ALTHOUGH St Austell are having an indifferent start to the season, they are never an easy side to beat and the Severnsiders would need to be on their game to get back on the winning track writes Roger Pike.
A thrilling game ensued with the hosts’ nemesis of conceding easy scores always making life difficult and another nervous watch as they had to score multiple tries to take the points.
However, thanks to a dominant display in the second half the Severnsiders secured the full five points.
With suspensions and numerous injuries continuing the hosts had few options in selection.
Lewis Locke returned in the second row, with Kiran Griffiths, Conal Mills and Gareth Winter now starting after being on the bench last week.
James Baylis, Joe Hamlin and Harry Brown made up an experienced bench.
Following storm Babet, the Regentsholme pitch was in a heavy condition, but it was the Severnsiders with their running rugby who were out of the blocks.
Playing up the slope they dominated the opening encounters, but it was the visitors who scored first as Cam Taylor scored with their first attack, converted by Matt Shepperd they were 0-7.
Lydney responded immediately regaining the kick off, the ball was spun out to Brad Dunn who beat three defenders to score out wide.
The reliable Brad Barnes slotted the conversion and game was all square.
The game remained even but another Shepperd penalty got the lead back for the visitors 7-10.
The Severnsiders still had most of the possession without really creating a scoring chance.
On half-time Barnes kicked another penalty to end the half 10-10.
St Austell upped their game from the kick off catching the hosts napping and scored an easy try through Dan Tyrell which again Shepperd converted for 10 – 17.
Lydney responded immediately and were soon deep in the visitor’s half, a 5m line out was driven to the line and Dan Cooper crashed over for 15 -17.
The hosts started to dominate and were soon back on the attack, a brilliant line out steal from Zak Williams saw the hosts spin the ball wide, from the tackle it was moved back the other way and Williams in the wing position crossed in the corner 20 – 17.
The hosts emptied their bench and continued aato camp in the visitors half thanks to some great surges in the pack from Williams, Cooper and Frowen.
A super run from Conal Mills was just stopped by a tap tackle with the line beckoning.
With the ball recycled, captain Ben Large crashed through the visitors’ backline to score near the posts,
Barnes added the extras for 22-17.
The visitors never gave up and from a rare attack they scored again with Cam Taylor, converted by Shepperd for a nervous end at 27 -24.
However, some good turnover ball from Kyle Frowen, Williams and Brown plus some great lineout catches from Lewis Locke saw further attacks with a Brad Dunn try unfortunately ruled out for a forward pass.
Winning a penalty Barnes opted to kick and extended the lead 30-24.
The visitors were still putting on pressure with a string of attacks but finally some good Severnsiders defence held out.
Back on the attack a penalty saw Barnes give them some breathing space at 33-24. Lydney continued to battle away in the visitors’ half in the remaining minutes with both Dunn and Mills again stopped just short and the game ended 33 -24.
Director of Rugby Sam Arnott said “Really frustrating performance – we just did not click in the first half and to concede 24 points is just not acceptable at this level.
“It means we are under pressure then to score more to get something from the game.
“Pleased in the second half as we were much better and should have scored more but will take the five points. A week’s break will be helpful to hopefully get some injured players back, but we will need to cut out these errors as a tough trip to Barnstaple awaits.’
Lydney: Rowan Mullis, Daniel Cooper, Gareth Winter, Lewis Locke, Zak Williams, Oliver Fleet, Luke Hudson, Kyle Frowen, Tom Broady, Brad Barnes, Conal Mills, Kiran Griffiths, Ben Large (C), Brad Dunn, Alex Nelmes. Replacements: James Baylis, Joe Hamlin, Harry Brown.