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Castleford put to sword as Bradford Salem hit the max
Bradford Salem 53 Castleford 20
Bradford Salem gained their expected maximum haul from this home match against bottom-of-the-table Castleford.
But defeats for three of the four clubs immediately above the hosts - West Leeds, Sheffield Medicals and Yarnbury - meant that they climbed from sixth to equal fourth.
Fly half Andy Robinson - one of the Heaton club’s newcomers this season - said: “Neil Klenk (first team manager) said to me when I joined that we were in it for promotion back to Yorkshire Division One.”
The 25-year-old former Batley, Wibsey Warriors and Bradford Dudley Hill player added: “I had only played a few games of union before this season - for Wibsey when Wibsey Warriors didn’t have a game - but I am fully committed to Salem.
“My cousin Chris Robinson is assistant team manager here and he was influential in me coming down, and I persuaded full back Danny Belcher, also from Wibsey Warriors, to join too.
“Tony Williams has already returned and Danny Thomas should be back from next week too.
“I am still learning things, like the calls etc, but the facilities down here are good, we have a decent backline and we know the forwards will always lay the platform for us.”
Castleford, who had lost all six of their league games prior to Saturday, arrived with a makeshift squad which included four scrum halves but took a shock lead in the second minute when left winger Martin Dye intercepted a Belcher pass and ran 40 metres to score, fly half Ian Mattison adding a difficult conversion.
However, dreadful tackling enabled Salem centre Jonny Robinson to weave through for a try in the eighth minute, Andy Robinson converting.
Errors were not helping Salem but centre Sam Savage added to his growing reputation with a try in the 23rd minute, Andy Robinson converting before adding a penalty.
Belcher then atoned for his earlier mistake by showing good footwork at pace to scoot over just before half-time and make the score a much handier 22-7.
Mattison replied with an early penalty in the second half but Salem secured the bonus point in the 44th minute when half-time replacement Williams scored with his first touch after an Andy Robinson grubber kick had been half-blocked.
By now it was a matter of how many points Salem would score, and left winger Ryan Jolly got on the end of a sweet move to cross the whitewash.
Mattison’s second penalty made it 36-13 but Andy Robinson shimmied his way over after two cute dummies, Dye replying with a try on the left after an astute kick by Wayne Thomas.
Belcher and Andy Robinson then bagged their second tries to take Salem past the half-century mark, Robinson’s choice effort coming after Belcher’s kick had been well taken by right winger Carl Walker and passed inside to the half-back.