LYDNEY travelled to Devon looking for their third win in a row as they faced an Okehampton side desperate for a win to keep them out of the relegation zone.
Lydney were forced into numerous changes due to unavailability and injuries with captain Jack Spencer, injured Costner Lane started in the front row and Ryan Mullis making his first full start after an impressive performance last week, writes Roger Pike.
Riley Scriven made up a changed back row with Luke Hudson and Jordan Fowke.
In the backs, Olle Locke started at fly-half, Joe McClean and Joe Hamlin were back at centre with winger Mike Cross coming in for Sami Hamid.
On the bench, the returning Mike Massey was joined by prop James Baylis and scrum-half Sam Arnott.
The conditions were to play a big part in the game with a strong wind blowing down the slope and the team which could manage this the best would probably prevail.
Lydney played with the wind and slope in the first period and a 15-20 point advantage appeared necessary to survive the second half when conditions were reversed.
The Severnsiders however could not build any lead and the hosts ran out winners thanks to a good first half defensive effort and a well-managed second half display taking advantage of a few Lydney errors.
The hosts put in a solid effort of ball retention, playing up the slope against the strong wind which resulted in numerous kicks from the Severnsiders to regain field position.
With a good line-out operating, Okehampton were able to clear their lines and the game remained scoreless after 15 minutes.
Virtually on their first foray into the Lydney 22m area the hosts won a penalty which Dan Fogerty knocked over for 3-0.
Okehampton continued to dominate possession but were still mostly in their own half.
Lydney finally got some ball with a good attack and winger Brad Dunn scored out wide but was adjudged to have a foot in touch.
Still scoreless coming up to half time, Lydney get a penalty which Tom Broady kicked to level the scores.
From the restart the hosts were on their game putting the Lydney set piece under major pressure.
From a Severnsiders defensive scrum on the 22m line, the ball popped out directly into the hand of the home side’s scrum half Rich Bolt who ran in an easy score to give the hosts the lead 8-3.
The hosts were soon back in the Lydney 22m area and the visitors were really struggling to clear their lines.
A poor clearance gifted the hosts the ball and Leon Horn ran in to score and Fogerty converted for 15-3 – it was looking a long second half for the Severnsiders.
With the visitors scrum and line-out not really functioning, Okehampton scored again from a forward drive, again converted by Fogerty, moving them to a match winning position at 22-3.
The Severnsiders never gave up and got some good possession in the hosts’ half.
Under major pressure, the home side started to give away numerous penalties and the official had no option to give a couple of yellow cards.
Lydney took full advantage against 13 players and Joe McClean eventually scored out wide for 22-8.
Unable to take any further advantage the game ended 22-8 with a deserved win for the Devon side.
Lydney Director of Rugby Sam Arnott said: “Really disappointed, we had to make six changes but I still thought we had a strong side to get the win.
“What really cost us was having a number of visits in the red zone but coming away pointless.
“Given the conditions we needed a lead at half-time however we were still in the game on the hour mark but a few mistakes gifted them the win.
“On a positive side our young squad will learn from this, and we kept going to the end still playing some good rugby.
“We have a chance to put things right away at Weston and that will be the challenge.”
Lydney: Costner Lane, Rob White, Ryan Mullis, Phil Williams (c), Mars Slee, Luke Hudson, Riley Scriven, Jordan Fowke, Tom Broady, Olle Locke, Mike Cross, Joe Hamlin, Joe McClean, Brad Dunn, Alex Nelmes. Replacements James Baylis, Mike Massey, Sam Arnott.