Smith try double cannot prevent Lacemen suffering more woe in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 18:13 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:13 15 October 2018

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife

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Honiton suffered a second defeat of the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League season when they were edged out 20-19 at Redruth-based Lanner, writes Jerry Rice.

After their defeat in Cornwall – at Bude – seven days before, the Lacemen travelled to the Duchy keen to get things back on track.

For both sides conditions were very difficult as the game was very much played in gale force wind conditions that prevailed up their slightly sloping pitch. This meant, for both sides, passing and accurate kicking was always going to be difficult.

Using this wind advantage first, Lanner were quickly on the score sheet with a well-struck penalty. Once they had settled into the game, the Lacemen began to impress and a powerful break led by Harry Wright saw the ball fed to Jake Smith, who ran in the game’s first try. In difficult windy conditions, the conversion was missed. A second try soon followed with Will Tyers crossing the whitewash and Alex Brooks slotted the conversion for the Lacemen to hold a 12-3 lead.

However, things then began to go wrong for the visitors! First up a clearly ‘not’ forward pass from Nathan Hannay to Steve Trenchard meant his score was strangely disallowed and there was further misfortune when Honiton were again penalised, something which seemed to becoming a more and more regular occurrence in the game, and Lanner slotted the penalty. Then, from a quickly taken penalty on the stroke of half-time, the Cornishmen scored under the post and converted to give them a narrow 13-12 half-time lead.

The second half saw the Lacemen suffer further ‘strange’ decisions from the match official – underlined by what did seem perfectly good catch and drives from close lineouts that the referee kept finding fault with and marched them back!

Honiton did score when Smith crossed under the posts for his second try, one that was converted to see Honiton into a 19-13 lead.

However, to their credit, the home side kept plugging away and four minutes from time struck with a converted try that saw them take the match honours 20-19.

So, for the second week on the trot Honiton lost on the road. There was, to a man, huge disappointment and it’s not a case of ‘sour grapes’ born out of a defeat – the fact is a huge penalty count against a normally well disciplined team just seemed very odd and didn’t add up.

Credit to the Honiton players as they didn’t react to the decision making, mainly in fear of being yellow carded, which wouldn’t have helped their cause.

Refereeing is difficult at the best of times and it’s never good to criticise them, but when players don’t understand decisions and explanations as to why they were given appear to be made up, some critical feedback needs to be mentioned.

It must be said the official’s decisions were not the fault of Lanner and, as with last week’s game, the Cornish opposition did come out fighting especially in second half; they did take the game to Honiton when faced with playing against the elements and credit to them for disrupting Honiton’s game plan at every given opportunity.

On Saturday (October 20), Honiton host Looe and Liskeard.

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