Tony Wicks helps Lydney enjoy a priceless four points in win over Taunton Titans
Taunton Titans 24
A Tony Wicks conversion to a Dave Bennett try on the last play of a tense and exciting game at Regentsholme secured what could be a priceless four points for Lydney in National League Two, writes Chris Wilson.
The pack lead the way dominating the Taunton scrum at the end of each half earning two of the three tries that took the Severnsiders to victory.
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The lead changed hands six times as the sides slugged it out in an end-to-end contest and, while Lydney took the spoils, a bonus point for the Titans keeps them out of the relegation zone with games in hand.
Lydney got off to the best possible start with a third minute try to Wicks who exchanged passes with Josh Hannam to score from a sweeping lineout set move.
The bubble of optimism burst just five minutes later, however, when a neat pass freed Jack Claydon who outpaced the cover, stepped inside Wicks and scored under the posts. Gary Kingdom's conversion gave the visitors the lead.
Kingdom extended that lead five minutes later with a straightforward penalty.
Nerves now settled, Taunton took control playing at a high pace but Danny Trigg missed the chance to pull three points back with a penalty, though he slotted an easier chance after 21 minutes to cut Taunton's lead to 10-8.
Just before the break Lydney set up camp deep in the Titans' 22. Four times the referee awarded penalties against the Taunton scrum and on the fifth occasion, he gave a penalty try, converted by Trigg, to give the Severnsiders a 15-10 interval lead.
The second period built in tension as both sides sought the killer blow.
Trigg missed a penalty early in the half then suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Mike Dodge. Lydney had scarcely reorganised when they were caught on the counter as rangy centre Luke Plummer broke two tackles and sent Mike Pope in at the corner, Kingdom adding the goal.
Now energised, Taunton looked to extend their lead while Lydney began to lose focus with silly errors and cheap penalties conceding possession and territory.
However, they just about survived and Wicks slotted a penalty on the hour mark to retake the lead and set up a tense final quarter. Lydney were by no means home and proved susceptible to breakouts from Taunton's backs, though it was lock Paul Davis who powered through a tackle to score under the posts. Kingdom's conversion had the Titans 24-18 in front with six agonising minutes to go.
The clock was in the red numbers when finally Bennett drove over after a series of rucks under the crossbar allowing Wicks to secure the points with the final kick of the game.
LYDNEY: Tony Wicks; Josh Hannam, Chris Holder, Josh Innes, Taitusi Lacabuka; Danny Trigg, Matt Williams; Paul Price (Capt.), Ben Lewis, Ollie Day; Sam Thomson, Dave Bennett; Tim Longton, Will Jones; Charlie Daniell. Replacements: Leigh Green (for Price, 59), Sam Winchcombe (for Day, 57), Ben Taylor, Matt Taylor (for Thomson, 57), Mike Dodge (for Trigg, 44).
TAUNTON TITANS: Alex Willcockson; Mike Pope, Luke Plummer, Jemba Bull (Capt), Jack Claydon; Gary Kingdom, Joe Bartlett;, Kieran Davies, Jon Gatford, George Cooper; Paul Davis, Greg Charlton; Sam Richardson, Jake Childs; Sam Prior. Replacements: Dan Morgan (for Davies, HT), Richard Sinel (for Cooper, 36), Dan Lee (for Prior, 52), Ted Lee, James Forrester (for Claydon, 73).
Referee: Luke Haskins (RFU Appointment)
Star Man: Will Jones just edged the departing Tim Longton for the honours both doing a mountain of tackling and foraging hard for turnover ball in a tremendous performance.