Bradford Salem extended their unbeaten run in Counties One Yorkshire to nine games, and moved up to second in the table, with an impressive 38-17 victory over Harrogate Pythons on Saturday.

Despite lying second from bottom in the league table, Pythons gave an early warning that they would be no pushovers as they scored from a kick chase to take a 7-0 lead after just five minutes of play. 

The hosts continued to press straight from the restart and after a clever cross kick by fly-half Jed Carr, it was only an unfortunate knock-on that prevented them from extending their lead. 

However, with 15 minutes gone, Salem began to put some patterns together and good runs from Conor Wood and Josh Charnock earned them a line-out five metres from the opposing line. 

Following a good take in the line by Dom Bailey, Salem piled on the pressure, and, although hooker and skipper James Brown was held up short of the line, Tom Cummins forced his way over for a try, which Jake Green improved to bring the scores level at 7-7. 

Two minutes later, a fine break by Ben Whitaker followed by some intricate inter-passing between himself and fellow back-rower Morgan Mirzaali got the visitors to within striking distance.

The ball was then moved wide to Green, who touched down in the right corner to put his side 12-7 ahead. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: It was no surprise to see prolific winger Jake Green add his name to the list of Salem try-scorers.It was no surprise to see prolific winger Jake Green add his name to the list of Salem try-scorers. (Image: LDR Photography.)

Pythons cut the deficit to 12-10 courtesy of a Carr penalty but Mirzaali, who was a constant thorn in Harrogate’s side, was next on the score sheet as he regathered his own charge down before diving over the line to give Salem a 17-10 lead. 

The visitors, at this point, were in their element and strong running from both the forwards and backs created a try for replacement second rower, Ian Maycock.

Green landed the touchline conversion to give the Bradford high-fliers a healthy 24-10 advantage at the break.  

Salem scored a fifth try within three minutes of the restart when Charnock crossed the whitewash following an excellent mazy run by winger Aaron Magee. 

When fly half Andy Robinson dummied his way over the line for a superb try, which Green improved, the score stood at 38-10 to Salem with 25 minutes remaining, meaning a big away win was on the cards. 

However, not for the first time this season, indiscipline let them down as referee Brian Brocksom, who had a good day with the whistle, sent both Sui Matagi and Mirzaali to the sin-bin. 

In spite of some great carries by prop Isaac Lickley, who had his best game in a Salem shirt, and two massive hits from Green, the Pythons eventually made the most of their two-man advantage and scored a late converted consolation try as the game finished 38-17.

Salem should extend that long unbeaten run this weekend, when Hullensians, who have lost 11 of their 16 league games so far, travel to face them at Shay Lane.

But one of their five victories came in the reverse fixture, with that 31-17 defeat for Salem in East Yorkshire back on October 21 the last time the Bradford side lost a league match.