Kicker Wicks saves Lydney
A TONY Wicks penalty three minutes from time saw Lydney earn a win they scarcely deserved after Weston-super-Mare put in an outstanding display to push the league leaders every inch of the way.
Three Lydney tries in 10 blistering second-half minutes had turned the game on its head but still Weston hung on and led until the final few minutes when Wicks' boot stole the win.
The Seasiders nearly snatched the game with the last kick but James Mackay put a 45-metre penalty attempt narrowly wide.
Weston could feel hard done by as the winning kick came from a contentious penalty award and they deserved more than a losing bonus point from a game they dominated for long periods.
But for the finishing of replacement Jack O'Connell, who scored two electric tries, and Wicks' kicking, the home side would have won.
Despite clearly not being fully fit, the full-back booted two touchline conversions and kept his nerve for the match-winning strike.
Lydney will have to learn to live with being the so-called 'big boys' of the division and they will find teams raising their game, as Weston did, week after week.
The home side raced into a 15-0 lead in the first quarter after Danny Trigg missed a first-minute kick at goal.
Mackay slotted a penalty before Chris Webber intercepted Sam Arnott's short pass on the home 22 for Harry Jones to score the first of his two tries.
Four minutes later, a quick scrum heel and break from flanker Paul Morrissey ended with Sam Smee finishing well in the corner.
Wicks slotted a penalty to get Lydney on the board but this was immediately cancelled out by Mackay.
Nine minutes before the break, Charlie Vine finished Lydney's first real concerted attack with a try converted by Wicks.
Even with Andrew Glen in the sin bin, Weston finished the half in the ascendancy and they extended their lead to 21-10 three minutes into the second period with a Mackay penalty.
Wicks pulled three points back but Jones danced round Vine to score from the Lydney 10-metre line and Mackay put two scores between the sides with the conversion.
Then came the dramatic change in fortunes.
O'Connell had been on the field barely five minutes when he was set free from halfway and arrowed into the corner, Wicks adding the extras.
From the restart, springheeled Jack O'Connell burned the defence on the right again and when the ball was fed left, Brett Scriven reached over to score. Wicks' conversion put Lydney in front for the first time, 27-26.
The lead was extended immediately afterwards when smart passing set O'Connell free again and he made no mistake, finishing well.
If Lydney thought that the game was safe, they would have been very much mistaken as Weston grabbed the lead back with six minutes remaining.
After eight phases in the Lydney 22, Smee went over, Mackay adding the extras for a 33-32 lead.
However, Weston transgressed as they tried to maul their way downfield from the restart and Wicks nailed the 35-metre penalty.
Lydney then could only look on with relief as Mackay had the distance but not the accuracy from close to the halfway line to end a remarkable game of rugby which finished as it had started, with a missed penalty.
Weston-super-Mare: Harvey Skelton; Harry Jones, Sam Smee, Sylvan Edwards, Tom Bellek; James Mackay, Dan Waldon; David Price, Craig Withers, David Swann (Capt.); Andy Glen, Dave Bufton; Ash Russell, Paul Morrissey; Chris Webber. Replacements (all used): James Matthews (for Morrissey), Sam Fisher (for Webber), Kirk Middlemiss (for Bellek), Morrissey (for Matthews), Webber (for Fisher).
Scorers: Tries; Harry Jones (15, 52), Sam Smee (19, 74), Conversions; James Mackay 2 from 4, Penalties; James Mackay (10, 25, 43).
Lydney: Tony Wicks; Josh Hannam, Chris Holder, Dewi Scourfield, Charlie Vine; Danny Trigg, Sam Arnott; Paul Price, Mike Wallis, Sam Winchcombe; Brett Scriven, Dave Bennett; Matt Taylor, Callum Wyman; Will Jones. Replacements: Duncan Bell (for Winchcombe), Jack O'Connell (for Hannam), Zen Szwagrzak (not used), Hannam (for Vine).
Scorers: Tries; Charlie Vine (31), Jack O'Connell (54, 63), Brett Scriven (58), Conversions; Tony Wicks 3 from 4, Penalties; Tony Wicks (23, 50, 77).
Referee: Claire Hodnett (Notts, Lincs & Derbys Region)
Star man: Jack O'Connell turned the game around with two tries and the break that led to a third which edged Lydney into a winning position.