Old Pats v Lydney: Turner super show sinks old teammates
MASTERFUL Lydney fly-half Brett Turner helped inflict a hefty defeat on his former club as the Severnsiders romped to an emphatic five-try victory in National League Three South West.
An Old Patesian last term, Turner's flawless return of three penalties and five conversions condemned his erratic and ill-disciplined old side to a comprehensive loss at Regentsholme.
Lydney wing Jack O'Connell claimed two tries, with Tai Lakabuka and Sam Arnott adding further misery, and a penalty try completing the rout.
In the first meeting of the two sides for eight years, Pats could not escape the wrath of referee Richard Harding.
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The visitors suffered three yellow cards, prop Simon Brown, number eight James Pettigrew and replacement scrum-half Matt Mudway all spending 10 minutes on the sidelines.
Duncan Bell's Lydney side were just too streetwise at the breakdown and around the fringes for the Everest Road outfit, who could never settle to a coherent rhythm.
Pats transgressed straight from kick-off, losing their own lineout, straying offside – and gifting Turner the chance to open the scoring from the tee.
Turner was in wonderful form with his slick distribution and cultured boot operating in perfect harmony with feisty scrum-half partner Arnott.
Turner wasted no time in releasing classy centres Charlie Vine and Josh Innes to attack the Pats midfield, or create overlaps for wings O'Connell and Lakabuka.
Patesians resorted to law-breaking with Brown sin-binned for not rolling away from a tackle, allowing Turner to double the lead from the tee again.
Lydney starved the Cheltenham men of any meaningful possession, squeezing the Pats kickers into overcooking clearances and sending them out on the full.
Pats' main enforcer Pettigrew then could not resist the temptation to handle in a ruck, and was duly sin-binned.
Lydney exploited the two missing scrummagers, forcing Pats into a collapse, and being awarded a penalty try.
Turner then added his third penalty when Pats were caught out for a crooked feed at the scrum.
Not until the final five minutes of the half did Pats manage to grind their way into Lydney territory.
Scrum-half James Aherne launched a superb Garryowen and fly-half Stu Taylor closed down the receiver, who was penalised for not releasing.
Centre James Butler opened the Pats account, but Lydney were still in total control, leading 16-3 at the break.
O'Connell kept Lydney on the front foot after the break, taking a smart quick-tap free-kick and skinning three defenders to score a fine try.
Pats replacement Mudway was sent into the fray to unsettle Lydney scrum-half Arnott, but he overstepped the mark in throwing a punch, and walked for a ten-minute spell on the naughty step.
Bell's rampant runners took Pats' invitation to open up, express themselves and rubber-stamp their bonus-point victory.
Lakabuka sparked the deluge, running in the first of three quick tries.
Arnott nipped across as Lydney secured that coveted extra point.
And then O'Connell sealed his second, with Turner converting all three.
Pats bagged late tries through lock Josh Stevens and outside centre Butler, to add some gloss to the scoreline.
The visitors' fitness and resolve shone through at the death, but in truth Lydney's superiority probably allowed them to take the foot off the gas.
LYDNEY: T Wicks, J O'Connell, C Vine, J Innes, T Lakabuka, B Turner, S Arnott, P Price, M Wallis, M Gore, B Scriven, D Bennett, W Jones (capt), M Boobyer, C Daniell. Rolling replacements: D Bell, M Taylor, C Holder
OLD PATESIANS: T Callow, J Ballinger, J Butler, B Spry, D Spurrier, S Taylor, J Aherne, S Brown, C Dean, B White, J Stickland, J Stevens, K Blankley, C Ballinger, J Pettigrew. Rolling replacements: R White, J Barker, M Mudway