On the annual ladies day, the Okes finally came through a typically tight contest against their visitors from the Forest of Dean, writes Adam Holliday.

Although the sides sat in the bottom two slots in the table, when at or near full-strength, both can mix it with the table toppers.

There was plenty of quality play on display, with the pitch in remarkably good condition given the recent weather.

Okehampton played with the slope and wind first up and were soon on the scoreboard.

Skipper Dan Fogerty with the first of two early successful penalty kicks, before his afternoon was cut short by injury.

The Okes were generally on top but unable to press home their advantage in the first quarter, whilst the visitors demonstrated the ability to maintain possession against the elements. Okes extended their lead to nine points after 25 minutes when full back Kieran Lee, now on kicking duties after Fogerty’s departure, added another penalty to the hosts points tally.

Okes scrum had a slight upper-hand throughout, and when a series of such set pieces arrived approaching the half-hour mark, it set the platform for the game’s first five-pointer. The ball from the base was carried into midfield, then through the back’s hands, allowing Kieran Lee to cross wide out on the Okes right flank.

The conversion was missed but at 14-0 the Okes were building a lead, but not enough of one perhaps, given the conditions.

Both sides then lost one to the bin at differing points during the time remaining, in what was becoming a very lengthy half of rugby. Drybrook nearly took advantage before the interval, but their penalty attempt on the interval was tugged wide.

The Okes received the restart, still a man down. The visitors seemed visibly lifted with the wind at their tails and were soon on the offensive. The home side failed to repel the early thrusts, and their hard-earned advantage was swiftly halved as the visitors bullocked over via a close range pick and go beside the uprights.

The momentum had now definitely shifted, and the Okes propensity to sit back and allow the opposition to play allowed Drybrook to increase the pressure on the overworked home defence.

The hosts were falling foul of the referee and the penalty count against them mounted up.

Another visiting try was surely coming, and it duly arrived. Suddenly the scores were level at 14 apiece.

With half an hour still remaining, things looked ominous for the Okes in this must-win encounter. Gleaning little possession or territory, the hosts looked set for testing last quarter. Finally they managed to enter Drybrook territory, the hosts taking their only chance of the half when it arrived with 15 minutes left on the clock.

An injection of pace, as the ball was moved left up the Okes short side, created a half break and then an overlap. Replacement Adam Stevens then stepped inside the last defender and went over for a priceless try. It was turned into a seven-point advantage when Kieran Lee landed a very tricky conversion from wide out.

The host’s task was then made more arduous when second row Brad Curtis saw yellow. The resulting penalty saw an election for the uprights, and it was competently landed to reduce the Okes’ margin to a mere four points.

The tension was almost unbearable now as the visitors pushed for a match-winner. The penalties kept coming, but to the Okes’ immense credit they dug in and resisted all that was thrown at them.

The game seemed endless as another penalty was kicked deep. Okes were up to the task though and finally they secured possession and kicked it off to seal a treasured victory in their quest to remain at level five.

Okes celebrated, but now another important step needs to be taken next week away to Exmouth, Kick-off is 2pm. Why not let the train take the strain and bring your invaluable support for this deserving outfit?

Come On You Okes!