HEREFORDSHIRE Hockey Club are through to the semi-finals of a national round-robin tournament following a successful trip to Portsmouth.

It is the first time that the club have qualified for finals day in at least the last 25 years.

Competing against Leicestershire, the Isle of Man, the Royal Navy and Surrey, Herefordshire knew that they had to finish in the top two places in order to qualify.

In their first game against Leicestershire, Herefordshire dominated possession for long periods with good sharp passing played at a high tempo.

The game finished 2-2 with Herefordshire's goals coming from Josh Watkins and captain Mark Lowden.

Herefordshire had led twice, but Leicestershire equalised with five minutes left.

Herefordshire got over the disappointment though by beating Isle of Man 2-1.

Despite the opposition taking an early lead from a well-placed drag flick in the first half, Robbie Goodman levelled the game for Herefordshire.

Stewart Goodarzi then put his side ahead and, with fantastic defending, Herefordshire held on for the win.

The next game saw Herefordshire face the Royal Navy.

Again, Herefordshire conceded an early goal, but then dominated for the remaining of the match.

Goals from Andy Rogers, Goodarzi and Lowden saw them run out comfortable 3-1 winners.

Herefordshire again went behind in their final game against Surrey after e harsh penalty flick was awarded.

Surrey pressed for a second goal, but good work from defenders Mark Duggan, Kyle Drew, John Morgan and Nicko Evans, as well as heroics from goalkeeper James Fortnam, ensured that Herefordshire were only a goal behind at half-time.

Herefordshire then created a number of chances after the break and equalised when through Mark Lowden following a penalty kick awarded for a foul on William Alderton.

The 1-1 draw ensured Herefordshire qualified for the knock-out stages, where they will face Nottinghamshire on May 30.

Player-manager James Dunn said it was a fantastic effort from all of his team.

"With only 14 players available on the Saturday and 13 on the Sunday, everyone put in an amazing effort," said Dunn.

"To get through to finals day for the first time in certainly the last 25 years is something the players and county should be proud of.

"When you consider that, as a county we only have three hockey clubs and six teams between them, this just highlights what an achievement it is when you compare us to other counties such as Surrey where a single club can have 8 or 10 men's teams."