BOTH sets of players, as well as referee Matt Higgins, deserved a medal for enduring the horrendous weather conditions at Goole on Saturday in rock-bottom Bradford Salem’s 34-17 defeat there.

Although the pitch was passed fit for this Yorkshire One clash following an inspection at 9.30am, a prolonged period of torrential rain meant the pitch had large areas of standing water as kick off approached.

But the captains agreed that the game should go ahead, and while both clubs would probably agree that this decision was vindicated, as it stopped the potential issue of the clash having to be re-arranged for the Easter weekend, Salem did suffer one casualty due to the conditions.

Elliott Cousins, in the act of scoring, slid into a pitch-side advertising hoarding and had to leave the field with a head injury.

With the rain still lashing down, both teams found it difficult to cope with the extremely testing conditions early on.

However, with six minutes played, two successive penalties got Goole to within inches of their opponents’ try line.

Then, after Salem repelled several close range efforts, a clever cross-kick led to a try out wide to give the hosts a 5-0 lead.

On 10 minutes, Salem looked like they might get back on level terms, but, despite an excellent break by Xander McConville, he was hauled down metres short of the line.

On a rapidly deteriorating playing surface, neither side was finding things easy but, with 25 minutes gone, Goole scored from a catch and drive to extend their advantage to 10 points.

Salem hit back seven minutes later when some excellent off-loading created a fine try for winger Ben Shaw to reduce the deficit to 10-5, but in stoppage time, Goole scored from a five-metre scrum to go 15-5 in front at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, a penalty to Goole got them in striking distance and with the Salem scrum coming under real pressure, the hosts capitalised to score a converted try to increase their lead to 22-5.

However, once again, Salem produced a positive response and a deft cross-kick by Callum Smith gave Cousins the opportunity to dive over for a try to reduce the arrears to 22-10.

Despite the score causing Cousins that nasty injury, Salem now had their tails up and when Xander McConville scored a converted try, this time following a Sam Allan cross-kick, the visitors were sniffing victory at just 22-17 down.

But, typically, Goole broke away to score against the run of play to give themselves a 27-17 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.

Salem were still in the hunt as they launched a wave of attacks on their opponents’ line.

However, with a try looking certain, Salem were penalised for handling back and the opportunity was missed.

And when Salem’s tiring pack lost a scrum on their own feed, Goole moved the ball out wide to their left.

With teenage hooker Oli Bishop on the right wing in place of the injured Caleb McConville, Goole sensed a mismatch and when Bishop tripped his opposite number in a scoring position, Higgins awarded Goole a penalty try to give them a slightly flattering 34-17 victory.

Elsewhere, Keighley were the only other one of our teams to play, with their 31-13 win at Northallerton giving them an eight-point lead at the summit of Yorkshire Two.