In a Battle Royale in the mud at Wyeside, Hereford held onto their narrow lead with a superb defensive performance in the last few minutes.
Overall DK enjoyed better field position, but Hereford’s defensive structure remained firm. They took full advantage of their limited attacking opportunities. For the first half hour the teams tested each other and it was Hereford who struck first, with a brace of penalty goals. This gave them a six-point lead which they held until just before the interval. With just minutes of the first half remaining, DK gained a half time lead of 7 points to 6 with a converted try. For most of the second half DK held good field position, but the Hereford defence held out and they made incursions into DK territory from a succession of catch and drives and some very much improved kicking into space. The Wyesiders retook the lead with a try “out of the blue” and held out with some excellent defence to take an 11 points to 7 victory.
Proud Coach, Luke Fisher was delighted and said,
“A great afternoon down at Wyeside. Nice to be back at home after 91 days on the road. It was an absolute credit to the boys. Putting up such a performance in the dreadful conditions. The defence was tremendous, putting bodies on the line and I thought Ewan Duncan was the star man. An absolute tackling machine setting a lot of tempo in defence. In the second half Bryn Goodall gave us good position to put DK under pressure. The forwards were sound in defence. They were put under a lot of pressure and handled it well and Tom Ewins motivated his team with leadership from the front”.
DK held good field position for most of the first half
However Hereford stuck to their defensive plan and had little trouble in keeping the visitors out. After 30 minutes, a Hereford break into the DK half forced a penalty. Bryn Goodall landed the kick from 30 metres. A few minutes later DK offended at the breakdown and Goodall landed a second penalty to double the Wyesiders lead to 6 points. As half time approached the Hereford defence had a momentary lapse in concentration. After running back a poor Hereford defensive kick, DK found an opening wide out to score in the corner. A good conversion added the extra points. Hereford found themselves behind at the interval by 7 points to 6.
The second half began much as the first had ended, with DK attacking and the Wyesiders defending comfortably.
Hereford had a chance early on to retake the lead with a penalty. However, Goodall’s kick was just wide with a long-range attempt. Half an hour into the half and after Lewis Jordan had been despatched to the bin. Hereford regained the lead with a try from Tom Starkey. A long kick ahead was followed up and the winger touched down in the corner. From then on it was one-way traffic. DK threw everything into an effort to score and the Hereford defence repelled all attacks in an attempt to preserve their unbeaten home record. In a frantic final five minutes, Hereford were reduced to 13 players. However Matt Hill was yellow carded and the game ended with uncontested scrums. The players’ celebrations at the final whistle illustrated their determination to win the game, the final score was 11 points to 7.
A great win, in which all involved can take pride.
Underpinned by the excellent defensive play of this Hereford team. Also, some poor kicking in the first half gave DK easy possession. This allowed them to run the ball back. Improvement in the second period saw some well-placed kicks from Bryn Goodall and Jimmy Evans. Because of this, we pushed DK back and put them under pressure. Richard Jones and Josh Bell gave the Wyesiders go-forward ball. However, the backs did well with a very limited supply of ball. Finally, we travel to Worcester nest week. Above all, we will need to maintain our current performance level to extend even more what has been another excellent away record.
Match report by Rob Davies | Photos by Dave at Wildcat Photography