Moortown 8, Bradford Salem 27

Bradford Salem returned to winning ways with a hard-fought SSE Yorkshire Division Two victory over Moortown in testing conditions at Moss Valley.

A heavy downpour just before kick-off turned the pitch into a quagmire, which meant that both sides had to keep the ball tight and try to gain territory using kick-and-chase tactics.

Salem seemed to adapt to the conditions the quickest and, after an excellent spell of ball retention, Kris Falwasser hit a great line and the big Kiwi No 8 crashed over for a try that was improved by full back Danny Belcher to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead.

Belcher added a penalty after Moortown were caught offside, and the classy full back then had a hand in the next score as he scythed through a gap before drawing the cover defence to put 17-year-old winger Alex Wood in at the corner for his first try for the first XV.

Although Belcher's touchline conversion drifted wide of the left upright, Salem were happy with a 15-0 advantage at that stage.

Unfortunately, however, the Bradford side then lost the influential Falwasser, who was sin-binned for killing the ball, and the visitors soon found themselves on the back foot.

After a prolonged period of pressure on their opponents' line, Moortown finally managed to get over the whitewash and, although they were on top for the remainder of the half, they went into the break with a 15-5 deficit.

Still with a one-man advantage, Moortown were first on the scoresheet in the second half with a successful penalty, and at 15-8 down with the wind now in their favour, the home side were very much in the hunt.

Once restored to a full compliment, Salem began to up the ante and they were unlucky not to extend their lead when Andy Robinson's scoring pass to winger Adam Sutcliffe was judged to have been forward.

Despite this setback, the Heaton side continued to press and they were finally rewarded when centre Tom Barnes forced his way over in the right corner to put his side 20-8 ahead.

Salem were now looking for a fourth try to gain a bonus point but they looked like missing out as firstly hooker Simon Markey and then second-rower and skipper James Cunliffe had tries disallowed.

However, in the dying seconds, a gap seemed to open up, allowing prop Dave Luxton to pick up and gallop over the line for a try improved by Belcher to seal a deserved 27-8 victory.