WHITCHURCH'S wobble continued after falling to a fourth defeat on the bounce in the Midlands 1 West, losing this time to an in-form Dudley Kingswinford.
Defeat sees the Reds slip to eighth spot in a congested top half of the table, although they remain seven points adrift of the leaders after another weekend disrupted by the weather.
After such a promising first half of the season, the Edgeley Park men will be desperate to stop the rot on Saturday. But life does not promise to get any easier when they entertain a Hereford side who have already won twice against the North Shropshire outfit this season.
Hereford currently lie two places below their hosts, but have three games in hand following a string of postponements, including last week’s home fixture with struggling Walsall.
Looking to make up ground on the front runners, Whitchurch had gone into last weekend’s clash in good spirits after running in five tries to overcome Dudley Kingswinford 31-15 in the North Midlands Plate a few weeks before.
They had also prevailed when the sides met in the league earlier in the season, but their rivals put the record straight with a convincing five-try victory.
Whitchurch were soon trailing when Ed Parry touched down from a driving maul following a line-out in the corner, Duncan Tomkins converting before kicking a penalty to extend the lead.
Whitchurch came back into the game and reduced the lead to 10~5 following a try from a scrummage following a back row move which saw scrum half Joe Mullock nip over to score.
However, Tomkins added a further penalty to steady the ship for the hosts and, from a scrum following a knock-on from the visitors, they grabbed a second score through Danny Hawkins, who picked up to drive over for an 18-5 advantage.
Whitchurch were back in the game after the hosts had try scorer Hawkins yellow-carded for a high tackle, taking advantage with the forwards paving the way for blindside wing Dan Mee to score a converted try off an inside pass to reduce the arrears.
But that was as good as it got for Whitchurch as Dudley Kingswinford came out for the second half with real purpose to make it five wins in a row with a dominant showing.
A fine passing movement stretched the visitors’ defence, with hooker Luke Greenwood popping up on the wing before slipping the ball back inside to the supporting Stef Shillingford to cross. Tomkins added the conversion to make it 25-12.
Only some desperate defence prevented another try when Ryan Wicketts was stopped a metre short by the covering defence as the pressure continued.
But DK were not to be denied from a tap penalty moments later, the ball being recycled before centre Shillingford grabbed his second touchdown of the game, with the boot of Tomkins providing the extras.
The scoring was completed when a good team move set up Luke Greenwood to touch down wide out for a fifth score, this time unconverted, to send the Reds home well beaten.