BRADFORD Salem put a huge marker down in Counties One Yorkshire (formerly Yorkshire One) after a superb 43-14 bonus point win away at West Leeds, who only narrowly missed out on promotion last season.

However, to some extent, the gloss was taken off Salem's victory as winger Jake Green and flanker Ben Markey were both given their marching orders by Central Yorkshire referee, Jonathan Keeton.

In fact, in a game which, overall, was played in good spirit, Keeton reached for his pocket no less than seven times, issuing three yellow cards plus reds to Green, Markey, West Leeds' centre Sam Neave and Salem head coach Neil Spence.

On a firm pitch showing signs of the recent drought conditions, Salem put some good phases together in the opening minutes, but a penalty allowed West Leeds to relieve the pressure.

It was then the home side's turn to concede a penalty, but Green pushed a kickable chance wide of the uprights.

The deadlock was broken after 10 minutes of play when West Leeds broke down the left flank, and despite some last ditch Salem defending, some smart off-loading in the tackle produced a try in the corner, full-back Bryn Perrot landing a magnificent touchline conversion to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.

Salem's cause wasn't helped when Markey was sin-binned at a ruck and they suffered a further blow when James Brown, who was on debut after joining from Wibsey, was forced to leave the field and was replaced by Ed Cook.

With Markey returning to the fray, Salem began to make inroads and when Cook took a scrum against the head, skipper and No.8 Christian Baines picked up from the base before powering his way over for a try, Green adding the extras to bring the scores level at 7-7.

Then straight from the restart, a fine midfield break by Markey got Salem to within striking distance but with Green seemingly clear on the right, a deliberate knock on denied him a certain score.

Keeton sent the miscreant to the bin before awarding a penalty try to put the visitors 14-7 ahead.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, another yellow card for West Leeds reduced them to 13 men and Salem took full advantage as Ben Whitaker forced his way over for a try, improved by Green for a 21-7 lead.

On the stroke of half-time, a clever off-load from another debutant, centre Joel Marsh, created enough room for full-back Caleb McConville to cross the line.

Although Green missed the conversion, the visitors could be more than happy with their 26-7 advantage going into the break.

Two minutes into the second half, Salem were reduced to 14 men when vice-captain Green was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Perrot.

However, despite being a man down, Salem went further ahead when fly-half Sam Allan's exquisite break and off-load sent McConville scampering under the sticks for his second try.

Callum Smith landed the simple conversion to give the Bradford side a healthy 33-7 lead.

Former Ossett player Marsh, who had been a threat throughout, had to leave the field with an ankle injury and was replaced by another debutant, Josh Charnock.

However, despite some punishing carries by Tom Cummins, Salem were unable to add to their tally.

With just under 20 minutes of the second half gone, a high shot by Sam Neave on opposite number Morgan Mirzaali sparked a bit of a scuffle.

When things had settled down, referee Keeton chose to dismiss Neave for his tackle and Markey for his involvement in the ensuing fracas.

West Leeds seemed quicker to recover from this setback and they reduced the deficit to 33-14 with a converted try, again following some inventive off-loading in the tackle.

The rest of the game, however, belonged to Salem and, in spite of Keeton expelling head coach Spence from the touchline, scrum-half Smith showed excellent vision as his neat grubber kick found Charnock, who dived over in the corner to extend the visitors' lead to 38-14.

Then in the final play of the game, the Smith/Charnock combination was on song again as the 20-year-old replacement winger latched on to another pinpoint kick by Smith to score his second try.

That sealed a pleasing and extremely encouraging victory, which put the Heaton club at the top of the table.

Keighley made a good start in Salem's division themselves, winning their opener 24-7 against fellow newly-promoted side Hullensians.

In Regional 1 North East, Cleckheaton edged out hosts Scunthorpe 26-22 in a thriller.

Finally, in Counties Two Yorkshire, Baildon ran riot at Yarnbury, winning 52-27 at Yarnbury.