HEREFORD Stampede Head Coach Paul Kent praised his hard working side who ran out 27-0 victors in their opening associate match against Northampton Knights.

Competitive American Football returned to Hereford after a long absence on Saturday and home fans were treated to a dominant performance following months of training for the Stampede.

It was the Hereford Racecourse based side's first of five associate matches, to prove to the British American Football League that they are prepared to join a competitive league next season.

The Stampede took control from the outset running over a first score followed by a kick inside the opening quarter.

As they ramped up the hosts ramped up the pressure they went close on several occasions before scoring again shortly before half-time.

Hereford continued in the second half how they finished the first scoring two more tries without reply.

"It was exhausting, there has been a lot of hard work getting here and I'm just pleased it has gone well for the players as they have worked really hard," said Kent.

"To come out with a score like that against a team who have already had an associate game and won just bodes really well and it's worth all the hard work.

"We had four scores to nil and a couple of mistakes but nothing we could really complain about. I would be being picky if I was going to criticise anything.

"Everybody has just worked really hard and the key for the players is to know their job and execute that job. To a man they have all done that really well.

"That's the name of it to not make many mistakes and to make less mistakes than the opposition."

Kent also praised his defence as they stood up to considerable pressure towards the end of the tie but kept their clean sheet.

"Fair play to the defence as we lost our quarter-back to an injury and two line-men so it was really attritional for the offence for a bit as we had been moving the ball all day," added Kent.

"We trusted the defence to not let them score and they had plenty of opportunities but didn't. It was just as good to get the zero as the 27."

The Stampede will travel to Northampton next month for the return fixture as they continue the associate process.

"They have got a score to settle and we will have to prove that we were worth that win today," added Kent.

"We have had a couple of friendlies with them as well so hopefully it's a good rivalry building.

"But at the time it's really collaborative as we are both in the associate process and want to help each other on going forwards."