Thornbury grind out win
A dominant first half paved the way for a hard-fought win over Lydney which degenerated into an arm wrestle in the second half.
Thornbury 22 - 17 Lydney
By Dave Fox
In awful conditions, with heavy rain constantly adding to a soup of a pitch, Thornbury had to dig in deep to keep out a Lydney pack which threatened to score regularly during the second half.
Lydney were comfortable winners over Thornbury last September when they delivered a poor performance, but the home side were determined to rectify that.
The referee was busy early on, ruling out tries for Thornbury. Gez Asante was twice involved in a Thornbury move and dived over for a score but the referee adjudged the final pass forward.
James Wood then made good ground then from a breakdown on the Lydney line and Jak Evans dived over. The ball was very close to the line but the referee disallowed the score and awarded Thornbury a scrum.
The try wasn’t long in coming; Jim Massey picked and drove after Luke Panting and James Wood had taken play on. Sam Poustie took a popped pass and scored by the flag. Jake Wood’s conversion was heading for the posts but was blown wide.
Lydney attacked from the restart and full back Nathan Tucker scored in the corner. The conversion missed and the score was tied at 5-5.
Thornbury attacked at pace from the restart and Louis Ogilvie put Gez Asante into space to score. Jake Wood converted to open up a 12-5 lead.
As halftime approached Lydney were awarded a scrum on their 22 but Thornbury put in a great drive and put the Severnsiders under pressure. The ball was dropped and Rich Bennett pounced to sprint in for the third try to leave Thornbury 19-5 ahead at the break.
A different-looking Lydney emerged from the changing rooms wearing clean shirts and a new determination. Torrential rain returned and with an icy gale behind them Lydney took control.
Thornbury’s Jim Massey was yellow-carded for a high tackle, prompting Louis Ogilvie to go off and Liam Pemberton to come on to keep the number of forwards at eight.
Lydney No.8 John Barker picked up and forced his way over for a try. The conversion didn’t trouble the posts but Thorns’ lead was reduced to 19-10.
Jake Wood slotted over a penalty to extend the lead to 22-10.
Lydney again rumbled to the Thornbury line and were awarded a series of scrums. With eleven minutes remaining they shoved Thorns back to their line. The front row stood up and the referee awarded a penalty try. At 22-17, the score was uncomfortably tight for Thornbury supporters.
But Jak Evans took control and deployed a series of well-directed box kicks as Thornbury kept the ball tight and closed out the game.
The next league game is on January 5th with a visit to Weston-super-Mare to take on Hornets.