Hereford 12 Lichfield 29
Hereford made, top of the table, Lichfield work hard to keep the 24 points lead they had accumulated by half way through the second half. During the last quarter Hereford took control of the game and pressurised the Lichfield try-line until the final whistle.
Coach, Alun Richards said “I am disappointed with the result overall, but can’t fault any of the 18 players on the pitch. We asked the boys for more physicality, to play a phased game, retain ball and frustrate the opposition, which we did. The game showed how good Lichfield are and why they are top of the table. They were very clinical, two first half mistakes by us led to two tries in the first half and then the boys dug in deep to get back into the game by half time.
Again, two mistakes early in the second half led to a couple more tries.It was particularly pleasing that the bo ys stuck at it for the full 80 minutes and got the reward of another try. Overall, I was very pleased with our performance, but it shows what the next level looks like. We’re not a top four side at the moment, but that’s what we’re aiming for. It shows what we have to work on now over the rest of the season in order to compete with teams like Lichfield. Stand out personal performances today were, Richie Preece who was excellent. Ollie Hutcheson in the back row, probably my man of the match. Jack Goodwin stood out again as he normally does in games like that. In the back line Tom Ewins ran hard lines as did Perry Pudge. I am gutted about the result but it does show we’re heading in the right direction.”
From the kick off Hereford moved into the Lichfield half with a combination of pick and go and some neat passing. The drive was halted when the Wyesiders offended at the break-down, Lichfield kicked for touch. From the lineout the ball moved across the line and was forced over for an unconverted try in the corner. Hereford returned to the attack, but a spilt ball deep in the Lichfield half was hacked ahead and followed up to win a race to the line for their second try. This time, the conversion attempt was successful. Lichfield, full of confidence from their two tries turned up the pressure and were rewarded when Hereford were penalised for holding on. The kick at goal was good and took the visitors lead to 15 points. Hereford responded and a forward drive into the Lichfield 22 forced a penalty. The Wyesiders opted for a scrum and a neat passing movement found Mark Philo on the wing who made no mistake in touching down for a try in the corner. Callum Brayshaw’s conversion attempt drifted just wide of the posts and at half time Lichfield held a lead of 15 points to 5.
The second half started in a similar way to the first.
A period of sustained pressure near the Hereford line drew defenders in and a few slick passes enabled their wing to out-flank the defence and run in a try. Another good passing movement after a scrum ensured Lichfield’s try bonus and two conversions took the score to 5 points to 29. A break out from defence by Jack Goodwin, carried on by Tom Ewins, took play into Lichfield territory and for the next twenty minutes play rarely got into the Hereford half. Some excellent Lichfield defence countered the sustained Hereford pressure, until with just five minutes left, Hereford forced a penalty. Callum Brayshaw found a good touch inside the Lichfield 22 and a forward drive into centre field released the ball for Mark Philo to register his second try, Brayshaw added the extra points. Hereford continued the pressure, but with no further scores.
Lichfield ensured that they retained their top of the table place with a final win by 29 points to 12.