Exmouth RFC suffer more away day blues with defeat at relegated Lydney
PUBLISHED: 09:52 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:52 25 April 2018
Exmouth continue to have the shadow of possible relegation from South West Premier hovering over them as they head into the final match of the season this coming Saturday (April 28), the home game against Camborne.
That’s because the Cockles slipped to another thoroughly disappointing away defeat, going down 34-18 at already relegated Lydney.
At least the Cockles’ fate remains in their own hands for a win at home to Camborne will end any worries about the dreaded drop. Easing the pressure for the home faithful will be the knowledge that one of the two away wins their team has achieved this season was in the first meeting with Camborne in Cornwall last November.
The Cockles got off to the worst possible start at Lydney with the home side’s stand-off scoring as early as the second minute – the first of what would end up as a hat-trick of tries with his third coming from the final move of the contest.
The Cockles were 26-6 down at half-time with their points coming from a brace of Tom Whelan penalties.
In the second half another good Exmouth following were able to cheer tries from Tom Brown and James Harris while Whelan added the extras to one of the tries.
However, that was as good at it got for an Exmouth side that simply cannot afford to fail in Saturday’s Imperial Ground meeting with Camborne.
Cockles head coach Jon Hill says: “If ever there was a time that we need everyone pulling in the right direction it is now.
“One game to play and we really are in the realms of ‘must win’ territory having put in a below par first- half performance in yesterday’s basement battle.
“We dominated territory and possession throughout the game and spent a lot of time in Lydney’s 22 only for us to make errors at crucial times.
“This is something we have to be better at, and all stick to the same page at critical moments.
“Our effort in the second half was huge, and Matt Ryan really added some impetus at nine, speeding up the game and carrying a genuine threat around the fringe.”
He continued: “Lydney were lively and highly motivated, some mentioning that they want to be in the east division, rather than the west, and as such required us or Ivybridge to go down.
“Regardless of whether this proved to be true or not, they were tough opposition on their own patch in their final league game, and had a clear and effective game plan.
“Unfortunately for us, we blew too many opportunities, and lived to rue three defensive errors in the first half, where Lydney punished us.
“Missed tackles, slow reactions and some opportunist play from the hosts meant we had a mountain to climb.
“The post mortem needs to wait. We all need to pull tight, look each other in the eye and have a genuine desire to pull the jersey on next week and do ourselves and the club badge proud.
“There is no doubt we have underachieved this season. But we are where we are, and have our future in our own hands.”
The Cockles head coach did have an appeal to the Cockles faithful, to whom he asked: “Please come and get behind us on Saturday as we look to save our season and ensure we leave the shirt in a good place for next season.”
● Read an article about the ‘away day’ woes for the Cockles at www.exmouthjournal.co.uk