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Bradford Salem fourth after surviving late scare
Bradford Salem 29 Roundhegians 28
Bradford Salem moved into fourth place with this win but they were hanging on at the end as Roundhegians missed the chance to steal victory with the last kick of the game.
Salem went 7-0 down but drew level when a scything midfield break from fly half Danny Belcher was finished off by full back Sam Dunn, with Belcher adding the extras. A smart dummy from skipper Dale Cowling saw Roundhegians go 14-7 up but swift handling in the backs allowed Dunn to force his way over for his second try and the home side went ahead when Dunn completed his hat-trick after more good handling.
A loose pass was intercepted by Salem skipper James Cunliffe and the second rower outpaced the cover defence to score a fine try, improved by Belcher to give the Heaton side a flattering 24-14 half-time lead.
The game looked safe when some excellent passing involving forwards and backs resulted in a try for man of the match Pearson to give the hosts a 29-14 advantage.
However, despite being reduced to 14 men, Roundhegians exerted pressure.
Salem were reduced to 13 men following the sin-binnings of Cunliffe and second-row partner John Morrell and, although the final pass looked suspiciously forward, Roundhegians scored a converted try to make it 29-21.
They scored again in almost identical circumstances to set up a tense finale.
After Belcher hit the post with a penalty attempt, Roundhegians launched one final attack which lead to them being awarded a penalty.
Knowing that it would be the final kick of the game, the visitors decided to go for goal from inside their own half.
The kick from fully 55 metres, while on target, dropped short of the uprights and, to the relief of their supporters, Salem cleared the ball to seal a narrow 29-28 victory.
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