Hereford 15

Whitchurch 28

The long journey to Herefordshire was made worthwhile by one of the best performances of the season by a Whitchurch team growing in confidence with every game.

The ground switch because of flooding at Hereford meant that the Reds had to travel more than 100 miles to Ledbury but the stiffness in their legs didn’t show as they started with a bang.

It took less than five minutes for them to surge ahead when Jake Bailey charged down a kick and recovered the ball. Mike Oakden was first there and succeeded in repelling the home side’s counter ruck.

The ball was swung out to the backs and some delightful offloads gave Joe Mullock a slight gap. He tore through the grasping hands of the defenders to cross close to the posts. Jake Dodwell made it 7-0 with the conversion.

Hereford applied pressure back but were held off with the usual defiant defence of the visitors.

They did manage to score a try out wide from some scrappy play to close the gap but Whitchurch immediately drove down the field and further offloads saw Jack Furnival grab his chance and power over. Dodwell again converted.

Whitchurch were now playing some exuberant, free-flowing rugby and it was no surprise when Henry Hockenhull cut through and glided over the line. Dodwell showed his kicking skills again to make the score 21-5 to the visitors at half-time.

The second half took its time to get going but it was Hereford who struck first when they scrambled a try in the corner. The kick was close but failed to dissect the posts.

Whitchurch woke up again and Hereford could only give away penalties to stop the irresistible force in red but a missed penalty from Dodwell left them with little reward. Man of steel, Tom Hales, was yellow carded and Hereford scored again with Whitchurch one man short.

With the score at 21-15 the visitors closed ranks and denied the home side any chance of scoring. Any hopes of saving something from the game was blown away when Danny Nicholas produced a magnificent cross kick for Tomas Skone to leap and catch and race in under the posts. The cool Dodwell made it four conversions out of four and Whitchurch completed their fifth win in a row and widened the gap to 12 points between them and fifth-place Hereford.

Dodwell was awarded Man of the Match as much for his counter attacking from full back as for his kicking.

Coach, Scott Sturdy, was delighted with the performance, particularly from the younger payers who were outstanding.

Whitchurch play lowly but improving Sutton Coldfield next week at home at 3pm.

The pre-match Vice President’s lunch, which was to have taken place before the match, has had to be cancelled due to current conditions but the game itself is still due to kick off at 3pm.