HEREFORD RFC’s head coach Scott Sturdy was left reflecting on a match that got away from his side as Stow-on-the-Wold came from 21 points behind to beat them 36-38.

League leaders Stow looked all but beaten before receiving a penalty in the last play to secure the narrowest of wins.

“This was a game we let get away from us,” said Sturdy. “When you lead 24-14 at half-time and then to give a significant 21-point swing within 20 minutes is obviously disappointing.

“I commend the boys who showed their character and class to score the tries to get us back into the game with a couple of minutes to go.

“A decision going against us and an amazing kick from the Stow kicker to finish the game off. It was a grand contest between two very good teams, two good back lines and numerous tries, some of which were absolute worldies.

The boys looked heartbroken at full-time and if they played anything near like this, we maybe would have won some of our recent games.”

Hereford started the game well and opened their account through kicker Iwan Holder. They backed the points up with an impressive try as the ball went right to left through hands and Levi Hughes crashed over in the corner. Holder added the extra points with an excellent kick.

Stow made their first 22 visit after over 30 minutes had been played and from a tap penalty went over without being touched by a defender, for a converted score.

Hereford responded and at the end of a 10 phase move 18-year-old Danny Robson crashed over a defender to score in the corner, converted by Holder.

Stow came back to score a try which was converted, taking the score to 17-14.

Hereford had to defend on the try line for multiple phases, then Tom Williams intercepted a loose pass and ran the length of the field and touched down under the posts, Holder converted to lead 24-14 at half-time.

Stow-on-the-Wold started the second half on the front foot and scored from a tapped penalty move to take the score to 24-21.

The visitors scored two more tries, one from a midfield scrum movement, the other from a tap penalty, taking a 24-35 lead.

With 10 minutes remaining Hereford made their way through six phases up the field before Bryn Goodhall drove forward and then found Holder who charged underneath the sticks and score.

The Wyesiders were determined and Hughes beat three men to get over and take the hosts into a 36-35 lead with only two and a half minutes to go.

However, a controversial referee decision give Stow a difficult kick just outside of the 10-metre line in the last play of the game which their kicker secured to seal a 36-38 win.