Coutts stars as Lacemen go down at Withy
- Credit: Archant
After last weeks success at Allhallows, Honiton were faced with a tough task to visit top three, and title contenders, Withycombe, writes Rogers Dance.
The home side did win the match 40-12, but the score line does not reflect the contribution made to the contest by the Lacemen.
With a fixtures backlog the home side switched the venue to Bicton College to ensure the game went ahead as their home ground Raleigh Park was waterlogged.
Honiton got off to a bad start and leaked a try with just three minutes on the clock and things looked ominous!
However, the Lacemen rallied, and, after a couple of good passages of play, worked a situation that put Joe Briggs clear. Faced with a ‘two-on-one’ situation, he executed it well to put Kyle Blackmore in for a try in the corner.
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Withycombe are a well-drilled side and have a big physical pack and they continued to be a hand full for the Lacemen for the rest of the half.
Despite some terrific defending, Honiton conceded two more tries before half-time and trooped off 19-5 down.
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The second half saw the Lacemen work hard and their endeavours saw them go close on a couple of occasions, but the home side have a good set of wide men and scored a couple of tries from long range when Honiton were attacking.
The physicality took its toll and there was a scuffle between the forwards after an alleged stamping on number eight Josh Rice, but, with order restored, Withycombe powered on to scored their third try of the half to put them well clear.
Honiton dug deep and were rewarded for their efforts with a late consolation try by the Laceman Man of the Match James Coutts and the conversion was slotted by Adam Thompson.
Though beaten, the Lacemen battled well throughout. Credit, where credit is due, Withy look a good outfit with an ability to turn defensive situations into long range scores very impressively. Add to this a well-drilled and robust physical nature, on the day they were worthy winners and look good promotion candidates.
For Honiton it’s a case of ‘that one’s out of the way’ and, with lessons learnt from the encounter, this will help as they go into this coming Saturdays (January 30) home meeting with fellow strugglers Exeter Saracens.