HEREFORD RFC were left deflated after almost causing a huge upset against league leaders Old Halesonians despite playing the final 35 minutes with 14 men.

The Wyesiders scored 12 points without reply in the second half to lead 20-19 only to see the visitors snatch a 20-26 victory at the death.

Head Coach, Scott Sturdy said: “As a coach, all you can ever ask from your players is to go out and give a 110 percent. I think our guys must have given 200 today. Old Hales are a very good team and that’s the reason that they had won 16 games in a row, now 17 and are certain to be promoted.

“At the end of the game, I was probably the proudest man on the planet in terms of the effort, heart and soul that our lads gave, they had no more to give. What a game of rugby. To see 250 to 300 people down at Wyeside absolutely rocking, to see that spectacle was a very special thing.”

Despite the visitor’s form Hereford took a fifth minute lead when Iwan Holder was fed the ball inside his own half, he raced into Halesonian territory outflanking three defenders and diving over for his fourth try in three games.

The visitors responded and after a catch and drive from a lineout, drove over for a try, the conversion was successful.

The lead changed hands again when Halesonians went through the phases and found a gap in the Hereford defence to cross in the corner. The conversion attempt from the difficult angle was good. Just before the half time whistle, Hereford reduced the deficit with a second penalty goal from Goodall taking the interval score to 11-14.

Early in the second half, Nathan Boden was shown a red card for a high tackle reducing Hereford to 14 players for the remainder of the game.

Shortly after, a Halesonian kick ahead was knocked on and from the scrum, the ball was moved through hands ending with a try in the corner.

The conversion attempt was wide, but the visitors’ lead had been extended to eight points. The Hereford 14 worked hard and won a number of penalties. Goodall converted two of these to reduce the deficit to two points with 20 minutes to go.

Hereford won a penalty 45 yards out and at an angle. Veteran outside half, Dean Powell stepped up and coolly landed the penalty giving the Wyesiders a lead of just one point with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Halesonians moved up a gear and maintained constant pressure which told and a combined passing movement succeeded in getting across the Hereford line for the winning try, the conversion took the final score to 20-26.