Close call but Honiton lose out

Match kept spectators on their toes

Honiton 1st XV slipped to their third defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon, losing out 28-23 at Falmouth. On what has always been a difficult stomping ground for the Lacemen, their workrate was not high enough to ensure a positive outcome to the afternoon.

In decent conditions, the visitors started brightly, hustling the home side with an organised defensive effort.

They won a penalty shortly afterwards and Webber put the Lacemen three points up, but they made a hash of the re-start and Falmouth made them pay. Having moved the ball into the midfield, their inside centre got on the outside of his man and beat Guilbert to score under the posts for a converted score.

It was tit-for-tat on the score boards all afternoon and it was the Lacemen who scored next. From a successful lineout, Ollie Rice drew the covering defence before throwing a dummy and barging over in the left-hand corner for an unconverted score.

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Weak tackling saw the home side score another seven pointer and, at the turn around, the Lacemen were within a score.

Within 10 minutes of the re-start, Honiton won a scrummage on the right hand side and excellent work from Kenny put Small in space to race away to score an unconverted try in the right corner.But needless penalties let the home side back in and they added a converted try.

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Honiton responded when a careful box kick allowed Small to race on and score a try that was unconverted. Falmouth responded with another converted catch and drive try before Kenny kept the Lacemen in it. The Lacemen just couldn’t create a winning try and left Cornwall with two points.

?Honiton 2nd XV put last week’s defeat behind them in what was an outstanding performance against their Totnes counterparts and really, they put them to the sword in an impressive 85-0 victory. To be fair, Honiton had a very impressive second team on paper with much first team experience and this showed as they ran rampant in all areas of the park.

Honiton kicked up the infamous Allhallows slope and, after some good work by the forwards, the ball found its way to Barry Locke who crashed over for the first of his 19 minute hat-trick tries. After this, Totnes never really recovered and Honiton were playing what could be described as “total” rugby.

The forwards were dominant up front and, being controlled by the superb Steve Nex, they were able to supply the backs with good clean ball which was clinically finished by the nippy and aggressive back line.

Half time came and Honiton were several points to the good and this had all come from hard work as many people were out of breath.

The second half continued in similar vein with many hands getting on the ball to crash over, including a hat-trick for the impressive Dan Garman. The final whistle came a few minutes early with Honiton 85-0 to the good and the players were happy in the knowledge that several jugs would be purchased in the clubhouse afterwards.

In truth this was one way traffic from the start but credit must go to Totnes who did not give up.

Honiton came off the park knowing they had worked hard for the victory. A joint Man of the Match was awarded to Steve Nex and Dave McGrath who controlled the game from the off from numbers 9 and 10. Next week Honiton face a much tougher task as they travel down to south Devon to face Newton Abbot.

?Honiton’s under-14s faced the sternest test of their unbeaten season as they entertained a big strong Exmouth side at home.

It was a lovely morning for rugby and there was a large crowd watching this eagerly awaited clash between two of the top sides in the county. The first half was an even affair with both sides creating chances but defences were just as good and a rare half time score of 0-0 reflected how even the contest had been.

With the advantage of the slope, the fitter Honiton side started to get on top and, following a good handling move, saw full back Ben Kidson crossed out wide and shortly afterwards he ran in a second to put daylight between the two teams. Exmouth bounced back with a well- worked try but Honiton had the game by the throat and, after some fine clearing by the forwards, quick ball allowed Johnny House to cross for Honiton’s third. In the final moments Wesley Keywood rounded things off with another score and with three conversions added by Harry Wright, Honiton ran out 26-7 victors.

This was an excellent performance and the lads show remarkable maturity to work as a team with everyone doing their jobs well.

? The U13s notched up a spluttering win against plucky visitors Topsham. It looked as if Honiton would run away with things after several early scores but the Tops bounced back well and were still in it at half time at 27-12 down.

After the break Honiton switched off and were in real danger of being caught when the visitors dotted down twice more and, with just one score in it, Tops had the upper hand as the game went into the final quarter.

Thankfully, Honiton steadied the ship and, after some, fine work from Man of the Match Dion Warner, they scored again and that seemed to break the sprit of the visitors and Honiton finished strongly with two scores.

Honiton’s scores were shared between Ben Morris, Kye Brooks and Tom Holmes with Lewis Groves kicking several conversions.

There were many positives but there is a lot of room for improvement especially around the ruck and “deck clearing” situations and, dare I suggest, less time spent on computer games and more spent on fitness activities!

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