BRADFORD Salem have always found Beverley tough opponents, winning only four out of 17 games since the two clubs first met back in 1969.

And Saturday's Counties One Yorkshire encounter proved to be no exception as a very well organised Beverley side just had the edge a tight but entertaining contest, winning it 21-14

In ideal playing conditions at Shay Lane, Salem made a positive start, with the first of many strong carries by blindside flanker Tom Cummins.

After an opening quarter in which the defences of both sides held sway, the first scoring opportunity fell to Salem, only for scrum-half Callum Smith to fluff an easy penalty in front of the posts.

A punishing carry by Salem man of the match, Ben Whitaker, soon got the hosts back on the front foot, but, despite good work from hard-working back-rower, Ben Markey, the hosts seemed to lack the clinical finishing needed to break the deadlock.

Then, against the run of play, Beverley took a 3-0 lead courtesy of the boot of fly-half and captain Rob Smith, after Salem centre Morgan Mirzaali was penalised for rolling after being tackled.

Salem suffered a huge blow when their influential young prop Xander McConville had to leave the field with an ankle injury, and on the stroke of half time, Beverley increased their lead to 6-0 with a second penalty from their Smith after Salem were caught offside.

With five minutes of the second half played, Beverley were reduced to 14 men when referee Gavin Pender sent second rower Mark Hodgson to the bin for a high tackle.

With a man advantage, Salem got themselves to within striking distance and after a fine take at the line by Markey, Whitaker used his strength to cross the line from a driving maul.

Salem kicker Smith added the extras to give the home side a slender 7-6 advantage.

However, as soon as they were restored to a full complement, Beverley hit back when their man of the match Smith scorched through the home defence from a quick tap to dot down under the sticks.

It was a fine try, which he improved himself, to put the visitors 13-7 in front.

It was then Salem's turn to go a man down as young second rower Fin Southcott was sent to the bin, and the visiting Smith kicked the resulting penalty for a 16-7 lead.

Salem responded with good runs from Mirzaali and Sam Allan and soon it was the Bradford side that had one man extra, as Southcott returned to the fray and Beverley's back replacement received a yellow card.

Salem were soon on the attack, and after skipper and No.8 Christian Baines went close, the ball was moved wide and 18-year-old winger Caleb McConville showed great footwork to score in the corner.

The home side's Smith landed a magnificent touchline conversion to get his side back to within two points at 16-14.

However, Beverley had the final say as their Smith orchestrated a well-worked move, which created a try for winger Jake Boardman to seal a 21-14 victory the visitors probably deserved.

Elsewhere, in Counties One Yorkshire, Keighley made it two wins from two after beating Wetherby 25-10.

In Counties Two Yorkshire, Baildon crushed Barnsley 40-8 to go top of the table.

Finally, Bradford & Bingley slid to the foot of the Regional Two North East table after being thumped 64-19 at Bridlington.

Up in Bradford & Bingley slid to the foot of the table after being thumped 64-19 at Bridlington.