HEREFORD head coach Sean Lynn was pleased with the character shown by his players after they managed to draw 25-25 against Stoke-on-Trent in their opening Midlands 1 West match.

The Wyesiders trailed 25-5 but a fine second half saw them come away with a point.

“Before the game I would have been disappointed with a draw, especially at home, but the boys showed great character to come back from 22-5 down at half time," said Lynn.

"We knew what we had to do, the boys listened and for 37 minutes just did the job.

"But in the last three minutes from the end we gave a penalty away and they came back with the last play of the game to draw.

"Wyeside is still a tough place to come, we haven’t lost here in the league yet and have the goal of remaining unbeaten at home.

"We visit Stourbridge Lions next weekend and we can build on the performance.

"The front five were outstanding and it’s great when you’ve got set piece control.

"I thought Matt Hill was very good again and it is nice to see Lewis Jordan back.

"Gareth Jones was excellent, strong on the ball and good in attack and Ollie Hutcheson made a difference coming back, he brought us a bit of energy.

"James Stubbs and Tom Ewins were also outstanding and I’ll be very surprised if you see two better centres in the league this season”.

Hereford started well and opened the scoring after 12 minutes through a Matt Milsom try.

However, Stoke drew level before taking the lead with a penalty.

The away side then increased their lead with a brace of tries before half-time.

Hereford played much better after the break and reduced the deficit when Jones beat a number of players to score after picking up a loose ball; Dean Powell adding the extras.Home captain Ewins and a Stoke player were then sent to the sin bin following an altercation, which affected the game.

However, Hereford kicked on during the last 10 minutes and saw Powell kick over a penalty.

James Stubbs reduced the deficit further with a try, with Powell's conversion levelling the score.

Bryn Goodall, 18, then put Hereford ahead for the first time with a long range penalty, but Stoke snatched a draw thanks to a late penalty of their own.