BRADFORD Salem skipper Christian Baines scored a try in each half as his side opened their Yorkshire One season with a bonus point 26-10 win over newly-promoted Roundhegians.

In their first league game at Shay Lane in almost 18 months, Salem started positively but, after a trademark bullocking run from Baines in the opening minute, Roundhegians managed to turnover possession to relieve the pressure.

With eight minutes gone, the visitors were reduced to 14 men when referee Tony Smith yellow carded second rower Ali Coe for back-chat.

However, Roundhegians were back to a full complement when, after 21 minutes, Salem centre Chris Clough showed great upper-body strength to force himself over the whitewash, winger Jake Green landing the conversion to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.

Minutes later, Clough set off on a mazy run and with Baines and blindside flanker Ben Whitaker in support, a score looked almost certain.

Unfortunately, Whitaker mistook the five-metre line for the try line, and, to make matters worse, he was then penalised for holding on as a cast-iron opportunity went astray.

In spite of this set-back, Salem continued to press and from a throw-in close deep in opposition territory, 18-year-old lock, Fin Southcott, who was outstanding in the line-out, caught the ball cleanly.

The subsequent driving maul allowed Baines to power his way over for a try, which was improved by Green to increase the home side's advantage to 14 points.

For the remainder of the half, Salem found themselves on the defence and only some excellent tackling from veteran fly-half Glenn Morrison prevented Roundhegians from scoring.

They somehow managed to weather the storm and, although a sliced attempted clearance by full-back Ben Shaw, who otherwise had a solid game, added to the pressure, the Bradford side maintained a clean sheet to go into the break 14-0 in front.

An excellent hanging kick by scrum-half Callum Smith from the restart gained Salem possession, and, although young prop Xander McConville, who was a constant threat, was hauled down agonisingly short of the line, Baines was on hand to drive over from short range to put his side 19-0 ahead.

With just over 10 minutes of the second half gone, a rare defensive lapse by Salem allowed Roundhegians' full-back Alex Jones to race under the sticks for a try he improved himself to give the visitors hope.

That cut the deficit to 19-7 and when Jones added a penalty to reduce the arrears to 19-10 it was game on.

However, with 10 minutes remaining, Salem virtually assured themselves victory when brilliant off-loading by Baines, Whitaker and Clough put Morrison over for a try, Green adding the extras for a 26-10 lead.

Despite being reduced to 14 men after Smith was sin-binned for cynically preventing a quick tap, Salem's defence held firm in the final minutes as they closed out an excellent victory.

Although Baines was rightly named man of the match, he must have been run close by McConville, who has only just turned 19.

Pick of the backs was another 19-year-old, centre Morgan Mirzaali, who always looked dangerous with ball in hand.

With a total of 10 players in the squad that are 20 years old or under, the future for Salem looks bright.