DESPITE fighting back strongly in the last 10 minutes Hereford RFC suffered a narrow 13-15 home defeat to A49 rivals Ludlow.

The Wyesiders registered a brace of late tries but Matt Milsom and Jack Goodwin but the Shropshire visitors held on for victory.

Head coach Scott Sturdy said: “We played quite poorly in the first half, we kicked and chased and played to the strengths of the Ludlow players and they took full advantage.

“We managed to get ourselves back into the game by starting to play a more expansive game and within a ten-minute period, getting the scoreline back to 13-15. We then had over 25 phases on the Ludlow try-line to end the game, but not quite being able to get over.

“It was disappointing from that standpoint and obviously it has an effect on our league position. We now need to put this game behind us and need to move on.”

The conditions were not good for open play and both sides made handling errors early on contributing to missed chances.

After 10 minutes Ludlow opened their account with an unconverted try in the corner which came courtesy of  some vigorous forward play.

Hereford lifted their game and following a lineout, a kick ahead was followed up by Leon Parsons, who was just beaten to the touch down.

The Wyesiders were then awarded a number of penalties, one of which was converted by Connor Sullivan.

With half-time approaching Ludlow increased their lead with a well worked catch and drive into the corner to lead 3-10 at the break.

Early in the second half Hereford were reduced to 14 players when Parsons was shown a yellow card by the referee for a technical offence at the breakdown.

Ludlow made use of their extra man to outflank the defence for an unconverted try. The try seemed to galvanise the Hereford squad and following a lineout the ball was transferred through the hands safely to Matt Milson, who celebrated his 50th first team game with a try.

Josh Wright found a good touch from a penalty and the catch and drive took play to just short of the Ludlow goal-line. The ball was made available quickly and Jack Goodwin forced his way over for the second Hereford try.

The conversion attempt was wide, but the try had taken Hereford to within two points of their opponents. Despite the hosts’ late effort to the win the game Ludlow held on for victory.

The 1870s maintained their challenge for league honours with a win at Malvern in a high scoring game. Tries from Bill Sparey, Will Haines, Dan Mills, Alex Thomson, Joe Smith, Ollie Hutcheson & James Lawrence with a couple of conversions from Ollie Bullied saw them home to 39-15 bonus point victory.