BIRKENSHAW Bluedogs had to fight tooth and nail after having a man sent off in order to secure a 26-22 victory in their Pennine League Division Two Central clash at Beeston Broncos.

The Bluedogs were coasting at 20-6 just five minutes before half-time, following tries from prop Adam Lazenby, second row Danny Howard, loose forward Ben Cousen and stand-off Jarrad Toulson, when scrum half Tony Aubrey was dismissed for dissent.

This turned what had appeared to be a stroll in the park into a battle for survival.

The Leeds hosts took full advantage of their extra man to close the gap but Birky held on grimly, with prop Ben Kitchingham a titan in defence, and a further touchdown from Toulson, who added his third conversion, saw them home with inches to spare for a second successive win to catapult them up the table into seventh.

Clayton’s hopes of making ground on unbeaten leading duo Woodhouse Warriors and Oulton Raiders came a cropper with a 22-18 setback at Eastmoor Dragons.

The Villagers' very young side, led by 29-year-old loose forward Simon Giles, gave the classy National Conference League hosts a real battle, scoring four touchdowns from Mike Cunliffe (2), Karl Robinson and Jimmy Waddington.

However, they were too far out for deadly marksman, centre Ryan Wilkinson, to extract full reward,and he landed only one conversion.