Lydney 24 – Brixham 0
Severnsiders net their biggest catch of the season!!
Brixham (aptly nicknamed the”trawler men”) visited Regentsholme with great anticipation and optimism after thumping Lydney on the Devon coast last October They fielded a formidable pack & an equally resilient backline but ground conditions were a key factor in the opening exchanges of this game. The visitors were taken by surprise to be facing a confident Lydney XV who continue to be unrelenting and unaffected by their league position. The home team, from the very start of this potentially difficult game, were quick to demonstrate their ferocious defensive qualities giving Brixham no opportunities whatsoever to breach their line. Despite early attempts by the Devonians to spread the ball wide, they became less effective as the game went on. No matter how hard they tried, the visitors were thwarted and pushed back by the lighter Lydney forwards who were quicker, more mobile and more together in almost every aspect of their play.
Apart from only two occasions in the first half, when the Brixham forwards managed to reach the Lydney line, the Seversiders retaliated time and time again by some adventurous, elusive and decisive running involving both forwards, their back row and three-quarters.
Lydney’s defence reigned supreme throughout this contest and it was no surprise when Josh Hanham cut through the Brixham defence after 7 minutes from the start. Ollie Locke added the conversion. As the game progressed it became increasingly more obvious to the crowd that Lydney had “closed their door” to their opponents right from the beginning and that there was no way back for the “trawler men”! Brixham tried to counter and showed their Lydney opponents that they were not going to “roll over” and allow the home side to do what they want. Nevertheless, the harder they tried the more spirited Lydney became. Whenever the opposition gained possession and attempted to attack, they received a bombardment of heavy tackles which gradually impacted upon their ability to respond effectively. It was, particularly true to say that, for many periods in the first half, Lydney had removed the wind from the “trawler men’s sails”!And so the game continued. The Lydney defence switched into gear on every occasion as Brixham managed to regain possession. The ferverent Regentsholme crowd played their part by increasing their vocal ability to deafen any away support foolish enough to remonstrate at Lydney’s “heavy handed “ tackling ability. Their opponents were being tackled to the ground without respite.
With 20 minutes of the first half gone Lydney increased their lead by the hard working captain Sam Arnott – who ducked & dived to push himself over quite far out for Lydney’s second try. The conversion went narrowly wide leaving Lydney with the ascendancy of a 12 – 0 lead.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, it became apparent Lydney were really & truly in the driving seat with their opponents noticeably becoming forlorn and increasingly more dispirited as the game went on.The home team continued to take advantage in muddy conditions allowing their opponents very little, if any, opportunity to score. Brixham number 10 Tom Putt, offered some relief to his team mates by his long range and highly accurate touch finders giving opportunity for the visitors to be on the offensive deep into Lydney territory. Nevertheless, it was not long before Lydney regained possession and took Brixham back to their own line with some excellent running from the Lydney backs resulting in fly half Steve Perry powering his way over for Lydney’s third try ,converted by Ollie Locke.
The half time score of Lydney 19 – Brixham 0 was a much deserved and an extremely refreshing score line for the Lydney supporters particularly as they felt sufficiently secure to be able to sit back at the interval and contemplate that a convincing victory was truly “on the cards”. The level of confidence that Lydney has, traditionally, been accustomed to, was a delight to witness with the home supporters being thrilled by their teams superiority and incredibly powerful mindset which the Lydney lads showed to their faithful supporters.
At the restart, Brixham put in a surprising rally by their forwards but it did not last long. The Seversiders re-grouped, left no gaps in their defences and regained possession enabling them to mount another attack on the Brixham line. Immediately after this, the referee awarded a yellow card for a deliberate knock on by the away team. With 14 Devonians remaining on the pitch, Lydney capitalised with some 20 minutes remaining. Josh Hanham scored his second try wide out with the conversion, unfortunately, missing the uprights. Lydney also had a player sin binned at the very late stage of the game. As the game came to a close, the tremendous effort and hard work by the Lydney lads reminded both players, club officials & supporters that Brixham ,though still a very good side, were unable to cross Lydney’s line and this epitomised the superiority of Lydney’s efforts throughout the match. This was a resounding victory and thoroughly deserved, which even the fair minded Brixham officials & supporters were ready to admit.
For the next 8 remaining games, it goes without saying, Lydney have the ability to surprise anyone in the league. The single most challenging issue for the rest of the season is that Lydney, knowing they can “turn over” every team yet to visit Regentsholme, will also need to reproduce the cohesion, determination and self belief in order to dominate and defeat our away opponents whether they are fighting for promotion or fighting to avoiding relegation. Their performance was a great display of unity & strength of character.
If Lydney can maintain this self belief, who knows, they may surprise everyone with their remaining performances.
Report by Gerald Love