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Match report: Hereford Rugby Club win 25-16 against Whitchurch at Wyeside in Midlands One West
11:06pm Saturday 19th October 2013 in Rugby
Hereford 25 pts Whitchurch 16 pts
SKIPPER Ali McColl led from the front as Hereford defeated a resilient Whitchurch 25-16 in a rain-soaked derby clash this afternoon in Midlands One West, writes MIKE TANSLEY.
McColl rounded off a magnificent display by crossing the line on the stroke of full time to score Hereford's only try of the game, a try that epitomised an excellent performance by the home pack in tricky conditions.
Morgan Goodall brought his kicking boots with him, converting six out of seven penalty attempts.
A scrappy first half only came to life five minutes from the break when Hereford’s dogged defence was finally breached.
Whitchurch's pack scored from a rolling maul and the visitors led 11-9 at the interval.
Despite the weather brightening up, the second half started as the first had finished and another rolling maul from Whitchurch got them across the line.
Whitchurch led 16-12 with 30 minutes left to play.
From then on, however, the Hereford pack, led by the inspirational McColl, started to dominate and the hosts took control of the game.
Time and time again pressure from the home forwards led to penalties, with Goodall kicking the points.
Hereford led 18-16 and, with time running out, McColl made the game safe with his try, breaking off from the back of a scrum to crash through a tiring Whitchurch defence.
Dean Powell slotted the conversion to deny Whitchurch a losing bonus point, which might be crucial in the race for promotion at the end of the season.
Hereford: Nat Thomas, James Watters, Tom Ewins, Perry Pudge, Morgan Goodall, Ben Osbourne, Connor Sullivan, Ali McColl (captain), Giles Sayner, Jake Smithers, Alex Hickinbotham, Jamie Humphreys, Scott Robinson, Harry Jenkins, James Parker. Replacements: Jamie Bullock, Gus Lowther, Dean Powell.
For pictures and reaction to this game, read Mike Tansley's Big Match feature in Thursday's Hereford Times.
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