Hereford completed their fourth double of the season with a comprehensive win over Old Halesonians at Wyeside.
In perfect conditions for running rugby, play in the first half was end to end and it was not until nearing the end of the half that Hereford took a 7 points to nil lead with a fine try. In a twenty-minute spell in the second half, the Wyesiders handling rugby paid dividends and they added four more tries to earn a try bonus. Hereford’s Luke Fisher saw red mid-way through the half after a mid-field tackle and tiredness in the last minutes contributed to Old Halesonians registering a brace of consolation tries to take the final score to 35 points to 12.
A delighted Head Coach, Sean Lynn said,” a very good result today and from a coach’s point of view I’m very happy, it was an excellent display. We knew going in at half time seven points up, that we had to gain good territory and to pick up points from there. Bryn Goodall was outstanding, he showed very good control with his kicking game, Leon Parsons and Levi Hughes were excellent and Richard Jones was outstanding, everything he did was go forward. Tom Ewins led from the front as he always does and it was great to have the bonus point win at home. So all-in-all, a very happy coach, we are looking forward to our last away trip to Stoke next week.”
In a well balanced first half, both sides played some nice attacking football. Hereford kept the ball in hand, but spent far too much time in their own half. In the early phases of play Perry Pudge, Leon Parsons and Tom Starkey showed up well and Richard Preece controlled the lineout. Towards the end of the half Hereford were awarded a penalty on halfway, Bryn Goodall found a good touch inside the Halesonian 22 and a forward drive carried play towards the goal line. Scrum half Connor Sullivan’s pass put Goodall through. a well-timed pass to Tom Ewins and an off-load to Perry Pudge saw Hereford take the lead with a try. Goodall slotted the conversion and the Wyesiders completed the first half with a well-deserved lead by 7 points to nil.
Hereford started the second half playing down the slope, with an early try. Perry Pudge made a nice break and fed Tom Starkey, who beat the cover defence and crossed near the posts to give Bryn Goodall an easy conversion. Some good play by Tom Ewins and Starkey earned a lineout inside the Halesonian 22, the catch and drive to the line was brought down, the referee awarded a penalty try and a Halsonian player was shown a yellow card. Half backs Bryn Goodall and Connor Sullivan were managing the game well and Hereford were totally in control. With almost 30 minutes still to play, Hereford’s Luke Fisher was awarded a controversial red card for a tackle in mid-field, but Hereford continued to control the game. A penalty to touch was followed by a catch and drive, when the ball was released, Leon Parsons picked up and dived over for the bonus point try. The Wyesiders still dominated play despite being a man short and some driving play saw Bryn Goodall break through for the fifth try, to which he added the extra points himself. Towards the end, the effort of playing with 14 men took its toll and Halesonians were able to take advantage and score a couple of tries, but the game ended in a 35 points to 12 win for Hereford.
This was a total team performance, the pack conceded weight and height to the opposition eight, but stuck to their task right to the end. Special mention should be given to Lennon Fishlock, providing fresh legs from the bench and the lineout forwards Richard Preece, Callum Duncan and Ollie Hutcheson. The backs played with as much fluency as at any other time this season and the team as a whole can feel pride in this performance. Next week they travel to Stoke and can have confidence in improved form. However, Stoke are always a difficult side to beat and it will take another good team performance to get a result.