LYDNEY travelled to Plymouth looking to finally produce their home form on the road, writes Roger Pike.

But an experienced Ivybridge side with home advantage on their artificial pitch did just enough to beat a lacklustre Lydney.

Although Ivybridge are towards the bottom of the table, management of the gale force wind was critical with the hosts taking full advantage in their favour during the first half. 

Only five points behind at the break, The Severnsiders looked certain favourites to turn things around with conditions in their favour, but the second period was a scrappy affair with the official stopping the game for 20 minutes due to lightning risk and the visitors never really got any periods of dominance.

Lydney’s nemesis of conceding numerous points at the start continued and they were seven points down within 15 minutes. 

It was unlucky as Lydney were camped on the hosts line only to lose the ball which Harry Cane picked up to run the length of the pitch to score.Matt Grieveson added the extras for 7-0. 

This was soon 10-0 following a Grieveson penalty. Lydney finally got an attack going from a good break by Alex Nelmes offloading to Conal Mills who was stopped short, the ball was recycled out to winger Brad Dunn to score for 10–5 after 20 minutes. 

The hosts were soon back on the attack winning another penalty which Grieveson kicked for 13–5. 

The visitors were forced to run possession back due to the wind making touch kicks nearly impossible. 

Brad Barnes opted to kick a penalty and close the gap to 13 – 8 with five minutes of the half left. 

Lydney did have another couple of good breaks through Nelmes and the impressive Ben Large, but lack of support failed to add any further scores and the half ended.

They started the second half with a kick sailing over the dead ball line and a series of further errors were to cause their downfall. 

The half was only a few minutes old when a thunderstorm crossed and, due to some lightning the official decided to take the teams from the field. 

Despite it passing quite quickly the stoppage lasted around twenty minutes. 

The Severnsiders resumed trying to take advantage of the conditions and were soon pressing the host’s line. 

Major pressure saw the hosts give away numerous penalties and following some foul play, Marcus Prout was red carded. 

This seemed to inspire the 14 and their defence held out despite numerous Lydney attacks. 

Eventually pressure told, the ball was moved quickly from a tap penalty by Cooper out to Ben Large who crashed through the defence to score under the posts, Barnes added the extras and Lydney had the lead 13-15 after 62 minutes. 

It looked a formality now that the visitors would now win the game but a line-out starting to disfunction and several handling errors gave the hosts some hope. 

With their kicker Grieveson on form, it was not long before another penalty gave them the lead back 16-15. 

With Lydney failing to get any meaningful attacks going another chance for the hosts saw Owen Garner score when driven over from a line out. 

Grieveson added the kick, and they were two scores clear at 23 -15. 

Lydney kept going with Frowen, Williams, Hudson and Cooper all working hard in the loose and were finally rewarded when a lineout was driven over for 23 -20 with just injury time left. 

However, chasing a score, a couple of further errors from Lydney saw the hosts win a penalty to end the game with an unlikely win.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented: “A disappointing performance, we were flat all game, pace was poor and for some reason never got out of first gear. 

“Unforced errors and line out issues did not help our cause, but the red card galvanised them in the second half to which we had no answer. 

“Next week we have a tough game against Launceston, but we remain confident in our home form and the challenge is to go unbeaten at Regentsholme giving our supporters some Christmas cheer.”

Lydney: Rowan Mullis, Rob White, Daniel Cooper, Lewis Locke, Zak Williams, Oliver Fleet, Luke Hudson, Kyle Frowen, Tom Broady, Brad Barnes, Conal Mills, Kieran Griffiths, Ben Large (C), Alex Nelmes. 

Replacements: James Baylis, Riley Scriven, Joe Hamlin.