BRADFORD Salem suffered a first home defeat against an impressive Old Crossleyans outfit, who now top the table as the only unbeaten team in Yorkshire One after a 43-20 away win.

Salem conceded a couple of early penalties, with the second inside their own 22.

Crossleyans played advantage from that one and, following swift handling in the backs, winger George Ackroyd crossed for a try in the right corner.

Fly-half Joe Gallagher's excellent touchline conversion gave his side a 7-0 lead.

Salem responded positively and an excellent kick by fly-half Jamie Simpson earned them a lineout 10 metres from the opposition line.

A good take by second rower Dom Bailey was driven on by the pack and openside flanker Morgan Mirzaali forced his way over the line to reduce the deficit to 7-5.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Crossleyans started to get the upper hand and following a half-break in midfield, a long cut out pass gave winger Josh Hunt sufficient space to score in the left corner to put the visitors 12-5 ahead.

Crocs were soon back on the attack and their pressure told when the outstanding Billy Hammond burst through the middle to dot down under the sticks.

Gallagher added the extras to increase the advantage to 19-5.

On the stroke of half-time, Crocs were penalised for a high shot and Salem winger Jake Green took the three points on offer to reduce the arrears to 19-8 at the break.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Halifax side went further ahead when they scored from a catch and drive, with Gallagher's successful conversion giving his side a healthy 26-8 lead.

The visitors were now in the ascendancy and when man-of the-match Hammond powered his way over for his second try, improved by Gallagher, things were looking bleak for Salem at 33-8 down.

However, within five minutes, Salem hit back when skipper Christian Baines scored from a catch and drive to bring the score to 33-13.

Salem were then penalised on their own 22 and Gallagher opted to go for goal to put the visitors 36-13 in front.

When he improved scrum-half Joe Stott's brilliant solo effort minutes later, with score now 43-13, the visitors were eyeing a half-century of points.

To their credit, the Salem players, 10 of whom were 19 years old or under, refused to give in and they totally dominated the closing stages.

Prop Xander McConville was unlucky to be denied a try when the referee failed to see him ground the ball but the reprieve for Crossleyans proved to be short-lived.

Minutes later, following a strong carry by Salem man-of-the-match Ben Whitaker, Mirzaali forced his way over for his second try.

Green tagged on the conversion to bring the scoreline to 43-20, but that was the end of the scoring, with Salem unable to get the four-try bonus point they were after.