LYDNEY dominated the opening encounters against a Weston side in desperate need of a win to keep them above the relegation places but this was a game of two halves, writes Roger Pike.

The Severnsiders were again forced into changes with injuries continuing and some unavailability.

With Phil Williams and Ryan Mullis away, Reilly Scriven came into the second row, Jack Spencer was back at prop and Joe McClean formed a back row with Luke Hudson and Jordan Fowke.

In the backs, Alex Nelmes started at centre with the returning Sami Hamid slotting in at full back.

On the bench Lydney included two forwards plus the evergreen Sam Arnott.

The match was really a game of two halves with Lydney dominating the first period with some superb back play securing a good half-time lead.

However the second half totally changed when the Severnsiders got two yellow cards

They then lost both props to injury, so with uncontested scrums and only 14 players Weston took full advantage using their big forwards to run out narrow winners.

Lydney dominated the opening encounters moving the ball on every occasion, their speedy backs looking dangerous and creating good chances on numerous occasions.

A good break by Brad Dunn sees the ball moved quickly and only a forward pass stopped Costner Lane from scoring under the posts.

The Severnsiders were soon back on the attack, from a line out the forwards drive over for Rob White to start the scoring at 0 – 5.

The hosts then started to get some ball themselves and with Lydney conceding two quick penalties they opt for a scrum and their big pack drive over with Hussell touching down to level the scores.

Weston continued to attack but good defence from the Severnsiders sees them revert to a penalty kick which was missed.

Still running the ball at every occasion, Brad Dunn launched an attack from his own 22m area beating numerous defenders.

Finally tackled, he offloaded to Sami Hamid who beat the last defenders to score. Tom Broady added the extras to lead 5 – 12.

The Severnsiders continued to throw the ball around and a great run from Mike Cross was finally stopped close to the line at the end of the half.

The hosts started the second half much the stronger putting the visitors under pressure in the forwards. Lydney then lost prop Jack Spencer to injury closely followed by two yellow cards for Fowke and Scriven. 

Although camped in the Lydney 22m, area a superb defensive effort with 13 kept the hosts out. 

Lydney could just not get any worthwhile possession and another Weston attack sees Huw Morgan score, the conversion added by Kyran Devitt levelled the scores. 

Lydney emptied their bench but the turning point came when prop James Bayliss went off injured, this led to uncontested scrums and Lydney down to 14. 

Taking advantage of the extra man the hosts scored out wide from outside half Dan Lomax, the conversion added by Devitt to lead 19 – 12. 

Lydney finally got the ball back in the hosts half, collecting the ball from the breakdown Joe McClean powered through numerous tackles to score and a tense few minutes followed at 19-17. 

With Lydney collecting the restart the official made another strange decision, awarding a penalty to Weston in a very stop-start second period. Keeping the ball with their big forwards the hosts managed out the game for a narrow win 19 – 17.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented: Really disappointed, we played some superb rugby in the first half and should have easily had a couple more scores. 

“The second period proved our undoing conceding a huge penalty count combined with two yellow cards changed the game. 

“I thought we didn’t quite get some key decisions in a very stop start game. We have a chance to put things right with a home game against Launceston (on Saturday) and only a win will be acceptable.”

Lydney: Costner Lane, Rob White, Jack Spencer, Mike Massey, Riely Scriven, Luke Hudson, Joe McClean, Jordan Fowke, Tom Broady, Olle Locke, Mike Cross, Joe Hamlin (capt), Alex Nelmes, Brad Dunn, Sami Hamid. Replacements James Baylis, Mars Slee, Sam Arnott.