BRADFORD & Bingley dropped to fifth in the North One East table after a second consecutive defeat, going down 23-20 away to Durham City.

In all fairness, the Bees were second best throughout much of this contest, but a potential late comeback was snuffed out after a moment of madness from Semisi Maasi saw him red carded.

With 64 minutes played, the Bees were only three points adrift. As the ball bobbled loose, Maasi looked favourite to gather the ball and charge clear to the line.

In his attempt to gather the ball, he was impeded by a home player, with Bees supporters on the touchline expecting the referee to signal for a penalty try.

But rather than waiting for the whistle, Maasi dispensed his own judgement and punched the home player, giving the referee no alternative than to show a red card.

A certain seven points and a four point lead in the game now turned into a Durham penalty, with B&B reduced to 14 men for the final quarter of an hour.

The Bees actually opened the scoring with a Lance Taylor penalty early in the contest, but the lead was short lived as Durham added a try and three-pointer of their own to go 8-3 up.

Marko Svagusa was tackling everything that moved in the Bees defensive line, but many of his team mates seemed slightly out of sorts.

However, B&B were next on the scoresheet as Kati Tuipolotu reached the whitewash.

Taylor was able to improve the score but Durham soon stepped up and landed another penalty to restore a one-point lead.

With half-time approaching, the hosts were rewarded with a second try, edging them into a 16-10 lead, but Taylor was able to slot another three-pointer for the Bees to narrow the deficit to just three.

With tempers fraying on both sides of the ball in the second half, the Wagon Laners snuck into the lead with a second Tuipolotu try, converted by Taylor.

Although the Bees held the lead, the game was clearly one that could go either way and it was no surprise when the home side got their noses in front with a converted score around the midway point of the second half.

Then came the sending off incident with Maasi. That may have tipped the advantage in favour of the home side, but B&B collectively put in a fine defensive shift to stay within three of their hosts and come away with a losing bonus point.

The Wagon Lane men now have a run of three home fixtures against Driffield, Morley and Pocklington, which should help to get their promising season back on track.