The Bees are at home to Darlington tomorrow in North Division One, who beat them 63-8 in the reverse encounter.

But the prospect of overturning such a massive margin is not one that daunts Matt Greenwood.

The Bees coach, who was generally pleased with their 83-0 home drubbing of whipping boys Wigton last week, says: “We are capable of beating anyone in our division.”

He added: “And although it is a big ask (Darlington are third in the table while the Bees are third from bottom), the 18 that will be selected tomorrow are significantly different to the one that lost so heavily in November.

“There is a better spine to our side now, and we have the forwards who can take us over the gain line, suck in defenders and then we can exploit our strength in the three-quarters.”

The Bees may well have to seek victory without winger Asa Firth, however, as he has tonsillitis.

“He has scored 21 tries this season and looks dangerous every time he touches the ball,” admitted an admiring Greenwood.

“We’ll just have to hope that the antibiotics kick in in time for us to pick him.

“We are lucky in that we have two very talented wingers in Asa and Jon-Paul Rimington.

“We just have to try to give them the ball in as much space as possible.”

“As for Darlington, they are coming to play football and it should be an exciting game.”

However, back in the squad comes full back Mark Coultas on recovery from his eye socket injury.

Keighley include former coach Martin Whitcombe among their replacements at home to Dinnington in Yorkshire Division Two.

Ex-Leicester, bedford and Sale stalwart Whitcombe has been starring in the second team.

Keighley also include Chris Watts on the wing, and John Duffy starts in the front row as Paul Sinfield is a doubt because of work.

Bradford Salem, at home to Leeds Corinthians in Yorkshire Division Three, try two players in unusual positions.

Craig Buxton, normally a prop, is at blindside flanker, and Matt Child, usually in the No 9 shirt, is in the centre. Keir Downey is on the wing.

Bees (home to Darlington) from: B Greaves, A Firth, J-P Rimington, M Coultas, S McManus, T Rhodes, S Brimacombe, J Grayshon, R Kelt, M Faulkner, R Rawlinson, R Raper, A Smith, R Woodhead, A Murphy, B Clark, D Hartley, H Greenwood, A Woodhead.

Keighley (home to Dnnington): W Knowles; C Watts, D Towler, M Harrison, J Hinchliffe; J Harrison, I Woodwiss; R Riley, D Pullan, J Duffy, D Walsh, T Midgley, L Gordon, M Lister, L Sugden. Replacements: P Sinfield, M Bailey, M Whitcombe.

Bradford Salem (home to Leeds Corinthians): A Dalton; K Downey, B Yorke, M Child, R Donoghue; J Simpson, A Luxton; D Bland, S Markey, S Davies, J France, D Close, C Buxton, M Viner, J Luxton. Replacements: D Luxton, D Atter, D Bowyer.

Wibsey (home to Burley) from: R Greenwood, A Wilkinson, D Horsfall, P Deacon, P Wioolston, R King, P Ravenscroft, P Garside, T Hall, A Rose, N Carter, G Rackstraw, M Haddock, M Carter, R Hands, A McDonnell, M Ball, M Ryan.

l Former Bradford Bulls player Henry Paul, on the bench for Gloucester tonight in their Parker Pen Shield match at home to Ebbw Vale, has been named in an England A squad to face Scotland in Stirling next Friday.

 

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