Bradford Salem went down 38-24 to a well-drilled Wetherby side in Counties One Yorkshire on Saturday, but dug deep to stage a second-half fightback and scored two late tries to at least earn themselves a deserved bonus point.

Hosts Salem started the game in confident mood with the aim of building on their excellent 17-12 win at Beverley the previous week.

However, they suffered a huge blow in the fourth minute when key player, Conor Wood, received a head injury after colliding with an opponent's knee while attempting a tackle.

The game was stopped for several minutes as Wood received attention from Niall Armstrong, Salem's physiotherapist, before being stretchered off the field.

The powerful front-rower was later taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he had 14 staples inserted into a large gash on the top of his head but has now been released and is recovering well.

Salem were not rocked by Wood's unfortunate injury and early departure and went 3-0 down as soon as action resumed.

Wetherby then missed a simple penalty attempt, before scoring a converted try in the left corner to go 10-0 in front after 20 minutes. 

Salem hit back almost immediately and, after a good take by Ben Whitaker at a line-out, the ball was spun wide and debutant winger Logan Simpson showed great footwork and speed to cross for a try.

With Callum Smith adding the extras, the home side were back in it at 10-7.

Wetherby missed another simple penalty attempt, but then it was Salem’s turn to be frustrated, as they went into the break with 14 men after skipper Christian Baines was sin-binned for a high-shot.

With just a minute of the second half played, Salem were reduced to 13 men when centre Scott Smith joined Baines in the bin.

Wetherby took full advantage of their extra numbers as some slick handling led to a second converted try to move 17-7 ahead.

Despite having 13 men, Salem were awarded a penalty right on the opposition line after Wetherby were guilty of holding on.

But replacement prop John Bradbury took the law into his own hands and stamped on the offending player's fingers, meaning the decision was reversed.

To make matters worse, Wetherby then broke away to score a converted try at the other end, and, with the score now 24-7 in the visitors’ favour, Salem were up against it.

With Salem back to a full complement, strong carries by Tom Cummins and Whitaker got the Heaton side to within striking distance.

Baines then went some way to make amends for his earlier indiscretion as he showed great determination and upper body strength as he stretched out to score a fine try to reduce the arrears to 24-12.

But when Wetherby produced a superb 50/22 kick to earn themselves a line-out deep inside the opposition half, good ball retention allowed them to launch a wave of attacks.

The pressure eventually told as they broke through a tired looking Salem defensive line to score a fourth bonus point try, adding the extras too.

A simple chip and re-gather produced another try for the visitors, with the score now 38-12, Salem were looking down the barrel of a heavy defeat.

However, to their credit, Salem refused to throw in the towel and their spirits were lifted when Baines went over for his second try, which Smith improved to cut the deficit to 38-19.   

The Bradford players dominated the final quarter of the game, and their efforts were rewarded as some clever passing down the right flank put Whitaker into space.

There was no stopping the big second rower, who was Salem's man of the match, as he crashed over for an excellent try to earn his side a point and bring the scoreline to 38-24.

An askew lineout denied them the chance of a losing bonus point, as the result saw them slip to third-bottom.

Bradford & Bingley are stuck at the foot of the table after a heavy 54-12 home defeat against leaders West Leeds, while Keighley sit second after beating Leodiensian 36-10.

Baildon suffered their first defeat of the Counties Two Yorkshire season, going down 37-22 at Dinnington.

Finally, Cleckheaton remain bottom of Regional One North East after a 30-10 home defeat against York.