Liverpool St Helens 14

Lydney 13 LSH condemned Lydney to relegation in a bruising and ill tempered forward battle.

The Moss Laners held their own by virtue of two strikes against the head by Jon Hitchen and some impressive lineout work by Martin Boyd and Richard Bailey. In the rucks, however, Lydney were on top and LSH conceded too much ball. If the rest of the Lydney backs had shown the enterprise of scrum-half Davis, the result might have been different. LSH back row managed to stifle the challenge of Lydney midfield and penetrating running by full-back Paul Brett made the difference.

Flanker Dave Gaskell, who was prominent throughout, scored the first try, following a maul set up by a strong run by centre Mike Hitchen. Brett converted. Ryan Lewis reduced the arrears with a penalty. Ill temper resulted in yellow cards for both LSH locks, Bailey and Boyd, along with Lydney prop Williams.

Early in the second half Lydney took the lead with a Davis try converted by Reid, but five minutes later a good break by Brett brought a try for Boyd which Brett converted. Lewis narrowed the scores to 14-13 with a penalty to set up a nail biting finish. Unless the RFU change the rules again, LSH are safe from relegation.

Next season they must try to consolidate, with new players to replace skipper Brian Wellens, who is to concentrate on his coaching role, and retiring long serving stalwarts Colin King and Mark Sephton who have served the club loyally since the mid 1980s. There are a number of promising young players who will be given a chance to success.

On Saturday the last league match is at Reading. LSH also play Fylde in the quarter-final of the Lancashire Cup at Moss Lane on a date to be arranged. Details will be given in next weeks Star.

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