SIMON Markey has joined the select band of fathers who have played a competitive first-team match alongside their sons.

The 44-year-old hooker jogged onto the pitch with 17-year-old Ben, a flanker, in the 55th minute of their 34-31 Yorkshire Shield quarter-final defeat at home to Malton & Norton.

Yorkshire Division One Salem, who bossed the opening 20 minutes against their visitors from North One East, took the lead with a try by debutant prop Joe Kvedas in the 15th minute but found themselves trailing 19-5 at half-time as Malton & Norton showed their clinical side.

The handicap of having fly half Andy Robinson (handling in the ruck) and lock Rhys Green (deliberate knock on) in the sin-bin cost Salem, who conceded first-half tries to full back Will Bell, who caught the hosts napping, fly half James Bulmer and flanker and man-of-the-match Tom Lowry, with Paul Angus and Bulmer adding conversions.

Bell's second try two minutes into the second half was a body-blow for Salem, but they stayed in the match with a pushover try by lock Sam Savage that involved several backs which the hosts' man-of-the-match Matt Booth converted.

But then Robinson received a second sin-binning (for not retreating 10 metres at a penalty) in the 55th minute, which means that he saw red.

Shrugging off this handicap, Salem scored the try of the match with a Rhys Green break from an overthrown Malton & Norton line-out enabling winger Jake Green to show his paces and score on the right.

Booth's conversion cut the deficit to 24-19 but the visitors added tries by centre Ben Tenge and Bell, Salem hitting back with tries by flankers Tim Makaafi - an excellent individual effort - and Nick Fontaine, with Booth converting the former's score to leave them just three points on the wrong end of a 65-point match.

Markey senior said: "We made a very fast start against a good team from a division above us.

"We played with control and there is a good enthusiasm and spirit among the team at the moment.

"We want to play for each other and look after each other but keeping men on the field has been our problem this season.

"We have picked up too many yellow cards.

"We played for about 60 minutes with 14 men."

Some Salem spectators saw fit to criticise referee Kristian Garland (West Yorkshire Society), but Markey disagreed, adding: "He is a good referee, we have had him before and he was fair.

"He penalised us for being offside at the right times and we gave away some silly penalties that cost us."

Salem played with spirit right until injury time, and Markey said: "I always knew that we would keep going to the end as that is what this team is about.

"That is why I am still playing at 44 - to be in that changing room with them - and they have enjoyed themselves."

As for the honour of taking to the field with Ben, who was making his first-team debut, Markey senior, who helped to found Salem's junior set-up a decade ago, said: "I played half a game with him two weeks ago for the second team at Ripon and it was a very proud moment.

"Ben has just gone 17 and this is the kind of thing that you work for when you set a junior team going all those years ago.

"He has worked his way up to where he is now. He has a desire to play, works hard, loves the game and plays it for the right reasons.

"Ben is not playing for anyone else but himself and the club and he has worked incredibly hard to get where he is.

"He is at Woodhouse Grove and hopefully he will play for Yorkshire age groups and Yorkshire Carnegie.

"Ben has to keep working hard and he will.

"Against Malton & Norton we had four lads who could be in the colts.

"Ben, winger Morgan Mirzaali, who has already represented Yorkshire although he isn't a wing, full back (or scrum half) Harley Robertshaw, who is one for the future, and 'Tickle' - Ollie Leadbeater, who is the captain of the colts.

"He is a fantastic leader who has played for the second team and knows the game very well. I cannot speak highly enough of them all.

"But there are plenty more to come through - there are at least 15 more who will play senior rugby, if not for the first team."

Markey tends to get singled out when people talk about founding Salem's juniors but he admitted: "It is not just me - there has been Craig Bartlett and Sam Blackburn too.

"This is what a club needs - juniors coming through, whether that be at a cricket club or a rugby club."