HEREFORD RFC gave some of their talented youngsters valuable first team experience as they concluded their season with a 44-7 defeat at Cheltenham in the Pappa John’s Cup competition.

Cheltenham kicked off playing with a strong and gusty wind at their backs and registered a brace of converted tries within ten minutes.

By mid-first half they had extended their lead to 17-0 with a penalty and Hereford were reduced to 14 for ten minutes, when Lewis Jordan was shown yellow.

Cheltenham’s attacking game paid dividends and by the interval they had increased their lead to 34-0 with the addition of three further tries, one of which was converted.

In the second half Hereford, now with the strong wind in their favour, played much improved football and made it a very competitive game.

However, a period of Cheltenham pressure in the Hereford red zone was too much for the determined Hereford defence, eventually a gap was engineered and Cheltenham added another try.

Some spirited Hereford forward play led by man-of-the-match; Mal Stuffins, provided Hereford with ball in a good attacking position.

Bryn Goodall made ground before off-loading to Iwan Holder, who dived over in the corner for Hereford’s try, Holder added the conversion.

Cheltenham added a last try when they walked a scrum and on releasing the ball spread it wide to outflank the defence and take the final tally to 44-7.

Hereford head coach, Scott Sturdy said: “Cheltenham were better than us in every facet of the game, extremely powerful up front, dominating scrum and lineout and a slick back line that executed well from set pieces.

“Playing against a very strong wind in the first half, the game got away from us. It was a much better second half, they showed great resilience and fought their way back in to make it a real contest in the second half.

“It was grand to see so many of our youngsters out on the field, three or four eighteen-year-olds getting the opportunity to play against a really good level six side.”