BRADFORD Salem have moved to within three points of fifth-placed Old Rishworthian in Counties One Yorkshire after beating them 14-10 in a dour encounter at Shay Lane.

Prior to kick-off, there was an impeccably observed minute's silence in memory of Salem stalwart Geoff Nixon, who recently passed away at the age of 94.

In testing conditions on Saturday, Salem had the better of the early exchanges, but missed an early opportunity to go ahead when Jake Green's penalty attempt from 35 metres out fell short of the target.

Salem continued to press and would have scored had centre Morgan Mirzaali managed to hold on to Kyle Carter's cross-kick with the line at his mercy.

Instead, the hosts had to be content with a Green penalty to give them a 3-0 advantage after 14 minutes.

It was then Rishworthians' turn to go on the attack, and, after forcing a goal line drop out, referee David Downham awarded them a penalty in front of the posts.

However, the Halifax side elected to go for a quick tap, a decision they came to rue as they lost possession.

At this point, Salem were dominating the scrums but, despite winning one against the head, they conceded a penalty and, this time, fly-half Noah Navarro took the three points on offer to bring the scores level with just under 30 minutes gone.

A tap back by Green from the restart got Salem back on the offensive, and, following a quick Tom Cummins' tap penalty, man of the match Ben Whitaker drove over from close range to put the hosts 8-3 ahead.

When Salem fly-half Sam Allan failed to deal with a fairly innocuous kick with a few minutes of the half remaining, Rish hacked through and scored under the posts, Navarro kicking the simple conversion to give his side a 10-8 lead to take into the break.

Two minutes after the interval, Salem regained the lead when Green's penalty from halfway crept over the crossbar to give them a slender 11-10 advantage.

A superb 50/22 kick by Smith got Salem back into opposition territory, and, when Rish were caught offside, Green kicked a further penalty to extend his side's lead to 14-10.

With 10 minutes remaining, Salem had a huge opportunity to put the game to bed when prop Murphy Kupe charged towards the line, but, when he chose to pass inside, the ball went forward much to the anguish of the home support.

Salem were awarded a penalty in stoppage time, but, rather than kick the goal which would have put them seven points clear, they went for a catch and drive, only to be held up over the line.

Following the goalline drop out, Salem conceded a penalty, giving Rish one last chance to take the spoils.

However, Salem's defence held firm in the dying minutes and they were able to clear the ball into touch to seal a 14-10 victory.

Elsewhere in Counties One Yorkshire, Keighley are realistically out of the title race after losing 17-0 at leaders Goole.

In Counties Two Yorkshire, Baildon deservedly defeated Counties Two Yorkshire leaders Wensleydale 14-10 to keep themselves in the promotion hunt (see full match report here).

In Regional Two North East, winless Bradford & Bingley lost 38-0 at home to Scarborough, while seventh-placed Cleckheaton ended a run of three straight Regional One North East defeats by beating lowly Paviors 36-14.