That time of year again – 4th September and the 1st XV travel down the M4 to visit the Forest of Dean and Lydney RFC.
Last season is a distant memory and past results count for nothing, despite that Mike Cudmore and his squad will travel to Reagenstholme buoyed by three pre season games that have seen the squad gel together and produce some decent results against Readingensians, Loughborough Students and their final warm up game, a comprehensive defeat of Championship side Esher last Saturday at Vallis Way.
Mike has been pleased with the development of the squad over the summer which has seen the majority of those who played last season retained, plus the addition of players who with them bring the experience of playing in higher leagues.
Looking ahead to Ealing’s first league game of the season Mike said, "Lydney is always a tough place to go and get a result at and a good challenge for us in our first league outing. We have worked very hard in the pre season. We have produced some good performances in the pre season games. I am now looking forward to the team going out there on Saturday and expressing themselves and delivering a performance that reflects where we are at the moment."
Skipper on Saturday Ben Ward said after training on Tuesday "Lydney always provide a very tough challenge. With it being the first game of the season the match should start at a very fast pace but both teams will soon settle. We have prepared well and are looking forward to the game."
Lydney RFC was founded in 1888, when there were already 8 teams playing in the town.
The club drew its strength and many of its players from the local tinplate works, and for many years Lydney RFC were known as the ‘Tinplaters’. The first President, Charles Bathurst, later the first Lord Bledisloe, held the position for 70 years. Lord Bledisloe became Governor General of New Zealand in the 1930s and gave his name to the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Union trophy competed for by Australia and New Zealand.
There is still a strong connection between Lydney and New Zealand, especially the Waikato Province, and there is a regular exchange of players between Lydney and Waikato clubs.
For a town with a population which has only recently exceeded 10,000, Lydney has more than held its own against clubs from bigger towns, and has a great record in the national knock out cup, playing Saracens, Sale and Exeter Chiefs in recent years. They have not been out of the National Leagues since the league system started.
Further details can be found at : http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/lydneyrugbyfootballclub/
Lydney’s pre season has seen them suffer a narrow 20-17 defeat against a Plymouth XV and a "scrappy win " 20-12 over Old Patesians – they are the words from Old Pats!! ( report – http://www.oldpats.co.uk/Match%20Reports/LydneyAway.html )
Previous meetings between Ealing Trailfinders and Lydney RFC
01/05/10 Lydney 8 Ealing Trailfinders 50
19/09/09 Ealing Trailfinders 50 Lydney 18
25/04/09 Lydney 17 Ealing Trailfinders 7
11/10/08 Ealing Trailfinders 53 Lydney 16
15/03/08 Ealing Trailfinders 43 Lydney 13
24/11/07 Lydney 10 Ealing Trailfinders 31