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Rampant Lichfield RUFC blow away challenge of Hereford

Lichfield RUFC battled the elements as they blew away the challenge of third-placed Hereford.

Playing into the wind to start, the Greens reclaimed their kick off and took control of the game straight away. Their recycling and ability to play through phase after phase kept the visiting team working hard.

Hereford were unable to get their hands on the ball, and when they did it was through illegal means. The resulting lineout saw a clever catch and drive take place and Charlie Milner went over for the first score with six minutes played.

Lichfield were almost good for a point a minute, as the visitors once again failed to gain any possession. The power of the pack and intensity of team play, saw Hereford taken back into their own half. Unable to exit, and with mistakes being made, the home side’s next try came from a scrum, Tom Adams cutting a great line to cut through the defence and show his pace to round the fullback to score.

Jack Fielding was next to score, as Lichfield again played from their own half. This time it was Sam Prior making a break. Some excellent hands saw the ball moved to Greg Massey who fed Fielding to sprint into the corner for a 15-0 lead.

The crowd had been treated to some fantastic rugby, but it wasn’t to last as the hosts began to make simple errors, allowing Hereford to claw their way back in.

With the wind at their backs, the away kicker slotted two neat penalties within five minutes to take the score to 15-6.

Lichfield did respond, and as they looked after the ball, it was a penalty kick to the corner that saw Dan Clarke score from another catch and drive.

Trying to play too much rugby was the Greens’ downfall and from the kick off, they gifted the ball back to Hereford who mounted their attack. Slowly and surely they made ground towards the try line until they lost the ball in contact. The ensuing scrum was deemed not straight, and the quick tap was blocked by Nick Southern, who saw yellow from the referee.

Although Lichfield repelled the initial phases, Hereford’s forwards eventually powered their way over from close range. The conversion was added and Lichfield went into half-time leading 20-13.

With the wind favouring the hosts in the second half, Hereford quickly found life very difficult going. Lichfield’s excellent kicking game pinning them back.

It took only 90 seconds for the visitors to make an error. Charlie Milner quickly pounced on this and some swift footwork saw him evade several defenders to score. Luke Massey also found the kicking much easier as he slotted the conversion.

Lichfield added a further ten unanswered points as they squeezed Hereford out of the game.

A penalty from Massey followed by a converted try for Prior saw them race away to a lead of 37-13 with 55 minutes played.

Hereford again clawed their way back, given the opportunity to play. Their pack slowly moved them closer to the Lichfield line. A resolute defence seemed to be holding firm, but players were guilty of falling off tackles and hitting too high as the attack continued to press. The ball was moved down the blindside, and a missed tackle saw the winger leap across the line.

The Greens responded almost immediately, as a backs play from a scrum saw Dan Rowlands power his way over to score a well executed try.

Lichfield again failed to get the measure of the wind at kick off time, and Hereford had the ball back. Slowly they built, and as the home side began to lose their energy, a quick snipe saw a player dash 15 metres to offload to a supporting player who scampered over.

The try was converted and Hereford had closed the gap to 42-25, looking to be the first team this season to get a point from Lichfield. It wasn’t to be though, as the hosts had the final say.

Excellent direct lines, and some well recycled ball saw Milner break through the defence to feed to the supporting Rowlands to score his second of the day. With Massey adding the conversion it finished 49-25.

Team: Craddock, Clarke, Bassett (c), Thompson, Squire, Southern, Milner, Prior; Evans, L Massey, J Fielding, Maxwell-Keys, Adams, D Rowlands, G Massey. Subs: Gabbitass, Lote and W Cotterhill.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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