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Bradford Salem go third after fightback
Roundhegians 18 Bradford Salem 29
Bradford Salem climbed up to third place after a strong second-half performance earned them a bonus-point win at Roundhegians.
On a pitch which was heavy in places, Salem’s normally dominant pack was for once out-weighed and the visitors found themselves under pressure in the early stages.
Roundhegians took a 3-0 lead with a penalty and extended their advantage to ten points after slick handling saw them cross on the left.
Full back Danny Belcher pulled three points back with a well-struck penalty but Roundhegians responded with a penalty of their own.
Salem hit back when 17-year-old centre Alex Wood showed great finishing power after collecting a smart off-load from No 8 Kris Falwasser and Belcher added the extras to reduce the arrears to 13-10.
However, a period of intense pressure saw Roundhegians’ forwards drive over the line for another try.
After acting skipper Simon Davies was unable to cling on to an off-load from centre Damien Pearson with the line at his mercy, replacement prop Jordan Ashworth forced his way over for a rare try as Salem trailed 18-17 at the break.
Salem went ahead in the second half when Tom Barnes, who had moved from wing to centre, showed good upper body strength to touch down, Belcher adding the extras.
Salem scored their fourth try when an intelligent switch of play by scrum half Jack Mitchell found open-side flanker Joe Fawcett in space on the blind-side. The former Bees player had plenty to do but evaded the cover defence to score an excellent try.
Although the Heaton side had to withstand a spirited fightback, they ran out deserved winners.