Honiton 2nd XV go down to narrow defeat at home to an Exmouth XV

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 - Credit: Archant

With no first team game on Saturday, Honiton’s second XV took centre stage at Allhallows for a hastily re-arranged friendly meeting with an Exmouth XV, writes Jerry Rice.

With Exmouth as a club playing their rugby several leagues higher than Honiton, their lower sides are traditionally very strong, and in recent encounters Honiton have invariably been on the end of a ‘pasting’!

Despite this, and because of recent cancellations, the second team accepted the game as everyone just wanted a run around.

Conditions were pretty dire, as persistent rain all morning made the pitch very wet and right from the kick off it was obvious handling, kicking and in fact just plain running were all going to be difficult and also, after about 10 minutes, it was frankly difficult to see who was on whose side!

Having mentioned all the negatives, this was, in fact, a very good game that was evenly contested and also quite enjoyable to watch.

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Exmouth got an early score out wide, but Honiton rallied well and most of the play was concentrated in the middle half of the pitch.

Honiton lost skipper James Foot after 10 minutes to a head injury, nothing too serious, but with new rules re concussion he was not allowed back on. Honiton battled hard and had good passages of play, but they couldn’t score and turned round 5-0 down at the break.

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The second half was just as tough as both sides slogged it out in the worsening muddy conditions.

Honiton went close but so did Exmouth and on the 30 minute mark the visitors scored their second of the day after which there was no way back for Honiton and, despite their endeavours, they slipped to a narrow 10-0 defeat.

As previously mentioned, this was a good game to watch despite the conditions and the game could really have gone either way.

Everyone played well for Honiton. Ben Welch did well as the stand-in number 10 for the day; not a position to relish in the conditions.

The pack as a collective did well in the hard yards department but the Lacemen’s Man of the Match award went to Matt Broom, who worked hard in the midfield. Despite the loss, Honiton weren’t too disappointed with the result as the score was close and they then adjourned to the bar to watch England win. Spare a thought for skipper James Foot, who only played for 10 minutes and was rewarded by having to take the shirts home to wash! He has subsequently filled me on how pleasurable a task that was!

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