With the second half playing down the slope to come, the Wyesiders must have been confident of registering a first home win. However, ten minutes into the second half DK increased their lead to 12 points. Hereford responded well and drew level with a brace of tries, one of which was converted. With barely ten minutes left to play, DK regained the lead with an unconverted try and Hereford had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point.
DK had the benefit of better possession and field position for most of the first half, with the exception of a
period in the first fifteen minutes. During this period, Hereford put pressure on the DK defence with some spirited driving play from a succession of lineouts, scrums and penalties. The visitors’ defence held out and the closest Hereford came to scoring was when a catch and drive got to the whitewash, but was adjudged by the referee to come up short. For the remainder of the half DK exerted continuous pressure on the Hereford defence, which held to its patterns and defied the visitors until injury time brought them the reward of an unconverted try. DK moved the ball across the line and a loop allowed out-half Connah Jones to cross in the corner. The conversion attempt was wide and the visitors took a five point advantage into the interval.
Early in the second period DK turned Hereford over and a driving run into the 22 saw full back Sam Vaughan cross in the corner. He converted his own try to with an excellent kick from near the touch line. Hereford changed gear and enjoyed their best sustained period of the game. In a ten-minute spell they scored a pair of signature tries from lineouts deep in DK territory. Gareth Jones and Ollie Hutcheson each broke from a catch and drive move to register the tries, one of which was improved by James Stubbs. Parity did not last long, as DK soon restored their lead, just minutes later they broke through mid-field and wing Nick Adams touched down in the corner. The conversion attempt was not successful, taking the score to 12 points to 17 with ten minutes to go. The Hereford team again turned up the gas, but to no effect as the well organised DK defence was able to shut them out in the final minutes.
After the game a disappointed captain Tom Ewins said, “It was a tough game today, we made slow starts to both halves and spent a lot of the game in defence. We found a bit of form in the second half and began playing in the right areas. We kicked to the corners and used our driving lineouts to advantage and scored two tries. The problem was holding them off for the last ten minutes, we fell off our tackles a bit maybe. Gareth Jones played well, Ewan Duncan had another cracking game and Ben Osbourne managed the game well. We are confident everything is coming together, but we are missing that last killer blow. Too often we get into our opponents 22 and fail to come away with points, we need to work on that on the training paddock. Overall a disappointing result, I think we deserved more, but it is what it is.”
Updated 11:56 - 20 Oct 2018 by Di Hickinbotham
Another game which could have been won, but there are some positives to take. Jordan Sheehy, who came into the side as a late replacement in the starting line-up for Sean Day, who had not recovered from an injury picked up at Droitwich last week, had a sound game tackling and carrying well. The pack performed well in the set pieces and they are becoming more disciplined in the loose, the penalty count against us is improving. We now face a series of away league games taking on Worcester and Longton respectively. Neither of these sides has had a good start to the season and we must hope that our run of away games without defeat continues.
The run of success for our Development XV continues. On Saturday they visited Ludlow to take on their second team and came away with a 31 points to 33 win. Bob Stewart is pleased with the ongoing progress made by the team and in particular progress made by a number of players some of whom have already made first team appearances, On Saturday, Bob picked out Levi Hughes, Connor Sullivan and Lewis Turner for special mention.