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Bradford Salem claim another scalp
Bradford Salem 32 Wath Upon Dearne 22
Bradford Salem’s encouraging start to the season continued as, for the second successive week, they overcame opponents from a higher division.
Having beaten North Wales Division One outfit Ruthin 61-34 the previous week, Yorkshire One front-runners Wath Upon Dearne were their victims as hosts Salem beat them 32-22 in the first round of the Yorkshire Shield.
The South Yorkshire side were first on the scoreboard courtesy of an Appleyard penalty but Salem hit back when debutant winger Andy Collins showed excellent pace to cross the line following some good handling in the backs, fly-half Danny Belcher’s successful conversion putting Salem ahead 7-3.
Wath retook the lead following a well-taken try from centre Steve Mason, converted by Appleyard, to give the visitors a 10-7 lead but Belcher soon brought the scores level at 10-10 with a well-struck penalty.
Salem briefly took the lead following a second successful Belcher penalty but Mason powered over for his second try to give Wath a 17-13 advantage at the break.
Salem head coach Phil Nilsen told his troops that in spite of the scoreline he thought they were the better side and he was confident they would come out on top if they stuck to the task.
His comments seemed to ring true as, buoyed by some ferocious tackling from flanker and man of the match Jamie Booth, Salem started to get the upper hand.
New skipper James Cunliffe, who lead from the front throughout, then scored two tries in quick succession, one of which was improved by Belcher and, with the score at 25-17, a shock victory was well within their grasp.
The killer blow came when full back Sam Dunn showed great footwork to score a fine try, improved by Belcher, to give the home side a healthy 32-17 advantage.
To their credit, Wath did not throw in the towel and they threw everything at Salem in the final 15 minutes.
Although the visitors did eventually manage to breach the Salem line when winger Luke Pendlebury went over in the corner, the home side ran out worthy 32-22 winners to progress into the second round.
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