Lydney 71 Chippenham 17
LYDNEY secured promotion and the National Three South West title with an 11-try romp in front of a big crowd at Regentsholme. Three penalty tries told a story as the home side's scrum was a dominant force.
The first score came after four minutes when Tony Wicks crashed over in the corner.
The conversion was missed, but that mattered not as further scores from Mike Wallis and Matt Boobyer, with a conversion from Wicks put the home side 17 points up.
Sam Arnott got the bonus-point try inside 20 minutes and Lydney were coasting.
To their credit bottom-of-the-table Chippenham never gave up and their driving lineout was causing problems for the home side.
They scored on the half-hour mark when wing Will Wallington was set free and raced 30 metres to touch down wide out.
Lydney responded immediately when, after the visitors were penalised twice at a five-metre scrum, they erred again and referee Chris Thomas awarded the first penalty try.
Lydney lost both captain Matt Taylor and centre Josh Innes with injuries, and when Brett Sriven was sin-binned, it allowed Chippenham to score twice more through Chas Day and Frazer Cliverd. A Lewis Surry conversion made it 31-15 at half-time.
Still down to 14 men, Lydney were more dominant playing down the slope and when second row Jimmy Roberts was set free, he crossed the whitewash and Wicks kicked the conversion.
A second penalty try on 58 minutes was followed by a sweeping move that saw the ball go through seven pairs of hands before it was was finished off by outside-half Chris Holder. Both tries were converted by Wicks to kept the scoreboard moving.
Steve Price was sent to the sin bin to reduce the home side to 14 once again, but they were in complete control by now.
The hat-trick of penalty tries was reached on 70 minutes as the tiring Chippenham pack collapsed a scrum that was being driven over their own line at a rate of knots.
The sun was shining and Lydney were running the ball at every opportunity.
This did cause a few handling errors but also resulted in two excellent scores within five minutes.
Firstly Holder grabbed his second as he finished off a sweeping move from the halfway line. The final score came straight from the restart as it culminated in evergreen wing Charlie Vine crossing to complete the rout.
The referee blew for full time which signalled the start of the celebrations with champagne and balloons.
This was an excellent performance to bring the curtain down on Lydney's home fixtures for this season.
They have two games left – at Worcester Warriors and Old Patesians.
Credit must go to all concerned in achieving the goal that was that was priority number one – an immediate return to the higher level, although everyone connected with the club knows it will be much tougher next season.
Head coach Duncan Bell, who was in Italy with the Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday, missed the celebrations must take a huge amount of credit for his efforts this season.
This was the 16th time this season that opponents have failed to register a second-half score against Lydney.
LYDNEY: Tony Wicks, Charlie Vine, Josh Innes, Dewi Scourfield, Josh Hannam, Chris Holder, Sam Arnott, Zen Swagrzwak, Mike Wallis, Steve Price, Jimmy Roberts, Matt Boobyer, Will Jones, Matt Taylor. Reps: Paul Price, Adam Wheeler, Jack O'Connell.
CHIPPENHAM: Dom Riccio, Steve Barber, Frazer Cliverd, Ryan Surr, Will Wallington, Lewis Surry, Sam Alford, Alex Cole, John Turner, Ben Riley, Matt Bye, Dave Rea, Ian Cook, Bobby Lyons, Chris Day. Reps: Nick Aston, Harry Taylor, Liam Snape.
REFEREE: Chris Thomas.
STAR MAN: Jimmy Roberts.