A WEEK after beating promotion contenders Wath Upon Dearne 30-20 at Elm Tree Farm, eighth-placed Old Grovians fear that they may have to concede their Yorkshire Division Two match at leaders Goole.

“We are running out of props,” admitted Grovians’ head coach Dan Nulty.

“Ben Weaving’s knee has swollen up from last weekend, Ed Linkodell is unavailable, Charles Cockshott has not recovered from his nose operation and Joe Garforth has not recovered from a shoulder injury.

“In addition, Alex Dodd Jones is still out with a foot injury, and Richard Brook is unavailable to travel to Goole.

“I have until noon today to ring round other clubs and try and find some replacements, but they are having the same problem in getting props for their second and third teams.”

It is early in the season, but Cleckheaton’s player-coach Thiu Barnard is calling their home match against Consett a must-win fixture in North One East.

Cleckheaton are third from bottom with 21 points, while the visitors are holding the rest up, having only gained four bonus points from 10 matches, all of which have been lost.

Barnard’s side were beaten 38-26 at Driffield last weekend, but he said: “It was 21-21 at half-time and we could have scored a try and gone on to win the game, but they immediately went the length of the field to score at the other end.”

Hookers, rather than props, are the problem for Cleck, with Barnard explaining that he had had to switch flanker Joey Carley there.

Barnard added: “Tim Mobbs is out for the season with a neck injury that he picked up at Driffield, while Ben Thrower and James Crowther are both unavailable. Also winger Martin Woodhead is out for the season with an ACL injury.”

Seventh-placed Bradford & Bingley, 28-19 victors at Morley last weekend despite one ugly quarter, have an interesting home test against fifth-placed Percy Park.

Replacing the unavailable Aaron Magee, Lance Taylor, Harry Gallagher and Tom Bacon respectively are Adam Sutcliffe, Dan Nota, Joe Daley and Ali MacDonald.

Bradford Salem, who are seventh, have a rare match against next-to-bottom Guisborough in Yorkshire Division One, having only met them once, and that was virtually five years ago to the day.

Salem’s chairman Neil Klenk said of the team who conceded a Yorkshire Shield tie against them a matter of weeks ago: “It was at their place and we lost 38-22. They were quite a strong team.”

Salem are without winger Ryan Smith, who is serving a concussion protocol, while Christian Baines is resting a knee injury in the hope that he can avoid an operation on a piece of floating bone.

Keighley, who had a much-needed home win over Old Rishworthians last weekend that lifted them out of the relegation places, aim to carry on the good work at eighth-placed Beverley.

Baildon, beaten by a strong Wensleydale team last weekend, could do with the same lift as they are bottom of Yorkshire Division Three.

They host second-placed Castleford and welcome back Matt Dixon in the back row, brothers Matty and Joe Robinson and three-quarter Matt Withers.

Bradford Salem (at Guisborough): D Belcher; J Green, K Moore, H Hall, B Scholefield; C Clough, J Simpson; M MacDonald, C King, W Collins, S Gardner, B Whitaker, S Savage, R Green, N Fontaine. Replacements: J Ashworth, C Anderson, S Guttenbeil.