HEREFORD Veterans' progress in this year's National Hockey Association plate ended after a penalty-flicks defeat at home to York in a thrilling quarter-final clash.

The game started well for Hereford with Tim Miller hitting the post in the first minute before Steve Alderton struck home the opener from a penalty corner.

The lead should have been extended when Miller poked the ball wide after some excellent work by right winger Stuart Skyrme. An injury to home midfielder Pete Duggan forced Hereford into changes and York, as a result, created more chances, although they found Pete Preece in superb form in the Hereford goal.

The visitors began the second half strongly, with some neat, fast passing which put the Hereford defence on the back foot.

Following a string of short corners, York were the first to react to a loose ball in the area and they equalised. With more of the ball, York began to push forward and just 10 minutes from time they looked to have clinched a place in the semi-final when they made it 2-1 following some crisp passing.

Not to be outdone, the city side kept pressing and found an equaliser through Richard Edwards, who sent the game into penalty flicks.

Unfortunately for Hereford, they found the York keeper in fine form and he helped them through 4-2.