop Joe Garforth back after a knee injury sustained at Old Rishworthians.

Baildon likewise have a difficult game in prospect as they visit Harrogate Pythons, who at fourth are one place lower than Baildon in Yorkshire Division Three.

Both promotion-seeking clubs will, however, be keeping a weather eye on the match between leaders Leeds Corinthians and second-placed Knottingley at Middleton.

Eighth-placed Wibsey, who thumped Rotherham Phoenix 53-34 last weekend in south Yorkshire, are at bottom-of-the-table Aireborough, whose only victories this season have come at Nunroyd Park against Ossett and Skipton.