LEAGUE positions count for nothing in a local derby and so it proved in an absolute thrilling game with Lydney winning with the last kick of the match, writes Roger Pike.

As expected, it was a tight, low scoring game with Lydney just edging the territory and possession but with the visitors having plenty of scoring opportunities themselves.

Lydney led during the 80 minutes but could not get two scores ahead and a converted try from Drybrook deep in injury time looked to have nicked a draw.

However the hosts were awarded a penalty just inside halfway and Jake Hanley stepped up, kept his nerve, and slotted a monster conversion to win the match.

The Severnsiders injury issues continued but they were able to welcome back Henry Sleeman in the centre. Gareth Winter returned to the front row with captain Jack Spencer moving into the hooker slot.

In the engine room the hosts had Mike Massey returning after playing for Gibralter last week against Jamaica to partner Jake Bonser.

Centre Joe McClean continued in a very mobile back row with Liam Downer and Luke Hudson. Harry Brown and Olle Locke made up a strong looking bench with Harrison Fowke back from a long injury lay-off.

A huge crowd had turned out on a chilly December afternoon to see both sides keeping things tight in the opening encounters.

The Severnsiders started to get good possession in the Drybrook half, but the defence held tight.

Following some good forward drives from Spencer and Massey the ball was spun out across the backline and Jake Hanley cut through to score, with Brad Barnes adding the conversion the hosts were 7-0 after 15 minutes.

The visitors were opting to kick much of their possession, but Alex Nelmes and Brad Dunn were running the ball back and the hosts looked dangerous on numerous occasions.

Drybrook then had some good drives from Bourne and Addis with Ben Large looking dangerous in the backs, but it was a penalty kick from Tom Treharne to finally get them on the scoreboard at 7-3.

With the game remaining tight, Lydney were awarded a penalty following a high tackle,

Barnes made no mistake to extend the hosts lead to 10-3.

Drybrook responded with some strong attacks in the last five minutes winning numerous penalties ending with a yellow card for Barnes however the 14 men defence remained solid, and the half ended.

The second period turned into a nervous affair with both defences on top.

On 60 minutes a Barnes penalty to get the home two scores in front went agonisingly wide.

The hosts had some good attacks with good drives from Lane, Spencer and Downer but again failed to cross the whitewash.

In the backs Nelmes, Dunn and Sleeman all had chances but superb Drybrook tackling kept it scoreless.

Lydney spurned two kickable penalties trying to get a further try but still failed to add to their tally.

Harry Brown and Harrison Fowke came on making a good impact with Brown winning some good turnover ball.

With just five minutes of normal time left Drybrook mounted a massive effort to get a score.

With the hosts giving away numerous penalties Joe McClean was sent to the bin and Drybrook continued to be camped in the Lydney 22m area as normal time ended.

A further six minutes of injury time was signalled and the big Drybrook forwards continued to drive at every opportunity.

With just a few minutes left a forward drive finally saw Mikey Addis cross, Treharne added a difficult conversion and the visitors looked to have secured a draw.

Lydney had just time to kick-off, but the kick sailed out on the full. T

he resulting Drybrook scrum on halfway gave them a chance but incredibly Lydney drove them off the ball and won a penalty just inside halfway.

With time up Jake Hanley stepped up for the long-range kick which sailed through the posts to send the home crowd wild as the match ended 13 – 10.

Lydney Director of Rugby Sam Arnott said: “A bit disappointed after recent performances however thought we dominated the match, but a lack of discipline kept them in the game.

“Our backline looked dangerous every time they had the ball but not kicking our penalties made it far more difficult in the second half.

“Fair play to Drybrook they never gave up and looked to have secured a draw but with just minutes left we kept going and what a kick from Jake (Hanley) under massive pressure kept our winning run going. We are off to Devon next week to play Exmouth and will be challenging the players to make it four wins in a row.’