Defeat damages Wyesiders' play-off hopes

Hereford Times: (4982148) (4982148)

Old Laurentians 22 Hereford 18

HEREFORD'S slow start could have dealt a fatal blow to their lingering Midlands One West play-off hopes after a disappointing defeat at relegation candidates Old Laurentians.

In the first 15 minutes, the home side built up a 13-point lead which proved crucial.

Two Dan O'Brien penalty goals, either side of an Iain Wallis try, which O'Brien also converted, gave the home side a dream start.

But Hereford started to get back into the game on 15 minutes when scrum-half Connor Sullivan moved the ball out wide to Lloyd Collier who went over in the corner.

Richard Pritchard failed with the conversion from a difficult angle and was then yellow-carded for a spear tackle.

While he was off the field, O'Brien extended the lead with a drop goal but Pritchard had returned by the time that Collier touched down for a second time just before the break and added the extras to cut the difference to just four points.

After the break, Pritchard kicked two penalties to take Hereford into the lead for a short while but Joe Bean kicked a penalty to restore the home advantage and then added a second following an incident which saw Hereford's Dave Thomas red-carded.

Hereford pressed hard in the closing stages but Laurentians held out for the win which all but banishes their relegation fears.

"This was a disappointing performance on the same day that Burton also lost," said Hereford spokesman Robin Davies.

" A win would have taken us into second place with a fighting chance to make the play-off.

"In a poor display by the team, Connor Sullivan and Lloyd Collier had good games, the back row of Jake Smithers, Matt Pritchard and Ali McColl worked tirelessly and young out half Richard Pritchard had another promising game."

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