BRADFORD Salem's Yorkshire One league campaign ended in defeat as they lost 26-17 at Roundhegians, despite leading 17-7 after 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, it was a familiar story for Salem as one passage of play just before half-time seemed to change the whole momentum of the game.

At that point, Salem held a deserved 17-12 lead and were pressing for a fourth bonus point try, deep in the opposing 22.

However, a wayward pass, which otherwise would have resulted in a score for Salem, was intercepted by a Roundhegians' player who somehow managed to hold off chasing speedster Caleb McConville in a 70 metre sprint to the line.

To add insult to injury, Hegians' fly half Alex Jones landed the touchline conversion, so, instead of going into the break with a healthy 24-12 lead, Salem found themselves 19-17 down despite being the better side.

On a well-grassed pitch in sunny but breezy conditions at The Memorial Ground in Roundhay, Salem managed to turn over possession in the opening play.

After a Morgan Mirzaali hack through, winger Ben Shaw was first to the ball to score in the left corner to give the visitors an early 5-0 lead.

Roundhegians responded positively and a series of penalties in their favour got them to within striking distance.

When Salem conceded a further penalty for not rolling away, the home side opted for a scrum rather than take three points.

This gamble paid off as fast hands in the backs created sufficient space on the right for speedy winger Himoonga Miyambo to score in the corner, Jones converting from the touchline to put the hosts 7-5 in front.

Ten minutes later, Salem retook the lead when, following a Dom Bailey catch at a line-out, some fine handling from Sam Allan and Callum Smith put Caleb McConville over for a try to put the visitors 10-7 ahead.

Salem at this point were well on top, and, five minutes later, they extended their lead as an excellent break by Xander McConville and a sublime improvised inside pass by Smith put Caleb McConville in for his second try, skipper Jake Green adding the extras for a 17-7 advantage.

Salem then suffered a blow as the elder McConville, Xander, had to leave the field with a hamstring injury.

With head coach Neil Spence forced into reorganising his pack, Roundhegians took advantage as more swift handling in the backs enabled Miyambo to cross the line for his second to reduce the deficit to 17-12.

Despite conceding the interception try just before half-time, which, ultimately, changed the outcome of the game, Salem still had opportunities to make a comeback in the second half.

However, when Roundhegians' main playmaker and man-of-the-match Jones was sin-binned for dissent, Salem were unable to make the extra man count.

And when Ben Whitaker and Oliver Bishop were both hauled down agonisingly short of the line, it looked like it wasn't going to be Salem's day.

Then as if to compound their woes, Jones scored a try against the run of play which he improved himself to give the hosts a 26-17 lead which they held on to until the final whistle.

Although Salem finish in next to last place in the table, there is no relegation this term, and they will still feel that they have had a successful campaign, given that they handed debuts to no less than 11 teenagers over the course of the season.

The manner in which these young players, such as 18-year-old lock Fin Southcott, have improved and developed definitely bodes well for the future.

Keighley's future will be in the same division as Salem, as they were promoted to Yorkshire One as champions following a 24-17 win at Baildon in Yorkshire Two.

Old Grovians came second bottom after losing a high-scoring encounter 53-33 to Wheatley Hills.

Up in North One East, transitional Bradford & Bingley lost their final game 92-0 at Morley, while Wibsey gave Hemsworth a walkover win in Yorkshire Three.