A LYDNEY side with 15 players out injured faced leaders Devonport Services who were looking for a win to secure the title, writes Roger Pike.

An experienced Devonport side was always going to be a big test for the Severnsiders and it proved to be an exciting game for the huge crowd with the visitors securing a close-run contest.

Lydney gave the visitors a real scare in the last 10 minutes, spurning two glorious chances to win the game. 

The Severnsiders’ nemesis of conceding early points continued with the visitors scoring after just two minutes from a penalty kick from Goldsby-West. 

Lydney responded and were camped in the visitors’ 22m but despite numerous attacks the defence held firm. 

Devonport were stretching the hosts defence spinning the ball around with full-back Harrison Coonick cutting through to score, Goldsby-West converted for 0–10 after 14 minutes. 

Lydney battled hard playing up the slope and against the strong breeze and the game remained even. 

When Lydney won a penalty just outside the 22m, Brad Barnes slotted the kick for 3 – 10.

The visitors were soon back on the attack but this time a solid Lydney defensive effort stopped any further scores. 

A breakout from their own half saw the hosts cross halfway with a super run from prop Rowan Mullis and with the ball spun out, Alex Nelmes broke the defensive line.

Tackled short, he offloaded to Brad Dunn who scored in the corner. Barnes added a superb touchline kick to level the score 10–10. 

Devonport responded close to half-time and were soon camped on the Lydney 5m line winning numerous penalties. 

From another scrum infringement the Official yellow carded Rowan Mullis. Taking full advantage of the 14 players they drove over from the penalty with Matt Gregory scoring. With the conversion, the half ended 10 -17.

Playing with the strong wind, Lydney started the second period strongly putting the visitors under pressure. 

Winning a penalty on half-way Barnes opted for a monster kick and with the wind assistance it sailed over for 13-17. 

The visitors, having only lost three games all season, responded immediately with a series of strong driving attacks and from just a few metres out Goldsby-West crossed and kicked the conversion to give them some safety at 13 – 24. 

Lydney continued to come under major pressure, giving away scrum penalties and it looked the game was going away but somehow, they dug deep and stopped any further scores. 

Leo Mullis came off the bench and gave a very impressive performance for his debut. 

With a minor scuffle each side received a yellow card with Reilly Scriven going for 10 minutes.

From the resulting penalty the superb kicking of Barnes saw the ball find touch five metres out. 

The resulting forward drive from Frowen was stopped just short but Henry Sleeman picked up and scored, Barnes again faultless with the kick it was 20–24. 

With some great performances from the whole team especially Mullis, Scriven Frowen and Cooper in the pack and Nelmes, Dunn and Barnes in the backs, Lydney were soon back in the visitors’ 22m. 

The hosts then spurned two glorious chances to win the game plus a couple of penalties awarded to the visitors sawa very relived Devonport hold out to end the game 20-24.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented ‘Firstly congratulations to Devonport on winning the league. Really pleased today with the players attitude, we played some good rugby and scored some excellent tries. 

We had two great chances at the end to win the game showing how small the margins are between the top and middle of the table. Our final game is at Regentsholme in two weeks’ time when we play Exmouth, a win will see us finish a respectable sixth in the table.’