SIX defeats in seven matches have pushed Bradford & Bingley to the brink of a relegation place in North One East.

Ahead of a trip to Dinnington – one of only three clubs below them – tomorrow, Bees coach Martin Whitcombe decided that it was time for a chat.

"We had an amicable players' meeting, and one of the topics was how the side that we were picking in midweek was never the side that made it onto the field on a Saturday," revealed rugby secretary Nick Patterson.

"The point was that surely if you are not available then you would know before a Friday morning."

The Bees are only a point above the highest of the demotion places, and so must make their home matches count against bottom-of-the-table Northern (January 20), Huddersfield YMCA (February 3) and Percy Park (March 3). Patterson added: "We also need to give Tanner Lightfoot some longer studs."

The South African was all right during the warm-up but either slipped or fell over when making clearance kicks when the match was live, gifting Alnwick some points in their 36-19 victory at Wagon Lane last weekend.

Patterson added: "He was horrified at what happened. He had played in foul weather before but never mud."

Back for the Bees at centre is player-coach Ali MacDonald, after injuring himself during the warm-up in the first game of the season.

Cleckheaton, 11 points and four places better off than the Bees, still have players missing in the pack for their home match against second-placed Driffield.

Out are prop Paul Turner, hooker Ben Thrower, lock Ryan Piercy and flanker Luke Pearson, and player-coach Thiu Barnard said: "We showed massive rustiness last week in our 29-5 defeat at Bridlington.

"We had five forwards out there, but played better in the second half, though Driffield is a much more difficutl match. They are a good side."

Bradford & Bingley (at Dinnington): B Greaves; R Wilson, D Tuffour, A Mac Donald, A Walker; T Lightfoot, D Jeffrey; M Crotch, M Cochrane, R Wederell, H Jeffrey, T Frisch, T Booth, T Cummins, L Fraser. Replacements: C Capper, J Daley, M Mountain.

Cleckheaton (home to Driffield): R Evans; M Hayward, L Queeley, Matt Piper, P Foulstone; M Swetman, J Wilson; N Jackson, J Crowther, A Piper, T Barnard, N Cherryholme, B Marsden, J Seddon, J Plunkett. Replacements: M Wood, W Denham, B Smith.