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Hereford's Greyhound progress in Midlands Junior Vase with win over Redditch
11:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Sport
A DOGGED performance from Greyhound saw them maintain their unbeaten competitive home record with a 33-17 win over Redditch in the Midlands Junior Vase first round.
Their unbeaten home record stretches to more than two years and has led to the Racecourse ground being given the nickname ‘The Dog Pound’.
Greyhound attribute much of the success to their desire to perform well on home soil.
“We don’t like getting beaten here,” said front-rower Rob Gummer. “It’s our fortress, you never look to lose, never want to lose ever. “We get a good number of people coming down to watch us and you just can’t let them down.”
The game itself was a step up for the Dogs, newly promoted to Midland Four West (North), taking on a Redditch side relegated from Midland Three West (South).
The Hereford club impressed North Midlands RFU representatives Nigel Banwell and Steve Guy, who watched the game.
As Greyhound’s first league result, a 20-13 win at Five Ways Old Edwardians, showed, they are more than capable of the task despite not having a recognised first-team coach at the helm.
Former coach Pete Williams is assisting Dave Irish at Ludlow.
“It’s difficult for us without a coach,” said captain for the day Joe Morris.
“It’s better to have a focal point at training; it’s not necessarily match days, we know what we have got to do then, but we’ve had a really tough pre-season.
“In training, it’s been a lot harder, more intense.”
Morris went on to praise the help given by Asa Cheung.
“It’s been pretty good with Asa, he’s helped us a lot, coming down every two or three weeks, when he can, giving us an overview of what we are doing and a few pointers to work on,” he said.
“We are still looking for a coach; we’ve had one or two offers but no-one able to fully commit, it’s a struggle to find that.’ The lack of a coach didn’t hamper Greyhound, however, as they produced a match-winning display against a resilient Redditch side.
The game started off in good style for the Dogs as Ed Howarth collected a lofted pass and handed off two Redditch defenders to cross over for the first points of the game.
Scrum-half Chris Morris was on kicking duties and duly added the two points for the conversion.
Redditch came right back at the home side and, following 10 minutes of stout defending, the Greyhound line was finally breached but the Redditch fly-half failed to add the two points.
The Redditch try seemed to spark the Greyhound backs into life and they produced some flowing moves with slick off-loads and passing manoeuvres which led to two tries from the centre pairing of Ali Paton and Elliot ‘Phillips who produced a man-of-the-match display with his direct running, quality passing and off-loads.
Greyhound reached half-time 28-5 ahead following a fine piece of work from Morris to steal the ball from a Redditch scrum and then barrelling over the whitewash.
The importance of maintaining the impressive home record was evident with a strong second-half defensive performance as Redditch came out trying to overhaul the points difference.
The visitors managed to pull one try back but Greyhound fly-half Matt Swain skipped round three Redditch defenders and crossed to increase the lead again.
Gummer, now on kicking duties, failed to add the two points.
The Dogs saw out the game convincingly, despite a late red card for Swain, which took some gloss off their win.
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