Once again, the Hereford team worked hard but came up just short of beating a top team at Wyeside.
They held good field position for the majority of the first half without really threatening the Whitchurch line. Their sole result for forty minutes hard work, was a single penalty goal from James Stubbs, which gave them a three nil lead which they hung onto until the interval. For a ten-minute period, midway through the first half the Hereford backs injected some life into the game, but the closest they came to a try was when Leon Parsons was tackled into touch. James Stubbs made an elusive run out of defence and laid off to Parsons whose determined run took him into the visitors 22, only to be denied by a try saving tackle. Towards the end of the first half a flurry of punches inside the Hereford 22 led to a yellow card against each team
In the second half Whitchurch, now playing down the slope, penned Hereford into their own 22 for long periods. After 10 minutes, Whitchurch took a 7 points to 3 lead following a period of pressure which enabled them to push over for a try, the conversion attempt was good. The Hereford defensive play during the second half was excellent. Whitchurch were restricted to just an additional penalty goal, while Hereford were reduced to fourteen men when Fran Jennings saw yellow for not wrapping his arms round in the tackle. The Wyesiders made just sporadic raids into Whitchurch territory, but did little to suggest any real danger to the visitors’ lead. The Hereford defence was great, the forwards dug in well and although threatening in the first half, the backs had very little ball in the second half.
A gutted Head Coach Sean Lynn said “Same old really, a whole-hearted display from the boys, I couldn’t fault it. Whitchurch were a very good outfit. In the first half we had a lot of territory and possession, but just didn’t turn it into points. Then in the second half Whitchurch had the territory and they did turn it into points. We are looking at ill discipline again, we had two yellow cards and conceded a lot of penalties, Whitchurch capitalised and deserved the win, but full credit to our boys, they stuck at it for eighty minutes. If there was a positive it was a losing bonus point, a great performance, but the result did not go our way.”
The penalty count against the Wyesiders was again far too heavy. Although there were a number of strange refereeing decisions, the same sort of penalty count does seem to follow them. It stands to reason therefore, that some of it at least, must be down to indiscipline. Next week they visit Bromsgrove and to get a good result there will be difficult, but not impossible. Back in September at Wyeside, Hereford were unlucky not to get more than the losing bonus gained from a 9 points to 14 loss,
Updated 12:00 - 13 Jan 2019 by Rob Davies