HEREFORD RFC opened the new season at Wyeside with a 20-20 draw against local rivals Malvern after a second half fightback for the hosts which included four tries.

“It was a thrilling contest for the spectator, four tries to Hereford and two to Malvern in a game that went back and forth in the second half,” said Hereford head coach Scott Sturdy.

“We had a number of chances in the first half which we didn’t capitalise on. There are some areas in our skill set and attack that we look to improve to make sure we are more clinical going into our second game next week.

“We showed some real grit and dog in defence, but our discipline was not good and we conceded too many penalties. That meant that we ended up playing without the ball and that put us under pressure.

After going 10 points down at half time, I was really pleased to see the response from the players, to go out and get four tries and to come away with three points rather than none.”

Malvern slotted home an easy penalty attempt to take the lead after seven minutes. Play continued with neither side able to threaten the opposition line until midway through the half when Hereford’s Tom Williams was shown yellow, as was Mark Philo just before half time.

With play already into injury-time Malvern won a lineout and the ball was released for a Malvern man to race over for the first try. The successful conversion gave Malvern an interval lead of 10-0.

Hereford started the second half in attacking mode and new winger Stephan Dyers opened his account with a nice try.

Thw Wyesiders drew level when they won a lineout and set up the drive for Lewis Jordan to touch down for the try.

From the restart, Hereford offended at the breakdown and Malvern kicked the penalty to regain the lead.

Momentum changed again when a catch and drive resulted in Jordan touching down for his second and the team’s third try.

Malvern responded and a handling movement was then finished with a good try in the corner. The conversion took Malvern into a five-point lead and the clock into stoppage time.

Hereford continued to press and three minutes later Josh Wright broke from a scrum and raced over for an equalising try, the conversion attempt was not successful.

There was just one more twist in the tale, Malvern won a penalty in a very kickable position and the Malvern kicker who had a perfect kicking record in the match so far was narrowly wide with the final kick.

The 1870s put in a valiant performance as they ran out 31-10 winners at Kings Norton.

Tries were scored by Jordon Sheehy, Neil Robertson, Tom Broad, Jamie Hodges and Max Cook. Kicker Sheehy converted four of the tries.