Honiton 2nds chalk up impressive win over Exeter Athletic

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton seconds had a rearranged game against Exeter Athletic at Allhallows and, with several players absent and an opposition limbering up with at least 11 replacements, the Lacemen could have been forgiven for not being that optimistic about getting a result!

With Tom ‘Churchie’ Churchwood standing in as skipper, and several colts without a game stepping up into the senior ranks, the ‘Ton’ took to the field a little makeshift.

Right from the kick off they had to sustain ten minutes of pressure as the visitors came down the slope in waves.

Having weathered the early pressure and realising they could compete they then got amongst the visitors and got into the game and from a period of sustained pressure Honiton got on the score sheet with a well-struck penalty by Phil Bennett and again, after a patient build up, a ball swung left found Kelsey Pulman and with work to do he crossed out wide for the first try of the game.

Bennett added another penalty and Honiton went into the break with an 11-0 lead.

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The second half saw near total Honiton domination and, after a sustained attack down the right, the home defence buckled and Honiton were rewarded with a penalty try.

There was one more score, a try from Rhys Phillips as the Lacemen secured a splendid 23-0 victory.

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In conclusion, defence was key throughout, but especially in the vital first 10 minutes when Honiton nullified the visitors’ ambition.

There was a terrific blend of youth and experience in the Honiton team on the day and, had it not been for some wayward handling, the try count would have been higher.

There were some terrific individual performances, none more so than Tom White, back from injury and propping well as he, together with Josh Webber and James Foote, bossed the scrums.

Austin Elliot ran the pack well and Phil Bennett was key at 10 as he kicked and marshalled his young backs well.

A big factor, though, was the inclusion of Corrie Pulman who looked sharp throughout and, when not charging forward with the ball, was there making key tackles.

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