BRADFORD Salem came agonisingly close to upsetting second-placed Old Brodleians in their 10-6 away defeat in Yorkshire One.

The game swung in the home side's favour when Salem skipper Christian Baines was sin-binned for a "no arms" tackle which allowed Brods to score two crucial tries each side of the half-time break.

On a cold and breezy afternoon at Woodhead, Bradford enjoyed multiple phases in the opening stages before flanker Tim Makaafi was eventually bundled into touch.

The next 20 minutes of the game were dominated by the well-organised defences of both sides although it took a last ditch tackle by Salem full-back Jack Payne to deny Christian Georgiou scoring after the hosts created an overlap on the left flank.

Salem found themselves defending for the remainder of the half as Brods launched wave after wave of attacks in their opponent's half.

With 41 minutes on the clock, 19-year-old referee George Ounsley, who controlled the game well throughout, gave Baines a yellow card for an illegal tackle.

From the resultant line-out, Brods forced their way over from a catch and drive to take a five point lead.

The title chasers were back on the attack straight from the restart and a rare missed tackle gave centre Dom Georgiou enough room to dive over in the corner to extend his side's advantage to 10

With Baines back on, it was Salem's turn to dominate and Matt Booth reduced the deficit by three points with a well-struck penalty.

The away side had their best try-scoring chance when flanker Nick Fontaine broke clear on half-way but his pass was grounded as he failed to reach scrum half Harley Robertshaw.

A second Booth penalty to closed the gap to four points.

Minutes later, the Bradford side suffered a major blow when star second rower Rhys Green was yellow carded for cynical play.

Scrum half Joe Armitage was also sent to the bin for a high shot and with Green rejoining the fray, Salem now had 15 against 13.

With five minutes remaining, a brilliant touch-finder by Booth almost got Salem over the line.