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Bradford Salem and Yarnbury share bragging rights in war of attrition
Yarnbury 6 Bradford Salem 6
Bradford Salem had to be content with a share of the spoils in their SSE Yorkshire Division Two clash at third-placed Yarnbury.
On a very heavy pitch at Brownberrie Lane it was always likely to be a war of attrition, but, in spite of the testing conditions, the home side surprisingly tried to play an expansive game which inevitably lead to some handling errors in the early stages.
Nevertheless, with the wind behind them in the first half, Yarnbury looked the more dangerous of the two sides and they were perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a try when East Yorkshire referee Jim Saunders was unsighted when the ball looked to have been grounded over the line from a driving maul.
Despite this setback, the Horsforth side took a six-point half-time lead courtesy of two penalties from fly-half Carl Patterson after Salem were repeatedly found guilty of killing the ball in the ruck area.
Early in the second half, Patterson had an opportunity to put his side nine points ahead but his penalty attempt drifted wide of the uprights. Buoyed by this reprieve, Salem began to play with greater control and their efforts were rewarded when Danny Belcher, playing his first ever game at fly-half in the absense of both Andy and Jonny Robinson, nonchalantly stroked over two penalties and with the scores level at 6-6, the visitors, with elements now in their favour, were in the box-seat.
With ten minutes remaining, Salem were awarded a penalty but Belcher's long-range attempt went agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
The Bradford side then seemed to press the self-destruct button and when their skipper Damien Pearson was sent to the sin-bin it looked like Yarnbury would steal the game at the death. However, Salem somehow managed to weather the storm and the match ended with honours even.
In spite of the huge rivalry between the 2 clubs, it was generally acknowledged in the bar after the match that a draw was a fair result.