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Billy Driver back with a try for Southend Rugby Club against Lydney
SOUTHEND winger Billy Driver made a try-scoring return to action as he helped the Seasiders beat Lydney 26-13 at Warners Bridge on Saturday.
The 22-year-old missed his side’s first three games of the season with an ankle problem.
But he came back with a bang at the weekend as Southend returned to winning ways after suffering two heavy defeats.
“It was great to get a try and for us to win the game as well,” said Driver.
“Before the game I was a little bit nervous about how my fitness would be, but everything was fine and we should’ve won by more in the end.
“The victory has given us all a boost though and I think we will start to take more of the opportunities coming our way in the next few weeks.”
Southend bossed the first half at Warners Bridge and Chris Green’s side were disappointed to go in at the break only 5-3 up.
The opening 40 minutes was played almost exclusively in Lydney’s half of the field and it was only some loose passing and spilling the ball at vital moments that restricted the score.
Southend eventually scored their points when the ever reliable Danny Cleare grabbed his third try in three games.
His latest effort followed a successful line out and some swift passing along the line before he swept into the far corner and touched down.
Lydney’s only reply came from a Tony Wicks penalty kick that sailed over during one of their brief visits to the Southend half of the pitch.
However, the beginning of second period gave Lydney a boost when they scored their only try of the game four minutes after the restart.
It resulted from a rolling maul set up from their first serious attack of the game and was scored by number eight Charles Daniel.
Full back Wicks kicked the extras to put the visitors 10-5 in front and Southend’s supporters were fearful that another defeat might be on the cards.
But the Seasiders stuck at it and gradually imposed themselves again with a successful penalty kick from Liam MacGeachy and a rare try from prop Todd Bailey.
A kick into space found Lee Guess following up and his strong run allowed an off load to Bailey, who popped it over the line.
MacGeachy converted and Southend had retaken a 15-10 lead.
In reply, Lydney’s Wicks landed another three points from a penalty, but Southend stepped up the momentum again and another kick over the top found the returning Driver, who raced down his wing to add a third try to make sure of victory for his side.
Southend: Billings, Cleare, MacGeachy, Vaughan, Driver, Jones, Sansom, Bailey, Grier, Strachan, Cook, McClintock, Barker, L Guess, Hudson.
Replacements: Ox, Reeman, Ashton, Branch and Douglas.