Honiton conspire to lose against Somerset rivals Chard
- Credit: Archant
Saturday saw Honiton play local rivals Chard and whilst the two towns are 13 miles apart the county divide means this was the first competitive fixture in many a year, writes Jeremy Rice.
To be fair both sides have been struggling this season with results but last week visitors Chard pulled a win out of the fire with a last gasp try. For the Ton it was a bit of a mauling last week and time to put things back on track.
There was a large crowd present and there were several Chard supporters there as well, given the fact they are near neighbours. Honiton elected to take on the infamous Allhallows slope and they started brightly but were as with last week they were under the cosh in the scrums and this meant Honiton did struggle to get much front football ball for much of the afternoon. None the less Honiton did chuck the ball about a bit and looked dangerous and with a little more handling care they might have pressed this advantage home much more than they did. The Ton were first on the score sheet after a good passage of play and Ollie Cave crossed out right and then kicked his own conversion for a 7-0 lead. Chard defended well and they then struck a penalty to narrow the deficit to 7-3. Honiton did have a lot of the territorial advantage in the half and also had a couple of slots at goals but ,both just went wide and one of which was questions as most thought it was over. None the less half time came and Honiton were ahead and it was now their turn to use the slope.
There was then a lapse in concentration and Honiton gave away field possession and from the ensuing attack the Somerset neighbours got their first score of the game to go 10-7 up with four minutes of the half played.
Honiton then gained a foot hold on the game and new signing Tom Pugsley, who had been looking dangerous all afternoon, sneaked in near the posts which allowed an easy conversion to put Honiton a point ahead. This lead was added to when good ball won on the half way line saw Cave get through a gap, he feed fellow centre Dom Hawke who then cantered in for great converted score. Honiton were now sitting pretty at 21-10.
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Chard were not done but time was not in their favour. They again capitalised on mistakes and this allowed then field position and they scored again but a fairly easy conversion was missed. They were back in with a 21-15 score line. For the Ton they just had to keep the opposition as the game was nearly done but from a short restart the ball didn't carry the 10 metres and Chard were awarded a scrum and with a patient build from this they worked it up field and scored again and this time the kick went over to give then the vital one point advantage at 21-22. Honiton just had time to restart but the whistle for no side went moment later and somehow Honiton had managed to lose a game where they were looking comfortable to even get a bonus point win.
For the travelling supporters they were gobsmacked and several actually said they didn't know how they had actually won it…and for them, that's two weeks on the trot where they have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. For the Ton faithful it was a gut wrenched the result was in the bag only to be snatch away from them at the death. This now the Ton fourth defeat on the trot which is worrying but perhaps what's more disappointing is it was a game they should have one. I hope they don't rue this as the season progresses. Still to be positive, there were some good passages of play but for all there endeavour it's a reminder to all it's an 80 minute game and at this level the intensity is required from start to finish.
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Next week it's over to Cullompton for another new local derby. They are struggling so all to play for the Ton. .