Five of Hertford’s tries came from kicks to the corner, followed by a lineout and a drive over the line.
While dominating the first half, Hertford were given a scare in the second half as Shelford staged a battling comeback to reduce a 22-3 half-time deficit, but made the visitors game safe with two scores in the space of ten minutes.
The victory sees Hertford remain in fourth in the table, just five points behind Westcliff, and the two are due to meet in the first game after the festive break at home on January 5.
“I’m really pleased with the result,” said head coach Kanwaijit Basra. “The conditions were a great leveller, we never gave up and kept pushing.
“We worked a lot on our set pieces in training and that paid dividends with all the tries we scored from catch and drives.
“We had a terrible start to the season but now things have started to come together.
“We need to win the Westcliff game to catapult us into contention for a top two finish.”
After just six minutes Shelford infringed following a series of Hertford phases and weren’t ready for the quick tap penalty which saw Josh Hewitt run a great line to go over.
Mike Gillick put the hosts on the board with a drop goal from 25 metres to make it 5-3.
Hertford struck back immediately with the first of their driven over tries, with sheer power from a catch and drive seeing Chris Joyce cross the whitewash for a 12-3 lead as Ben Lloyd slotted over the conversion.
The visitors extended the advantage with two identical moves before half-time, with Red Newberry and then Joyce going over to make it 22-3.
Shelford started the second half strongly and a multi-phase attack saw Fred Betteridge touch down with Mike Gillick converting.
Good forward play then resulted in a try for Sam Till, taking Shelford to within seven points at 22-15.
However, Hertford responded twice in 10 minutes with their excellent penalty to the corner and driven over tries from Tim Matthews and Dave Archer that Shelford were unable to repel.
Shelford weren’t done yet and kept piling on the pressure, with Koroibanuve Vilive Camainakelo touching down in the corner, which was duly converted, making it 32-22.
Hertford had the final say, however, with yet another catch and drive seeing Newberry go over for the score.
Updated 10:59 - 11 Jan 2019 by Mick Faires