TOP of the table Chew Valley would provide a tough test for the in-form Severnsiders who have been struggling on the road, writes Roger Pike. 

A thrilling game ensued with the hosts taking the points thanks to a solid display in the second half scoring three tries when the Severnsiders were down to 14 players. 

Chew Valley, a well organised side, fielded a huge pack – however a solid defensive display kept Lydney in the game and perhaps they should even have led at the break. 

The Severnsiders are suffering from a depleted squad with 10 players out injured, five of which are season long injuries – however they put in a superb display unluckily ending with a scoreline that certainly flattered the hosts.

On a heavy pitch the Severnsiders dominated the opening encounters but Chew created field position for a 5m lineout.

A press from their big pack was halted but the ball spun out for Tom Bryan to score after just three minutes for 5-0. 

Lydney responded immediately from the kick off with good breaks from Ben Large and Joe Hamlin ending with a penalty from Broady which went just wide. 

After a further penalty, which was kicked to the corner, some good Lydney pressure followed with Conal Mills unlucky not to score.

However a last player high tackle gave the official no option but to award a penalty try for 5-7. 

The game remained even with the visitors putting in a great defensive display to repel numerous attacks from the big Chew forwards. 

Lydney always looked dangerous with Brad Dunn and Alex Nelmes making huge yards with the ball – Dunn especially was unlucky not to cross on a couple of occasions. 

Chew did eventually score on the half hour, spinning the ball around allowing winger Harry Stride to score in the corner, Bryan converted for 12-7. 

Lydney then mounted a series attack in the hosts’ 22m with numerous opportunities to score, a good move finally breaks down on the 5m line and the Somerset  team escape to end the half ahead.

Lydney started the second half brightly with a great break from Zak Williams who had an immense game giving them good field position. 

Losing the ball Chew quickly attack and only a knock on stops a certain try. 

The visitors were still well in the game and a great break by Nelmes got them deep in the 22m with an offload to Joe Hamlin the move ended just short of the line. 

The Lydney scrum came under serious pressure with the heavy Chew pack winning numerous penalties. 

The match changed and result was decided basically on a yellow card to Dan Cooper – when down to 14 the visitors conceded three quick tries which put the game out of reach. 

Firstly, from a scrum they move the ball out wide to winger Joe Webb who scores out wide with Lydney winger Conal Mills sacrificed at the yellow card for 17-7. 

Chew score again through Will Knight which Bryan again converts for 24–7. Taking full advantage of the 14 players another break sees fullback Tom Bryan cross, converting his try moved the score to 31–7. 

Lydney were still working hard with Hudson, Frowen and Mullis making some solid tackles. 

The Severnsiders never gave up and all 18 can be commended for their efforts. 

A break from Large ended just short on the 5m line; the Severnsiders bashed away, Mason Cunliffe looked lively on at scrum half but they could not find a move to split the organised defence. Lydney’s afternoon got worse with injuries to second rowers Lewis Locke and Zak Williams thus ending the game with five front row players in the pack. 

A scrum close to the line was driven over and the game ended 36 – 7.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott commented ‘We had a good 40 minutes and had them really rattled, we were unlucky not to be in front at the break. 

They are a good side to be top of the table and gained the edge with their big forwards in the second half especially when we had the yellow card.

“However, it was a great effort from the lads and proud of the performance, the final scoreline certainly did not reflect the game. 

“We were forced to make numerous changes and on a positive these players will learn from the experience. 

“We have a week off now which hopefully will help get some players back before a tough game at Regentsholme against Devonport Services, another team near the top of the table.

Lydney: Rowan Mullis, Rob White, Daniel Cooper, Lewis Locke, Zak Williams, Oliver Fleet, Luke Hudson, Kyle Frowen, Tom Broady, Kieran Griffiths, Conal Mills, Joe Hamlin, Ben Large (capt), Brad Dunn, Alex Nelmes. Replacements James Baylis, Gareth Winter, Mason Cunliffe