ROCHFORD Hundred coach Danny Cleare labelled his side’s 27-25 defeat to Bedford Athletic as one of the toughest results he has ever experienced.

Hundred led the crucial relegation clash heading into stoppage time having previously led 19-0 at Magnolia Road.

And Cleare found the final score-line tough to take.

“Saturday’s result was one of, if not the toughest result I’ve ever had as a player or coach,” said Cleare.

“We were so dominant so early on and raced into a 19-0 lead.

“To be honest it should have been a lot more so to find ourselves 19-14 at half time was a mystery.

“Some uncharacteristic individual errors were just punished each time in the worst possible way.

“There were two poor kicks from Bedford that they ended up scoring from when we had them under pressure.

“Their first score was a clear knock on as well which wasn’t given. “

However, things were far tighter after the break.

“The second half was a lot more even but even then they never really entered our 22 other than for one meaningful attack,” said Cleare.

“Credit where credit is due, Bedford defended heroically in the second half to repel us because we threw a lot at them.

“But the toughest part was seeing us winning the game going into added time.

“We were camped on their line looking for the try bonus point only to throw the ball on the floor and then watch Bedford literally run 100m to get under the posts.

“They were given a penalty they kicked to win the game and the result was devastating because we played so well for so long.

“We were miles the better team, so for the boys not to get the win they deserved was a tough pill to swallow.

“But we need to find the positives and go again Saturday against Oundle.”

The result leaves Rochford second from bottom in Regional One South East eight points behind Tring who sit just above the drop zone.

Bottom of the table Westcliff lost 47-41 at home to Harpenden and are a further five points below Rochford.