BRADFORD Salem's wretched run of luck continued, as four players were forced to leave the pitch with injuries during their narrow 27-20 loss to West Leeds in Yorkshire One.

In blustery conditions at Bluehill Lane, an early West Leeds 50/22 put Salem on the back foot but an excellent turnover enabled the visitors to clear their line.

With eight minutes played, Salem got their first scoring opportunity but Glenn Morrison's pass, intended for winger Caleb McConville, missed its target and drifted agonisingly into touch.

Fifteen minutes into the game, Salem suffered two huge blows when influential prop Xander McConville was taken off with a head injury and hooker Scott van Berckel joined him on the sideline after being sin-binned for off-side.

With Salem head coach Neil Spence having to rapidly reorganise his pack, West Leeds took full advantage as they broke away to score in the right corner for a 5-0 lead.

A few minutes later, Salem were further disrupted when flanker Ed Cook was carried off the field with a knee injury, and, with Spence having to make more adjustments to his team, West Leeds again took advantage of the situation to score a second try to increase their advantage to 10 points.

West Leeds were clearly on top at this stage and things got worse for Salem when a clever chip and chase resulted in a converted try to put the hosts 17-0 in front.

However, Salem hit back almost immediately with what proved to be the try of the match.

The move began with a great run by centre Morgan Mirzaali deep inside his own half and some brilliant inter-passing and support play involving half a dozen players created a fantastic try for van Berckel.

Although full-back Callum Smith was unable to land the touchline conversion, Salem were back in it with the deficit now 17-5.

Straight from the restart, a crunching Morrison tackle in centre-field put Salem back on the attack and although West Leeds won a desperate race to the ball on their own try-line, the player seemed to be guilty of holding on.

However, referee Jonathan Keeton controversially penalised Salem and when experienced lock forward John Morrell questioned this decision, he was instantly dispatched to the bin.

As if things couldn't get worse for Salem, Keeton then marched Salem back to the half-way line, with West Leeds kicking to touch for a 70-metre gain.

In spite of all these setbacks, Salem responded positively, and, following a good turnover and quick tap from scrum-half Jamie Simpson, the Bradford side was awarded a penalty on the opposition 22.

Fly-half Sam Allan's kick reducing the arrears to 17-8 at the break.

Salem had the better of the early exchanges in the second half but their hopes of a comeback were dented when Mirzaali went off with an ankle injury.

If that wasn't bad enough, Morrell, Caleb McConville and Calum Stocks were all having to play through the pain barrier.

For the next 25 minutes, both teams were guilty of handling errors, but three Allan penalties for Salem and one to West Leeds brought the score to 20-17 to the hosts.

The turning point in the game came with just under 10 minutes remaining, when, from a tap penalty, a half-break and offload by West Leeds skipper Sam Neave led to a try under the posts against the run of play.

With the scoreline now 27- 17, Salem were in danger of going home empty-handed.

However, Allan's fifth successful penalty got Salem back to within a score to set up a tense finale with two minutes left on the clock.

When West Leeds knocked the ball on straight from the restart allowing Salem to launch a last-ditch assault on their opponent's try line, it looked like the visitors might come away with a draw.

However, despite the fact that a West Leeds player was holding onto the ball on the ground, the referee penalised Morrison, and a relieved West Leeds kicked the ball out to seal a 27-20 victory.

Sam Allan did well on debut, kicking five out of five penalties, as did 18-year-old Bradford University student, Warsame Mohamoud. who made a big impact in the back row after coming on as a replacement in the second half.