HAVING won their last two games Oakhampton looked to provide a tough test for the Severnsiders who were also on a run of back-to-back wins, writes Roger Pike.
A thrilling game entertained a large crowd with the hosts taking the points thanks to a dominant display in the second half.
The Severnsiders were forced into changes due to continuing injuries and suspension – in the pack James Bayliss, Jordan Fowke and Oliver Fleet, making his debut, all started.
The bench consisted of forward Gareth Winter with Conal Mills and Kieran Griffiths covering the backline.
Lydney started with the advantage of playing down the large slope and with the wind but the game remained even in the opening quarter.
The hosts had plenty of possession, but a good Lydney defence kept the game scoreless.
A great clearance kick from Brad Barnes created a line-out deep in the Okehampton 22m, with the lineout won the forwards and backs joined to form a good drive and hooker Dan Cooper crashed over. The reliable Barnes kicked the extras and the Severnsiders were 0-7.
The hosts responded and had some good possession without looking able to break the Lydney defence and they finally opted to kick a penalty through Luke Simmons for 3-7 after half an hour.
Okehampton continued to put pressure on and another penalty hit the post.
Lydney were not really taking advantage of the slope but a super Barnes kick created an attack deep in the 22m area.
Winning a further penalty Barnes kicked a goal to extend the lead to 3-10.
Okehampton won possession from the kick off and put major pressure on the Severnsiders line winning several penalties.
The official then issued a yellow card to Ollie Fleet and from the resulting penalty full-back Luke Simmons scores to close the gap to 8-10.
With half-time looming Lydney were camped in the hosts’ half winning numerous penalties.
Turning down easy kicks they desperately tried to get a seven-point score but the score remained unchanged as the half ended.
With Lydney now playing up the slope they were soon under pressure and Zak Willimas picked up a yellow card to leave them on 13.
Although the hosts kicked to the corner the visitors held out a series of attacks.
A clearance kick stayed in field and Oakhampton run it back spinning the ball out to Simmons who scored and converted his own try to get the lead at 15-10.
The visitors then lost Broady and Henry Sleeman to injuries and were forced to empty their bench with Hamlin filling in at scrum half.
Another attack from the hosts earned a penalty which the reliable Simmons kicked for 18-10 and Okehampton were two scores clear.
Okehampton were now dominant but numerous turnovers from Kyle Frowen, especially, were keeping Lydney in the game.
Due to the elements Lydney were forced to run everything out of defence and the narrow pitch did not help the speedy backline.
Another error saw Simmons kick for 21–10. Lydney tried to attack and a super run from substitute Conal Mills saw him tackled just a metre short.
From an attacking lineout, Lydney lost the ball which was repeated in several attacking chances costing them any chance of closing the deficit.
The hosts won another penalty which Simmons knocked over for 24–10.
Lydney the were chasing the game running everything, a no arms tackle on Daniel Cooper saw a red card for the Devon side and a chance for Lydney.
However, this did not stop the hosts and on their next attack Dan Fogerty scored, again and converted and they were out of sight at 31–10.
Unfortunately, a high tackle from Zak Williams saw him red carded and the visitors were down to 13 after a yellow for Brad Barnes. The hosts drove over from the resulting penalty to end the game 36 – 10.
Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented: “We needed to be clinical to take advantage of the conditions in the first half and I thought we left a few scores out there.
“Although leading at the break a disappointing second half, our lineout ceased to function which cost us any scoring opportunities.
“We were forced to make numerous changes and on a positive these players will learn from the experience. We will train hard this week to get back on the winning trail at Regentsholme against our next visitors from St Austell."
Lydney: Rowan Mullis, Daniel Cooper, James Bayliss, Jordan Fowke, Zak Williams, Oliver Fleet, Luke Hudson, Kyle Frowen, Tom Broady, Brad Barnes, Henry Sleeman, Joe Hamlin, Ben Large (C), Brad Dunn, Alex Nelmes. Replacements James Baylis, Kieran Griffiths, Conal Mills