Hereford, with six enforced changes from the team that played at Whitchurch were made to work hard for this, their third win on the bounce. Droitwich matched them try for try and the difference between the teams came from the boot of Bryn Goodall. The Wyesiders went into an early lead with a brace of tries, one of which was converted. Then the visitors replied in kind and at the interval the scores were level at 12 points each. Droitwich took the lead for the first time with an early second half try and the Hereford team showed great character, working their way back into the game with a drop goal and a penalty. In the final quarter, Hereford played some sound football and scored two further tries to seal the bonus point win. In the closing minutes the visitors got a final converted try, winning them 2 deserved league points from a try bonus and a losing bonus.
A very pleased Head Coach, Sean Lynn said,” A solid performance, an excellent start and a third bonus point win, I would have bitten your hand off had I been offered that at the start of the season. The boys are growing in stature, it was a very mature performance. I thought Bryn Goodall kicking the corners was outstanding. The forwards stepped up, the driving mauls were very good and we showed a determination in defence at the end to close off the win. All together a very pleasing and mature performance, so excellent work and in readiness for Dudley Kingswinford next week.”
Hereford started well, they put pressure in the Droitwich half and created several chances which were frustrated by some good defence. After seven minutes Hereford took a 7-point lead, the ball was released from a ruck, moved through hands to Tom Williams who had found space out wide to touch down in the corner. Bryn Goodall slotted the conversion. Hereford controlled play and a penalty awarded inside the visitors 22 was kicked to touch. Catch and drive took the ball close to the goal line and from the resulting scrum, half back Connor Sullivan moved the ball across the line to Leon Parsons, who drove through the defensive cover for the second try. Droitwich established some control as the game progressed and a couple of uncharacteristic errors from the Hereford defence let them in for a brace of tries, one of which was improved to take the half time score to 12 points apiece.
From the restart, the Droitwich pack worked their way into the home 22 and from close to the line released the ball to cross in the corner. The conversion gave the visitors a lead for the first time and Hereford had to work hard to pull back the deficit, a drop goal and a penalty, both from Bryn Goodall took them to within a point of drawing level. The Wyesiders then had a final fifteen minute spell during which they played some really good football. Hereford won some untidy ball from a lineout inside the Droitwich half and Goodall put an inch-perfect kick into the path of Levi Hughes who gathered and raced over for the third try. Another good kick from Goodall into space earned an attacking lineout. Tom Williams made the catch and the ball was moved into midfield where Luke Yarranton crashed over to seal a good win and to claim the bonus point try. Droitwich never gave up and in the final minutes of injury time, following a yellow card for Hereford’s Tom Slater, claimed a try to give them a try bonus. The try was converted to make the final score 30 points to 26 and for the visitors to claim a losing bonus point.
With six changes to the side following on from eight changes last week, to get a third bonus point win in succession illustrates the increased depth in the player pool. There were some really good personal performances from Tom Ewins, who was awarded “Man of the Match” for his aggressive contribution in both attack and defence and from Bryn Goodall with an excellent second half display of tactical kicking. The forwards again put in a good shift to hold their own in the set pieces and to gain a lot of ground with their driving mauls. It is great to see the senior players standing up and giving plenty of support to the newcomers. Next week we travel to Dudley Kingswinford for a double header with league points and progression in the County Cup at stake. Dudley look to be league front runners and our boys will need to be on top form to get a result.