WITH five minutes remaining and with the game in the balance at 18-15 in the home side's favour, visiting Bradford Salem had every chance to take the spoils as Leodiensian were reduced to 13 men following two yellow cards.

However, the away side seemed to lack the composure required to get them over the line as, incredibly, their opponents were the only scorers at the death, with a penalty in a frantic finale despite being two players light.

It rounded off a strange day for both of these struggling sides sides at Crag Lane in this Yorkshire One clash.

Eighteen minutes into the second half, with Leos leading 18-10, the game was stopped for over 45 minutes following a neck injury to Leo's scrum half, Max Sears.

The player was able to be taken from the pitch on a stretcher by paramedics and, thankfully, he was discharged from hospital later that evening and is making a good recovery.

It wasn't the best of starts to the game for Salem as second rower Fin Southcott dropped the kick off reception to gift Leos field position.

Then, after turning down one easy chance, fly half Ted Farmer kicked a penalty to give the hosts an early 3-0 lead.

Salem responded positively and were soon on the attack thanks to some astute tactical kicking by fly half Sam Allan.

Good runs from Jake Green and Tom Cummins got them to within metres of their opponent's line and, after winger Ben Shaw went close, skipper Christian Baines' clever off-load gave Southcott an opportunity to make up for his earlier error as he galloped over for a try to put the visitors 5-3 ahead.

Salem suffered two blows when Green was yellow carded for a high shot and prop Xander McConville was forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury.

With just over 30 minutes played, a series of penalties got Leos to within striking distance and they took full advantage to score in the left corner to put themselves 8-5 in front.

Eight minutes later Leos scored an almost carbon-copy try to increase their lead to 13-5, but, on the stroke of half-time, Green responded with a touchdown from a cross-kick to reduce the deficit to 13-10 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half, Salem turned down a kickable penalty, instead opting to go for touch.

Although Dom Bailey took the ball at the line, they lost possession at the catch and drive and a big opportunity went begging.

To make matters worse, Cummins was penalised for backchat and good handling in the Leos back-line created a try in the right corner to give the home side an 18-10 advantage.

Then came the injury to Sears and it was a question of which team would cope best with the uncertainty over whether the game would actually resume.

With both sides doing their best to stay focused during the stoppage, the game restarted at 4:51pm with 24 minutes to go.

Salem were very much on top at this stage and when Allan regathered his own chip ahead to score an excellent try, with the score now 18-15 with seven minutes remaining, Salem were in the driving seat.

When Leos received those two yellow cards, it seemed almost inevitable that Salem would win the game.

But they conceded an unnecessary penalty on their own 22 and Farmer took the three points on offer to extend his side's lead to 21-15.

Salem still had plenty of chances to score but poor game management coupled with some tenacious defending by the hosts allowed Leos to seal a narrow victory.