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Hereford rally but still end well beaten at Stratford-upon-Avon
3:00pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Rugby
Stratford-upon-Avon 32 pts Hereford 12.
HEREFORD again failed to recover from a poor first-half performance as they went down to another conclusive Midlands One West defeat at Stratford.
The Wyesiders, at one stage, trailed by 25 points before a late rally slightly improved the position.
After only 10 minutes, Stratford won a scrum in the Hereford 22 and flanker Chris Cathcart cut through to score under the posts. A successful conversion by Jonny Duncan gave the home side a seven-point advantage.
Hereford’s cause was not helped when an unfortunate accident caused both sides to lose their scrum-half, Billy Grisman leaving the field with an ankle injury to be replaced by Richard Mayson, with Ben Osborne coming off the bench to take his place in the centre.
The Hereford backs looked dangerous, but a number of good attacks ended with handling errors before, on 25 minutes, Stratford extended their lead to 10 points with a successful penalty from Duncan.
Five minutes later, Stratford stretched further away with a converted try from Tom Hall and a neat drop-goal from Simon Brain extended the interval advantage to 20 points.
After 50 minutes, Stratford’s Callum Cook crossed after Hereford’s line-out ball was taken and moved slickly out to the winger. But the Wyesiders opened their account when a kick ahead by Dean Powell was followed up by Charlie Loughman, who forced a Stratford error and touched down in the corner for an unconverted try.
Hereford went on to enjoy their best period of the game but thrusting runs from Richard Mayson, Tom Ewins and Sean Day came to nothing before Stratford scored their fourth and bonus point try after a defensive kick was charged down by Cathcart, who touched down for Duncan to add the extra points.
Hereford completed the scoring when Day, Powell and Ewins combined to send Osborne in for a try which Powell then converted.