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Home > News > Rosslyn Park 29 - Lydney 5
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Your News Rosslyn Park 29 - Lydney 5

Park were made to fight all the way by a tough Lydney side who looked anything but relegation material. A superb second half display brought home the vital 4-try bonus point to set up a massive match with fellow 100% club Barking next weekend. Playing into a strong, swirling wind Lydney knew they had to play tight in the first half and try to take the game to Park. They soon had the home side on the back foot and conceding penalties, one of which was lobbed into the Park 22 to set up a strong maul. Another penalty ensued and Park were under immense pressure until Ross Laidlaw managed to grab the ball and pass to Marc Sweeney, close to his own line, whose clearance kick exploited the wind (and a very kind bounce!) to go out in the visiting 22. Lydney probably marginally edged the early play in terms of possession, but Park’s defence began to take on an impregnable look. After 12 minutes Lydney conceded a penalty on half way which Laidlaw belted between the posts for 3-0, after which Park began to establish a measure of control over proceedings.

They soon worked a good move up the left for skipper Alex Cadwallader to grab a good try, excellently converted by Laidlaw from close to the touchline. Five minutes later, the fly half turned provider with a super run that was met by full-back Anthony Fenner on a well-worked scissors movement to grab another try, which Laidlaw also converted for 17-0. A side in Lydney’s lowly position might have been expected to just roll over, but they don’t play rugby like that in the Forest of Dean. The visitors tackled like tigers when Park attacked and, when they had the ball, forced the home side to defend well. So there was an element of poetic justice when dangerous winger Charles Vine grabbed a consolation try in the left hand corner just before the break. Starting the second half at 5-17 and with the elements now strongly in their favour, Lydney may have entertained thoughts of inflicting a major upset. If so they were to be disappointed as Park produced a second half of consummate authority. As early as the second minute they drove over the visitors’ line, but neither referee nor touch judge were sure the ball had been grounded, and Park knocked on at the 5 metre scrum. The visitors were now under immense pressure. A penalty to the corner saw the ball worked back across the face of the posts for replacement prop Chas Daw to drive over but again the officials were unsighted. Eventually Laidlaw took matters in hand with a good jinking run, working the ball over to prop Nick Huggett who came onto the ball at speed to go over. Laidlaw’s conversion kick into the strong gusting wind was a masterpiece of its own to extend the lead to 24-5. There were then two separate controversial incidents. Firstly, a Lydney player entered a ruck from an illegal position, leaving lock Adam Slade with a nasty gash to his head. From their reaction, the Park players near the incident clearly thought it had been a deliberate stamp. (Park’s Medical Officer, Nick Goddard, himself a former topflight referee, told your reporter afterwards that only a stud could have caused the laceration). The referee awarded a penalty but didn’t see the footwork and, while this was physically a hard match, it was never a dirty one and so the benefit of the doubt must go to the Lydney player that it was an accident. But doubtless Park officials will take a good look at the video. Their dander up, Park then looked to have scored a super try up the left. Alex Cadwallader was brought down but retained the ball, regained his feet and plunged over the line. To the disbelief of everyone, referee Ed Turnill – generally one of the better officials at this level – signalled that he had knocked it on. On this occasion he was palpably wrong, and had Park not gone on to secure the bonus point try anyway, they would rightly have been furious. Park continued to press and forced a penalty in front of the posts, opted to take a scrummage and quickly worked the ball right for James Strong to gallop in. This time the angle of the conversion defeated even Laidlaw so it remained 29-5. Rampant Park looked to have grabbed a fifth try when a super move worked the ball for replacement scrum half Graham Barr to gallop over, but celebrations were cut short when it was noticed that the referee was again signalling a forward pass. It must have been a tight call, but on this occasion he was perfectly placed to see it. So no champagne finish, but a job well done against opponents far better than their league position suggests.

Park: Fenner; Strong (Simmons, blood), Sweeney, Cannon, Cadwallader

(Simmons); Laidlaw; Chilten (Barr); Huggett (Collier), Ritchie,

Dawson (Daw); Slade (A Jones), Gates; M Jones, Etheredge, Lock.

Park scorers: Cadwallader (T), Fenner (T), Huggett (T), Strong (T), Laidlaw (P, 3C).

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