LYDNEY are struggling to field a competitive side because of injuries and visitors Chew Valley provided a tough test having lost only five games.

With no back replacements fit, Lydney again had three forwards on the bench with Kurt Brown back for his first game for some time while Jack O’Connell came in on the wing and Alex Nelmes captained the side from full back, writes Roger Pike.

The game was a stop start affair with frequent penalties – however both sides tried to run the ball in an entertaining affair. Chances were equal, but the clinical visitors ran out deserved winners with the game very much closer than the 24-42 scoreline suggested. 

Chew won a penalty from the kick off and a forward drive saw the ball spun wide with Harry Stride crossing. Tom Bryan added the extras for 0-7.

Lydney’s woes continued with Pat Hanson forced off injured after just seven minutes to be replaced Lewis Locke.

The hosts remained under pressure but a good break out saw Brad Dunn make huge yards into the visitors’ half and the forwards continue with numerous drives for Locke to crash through for 5–7.

Lydney suffered another injury blow with scrum half Mason Cunliffe off after just 15 minutes forcing major changes.

Winger Jack O’Connell moved to scrum half and Kurt Brown came on. Lydney then had a good spell of possession against the big Chew forwards with numerous drives from Frowen, Cooper and Winter which ended with Rielly Scriven crossing. O’Connell, taking on kicking duties, added the extras for 12–7.

The game remained open with chances for both sides, but unforced errors were costing the hosts. The visitors took full advantage from a 5m scrum for Scott Parsons to score after Luke Hudson got a yellow card. Bryan added the extras and it remained 12–14 at half-time.

Playing down the slope Lydney and just two points down Lydney were well in the game but it was Chew with a try for 12-21

Rowan Mullis came on for Winter and Lydney continued to battle away and a great cross kick from Griffiths found Conal Mills who beat the last defender to score out wide 17–21 after 60 minutes.

Chew won two penalties in a row and added another try 17–28.

Further penalties put Chew out of sight at 17-35 but the hosts did not give up with Frowen, Cooper, Scriven and Brown putting in exceptional performances.

Creating good field position from the forward drives, Jack O’Connell who was doing well at scrum half, took a quick tap penalty but was stopped just short. Scriven picked up for his second try with O’Connell adding the extras for 24–35 with 10 minutes left.

A good Chew move saw the final score for 24-42 and with more penalties the game fizzled with Lydney picking up a try bonus.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented: “A disappointing result but the scoreline certainly did not reflect the game.

“We had a good 40 minutes and were certainly in the game just two points down at halftime.

“Really pleased with the effort and attitude of the players considering all the changes we keep having to make due to injuries.

“The difference today was unforced errors from us denying chances and the visitors who are third in the table for a reason executing any chances they created.”

Lydney – Gareth Winter, Sam Baker, Daniel Cooper, Lewis Jayne, Pat Hanslow, Luke Hudson, Kyle Frowen, Riely Scriven, Mason Cunliffe, Kieran Griffiths, Jack O’Connell, Henry Sleeman, Brad Dunn, Conal Mills, Alex Nelmes©. Replacements Rowan Mullis, Kurt Brown, Lewis Locke