Channing makes triumphant return as Withy win at Honiton

09:29 30 January 2014

Withycombe away at Honiton at the weekend. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref exsp 1156-05-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Withycombe away at Honiton at the weekend. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref exsp 1156-05-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Honiton 12, Withycombe 15

Withycombe clawed back a 12-point deficit to win in difficult conditions at Honiton in their latest Tribute Devon and Cornwall League outing, writes Mike Richards.

The home side made a confident start and took an eighth minute lead when full-back Ollie Rice broke clear and then slotted an impressive touchline conversion.

Withy replied by rumbling down to the Honiton 22 only to come away empty handed after a maul was pulled down close to the home line.

The hosts then took a 12-0 lead with a Callum Hill try, but that was to prove the last moment of cheer for the home faithful.

Once Withy had worn off their ‘bus legs’ they began to impose themselves on the game. However, they were stymied time and again by the workmanlike home defence. The Withy enterprise eventually paid dividends when, with the final play of the first half, number-eight Mike Richards crossed the home line. Glen Channing’s conversion sailed towards its target between the posts only to be blown back such was the strength of the wind!

In the second half Withy, playing up the slope, took control with Channing’s trusty right boot dictating much of the play.

As the forwards again drove over the line, this time from a lineout drive, Luke Mingo, marked an impressive debut with a try that was followed by another confident Channing conversion... Jon Axon and the Laceman’s Callum Hill took a walk to the sin bin between the scoring of the try and the conversion!

Withycombe continued pressurising the Honiton line and elected to kick to the corner rather than take a kickable penalty, before taking the points with the next one. Channing put the visitors ahead from right under the posts with 15 minutes still to go. This seemed to spur Honiton, and they made a few forays into the Withycombe 22, but ultimately came up empty handed and frustration set in as another home player was sent to the bin on the final whistle!

Withycombe will be happy to come away from All Hallows with a win as it is never an easy place to go and play rugby, and the conditions made free-flowing running rugby something of a pipe dream. Still, it has now been three wins from three since Christmas and with Falmouth visiting on Saturday, Withy will be looking to extend that run.

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