Hereford up to third with win at Berkswell and Balsall

Hereford Times: (3564846) (3564846)

HEREFORD completed their third double of the season but it was as much a victory over the conditions as over their much heavier and very physical opponents.

"This was a victory for defensive qualities and determination," said coach Mark Harris after the win, which moves Hereford back up to third in the table.

"I'm pleased that we continued to play our normal handling style, modified to reflect the conditions," said fellow coach Bob Stewart.

It was a game that did not lack excitement but was seldom pretty.

Hereford began strongly and opened the scoring after 10 minutes through a Dean Powell penalty after the home backs had strayed offside.

Another Powell penalty extended the lead after a home player failed to roll away after a tackle on man-of-the-match Matt Pritchard.

Powell and half-back partner Connor Sullivan, with assistance from centres Perry Pudge and Tom Ewins pegged the home side back with some well-directed kicking as the half progressed.

But both sides went into the second period with 14 men after a home winger was shown a second yellow card for a professional foul and Scott Robinson was given a straight red for punching in the same incident.

Hereford came under heavy pressure at the start of the second half but, 10 minutes in, a clearing kick was fumbled by a defender and Lloyd Collier followed up to collect the ball and race over for the only try.

Powell's conversion attempt drifted just wide.

As the half progressed, Hereford's forwards were able to provide the backs with a better supply of ball but the difficult conditions meant that they were unable to turn this into point.

Strong defence brought a deserved win, however.

"The back row of Ali McColl, Jake Smithers and Pritchard were tireless in their efforts," said Hereford spokesman Robin Davies. "And prop Lagi Buadromo made a promising first team debut from the bench."

Lloyd Collier scores his try.

Jamie Humphreys wins a lineout.

Josh Bell makes a break.

All photos John Cullum

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