Lydney denied share of the spoils against Clifton
Clifton scored a league double over Lydney but this time had to work much harder for the points than they had in October as Lydney hammered away at their defence throughout a tight game, writes Chris Wilson.
Both sides defended well and neither was really able to exert long periods of pressure.
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Consequently clear scoring opportunities were few and far between in this National League Two South game.
Clifton had the one moment of luck that often decides this kind of contest as they scored the only try of the game, which came from a kindly bounce of the ball on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors had shaded a tight first half full of good intentions but lacking execution, as over-ambitious passes in the sticky conditions went astray.
Lydney were stymied by Clifton's well-organised defence, too often being caught behind the gain line, and their most reliable way forward was the boot of Tony Wicks or Danny Trigg.
The opening score took 22 minutes to arrive as Clifton capped a good spell of play with a penalty from Ben Roberts from in front of the posts.
Disaster struck for Lydney just before the break when both Sam Winchcombe and Wicks went for a high ball which bounced free, straight to Tom O'Keeffe who ran the 30 metres or so to the line for a try converted by Roberts with the last kick of the half.
Geed up by the team talk, Lydney the home side opened the second half well taking the game to their opponents and showing patience in possession, but Clifton's lavender and black wall held firm.
The visitors were leaking penalties and after going for touch on two occasions in the 22 without reward, Trigg stepped up to get Lydney on the board after 51 minutes with a three-pointer.
Lydney made changes in the pack and drew breath for a big last quarter.
They were helped when Will Davis saw yellow for persistent offences and Trigg kicked the resulting penalty to narrow the gap to four points.
However, there was still no way through and the visitors were able to hang on to their lead and even extend it through a penalty from Roberts eight minutes from time.
Desperately, Lydney threw everything at Clifton, but the visitors held on and finished the game on the attack to deny Lydney even a share of the spoils.
Lydney: T Wicks; J Hannam, C Holder, J Innes, T Lacabuka (D Lacabuka 57); D Trigg, J Graham; P Price, J Fields (B Lewis 28), S Winchcombe (A Ledner 51); C Daniel, D Bennett (J McMahon 67); T Longton, W Jones; M Taylor (captain, B Taylor 67).
Clifton: B Roberts; S Harrison (B Foley 66), W Pomphrey, J Kelly, S Smith; B Barnes, C Braley; W Davis (J Lovell 77), P Fincken (Capt.), C Bullimore; M Westlake, P Butcher; P Schmid (J Lovell 66, T Boot 69), T O'Keeffe; J Levis. Reps: A Golledge, A Kent-Braham.
Referee: Phil Watters (RFU appointment). Star Man: Steve Price worked hard in a pack that just had the edge over their opponents at the set piece. Unfortunately, his team-mates were unable to make the most of it.