HEREFORD RFC were outmuscled by a strong Walsall attacked during the second half falling to a 7-31 home defeat, on a day when their 1870s second side gained promotion.

A Hereford team containing more enforced changes, welcomed Walsall to a cold, wet, windy Wyeside with hopes of avenging their early season defeat.

The started well and after 25 minutes of an end-to-end match took a seven-point lead with a well worked Mark Philo try.

Walsall responded before half-time with an unconverted try, giving the Wyesiders a narrow lead of 7-5.

Early in the second half Walsall took the lead with an unconverted try and then ensured a bonus point win with three tries at regular intervals in the final 20 minutes and three conversions completed a 7-31 win for the visitors.

Hereford head coach Scott Sturdy said: “They put in a good, solid, first half performance and heroic defence and to go in 7-5 up at half time we seemed reasonably placed.

“Unfortunately, in the second half the very strong Walsall team, who will finish second in the league, outmuscled us a little bit with their scrum and lineout. They managed to get a few scores and the game kind of drifted away from us.”

Hereford 1870s ensured promotion with a hard-fought 24-29 win over Worcester 2s.

Hereford tries were scored by Will Haines, Freddie Spencer, Jordon Sheehy, Bryn Goodall and Ollie Bullied.

Sturdy added: “We rebranded the team this year as the 1870s, they’ve entered the RFU league structure and what a wonderful season they’ve had, only losing one game over the course of the season. Being crowned champions is a huge success and secures the senior section of the rugby club.

“We want to push on across the senior section, we have some strong colts coming up for transitioning and plan to get three senior teams out next season. Another landmark in the journey we’re on.“