Honiton beaten at Crediton

Crediton 25, Honiton 17 Honiton slipped to defeat in Mid Devon on Saturday in tricky conditions, writes Nick Guilbert.

Having lost out in their previous league fixture to Tiverton, the Lacemen showed significant improvement to push the Mid Devon side close.

Honiton kicked off and immediately put pressure on the home side, forcing a charge down to gain possession for a scrummage deep in Crediton territory. However the referee was picky about a few things and penalised Whitton for feeding. Crediton relieved the pressure and really for the first twenty minutes it was tit for tat. Honiton knocked over three points through skipper Guilbert. It was clear to see the contrasting styles of the two sides with Honiton willing to run the ball wide, with Barratt and Ballard both making good yards, against the forward effort from the home side.

As it was Honiton were making good yards and when they disrupted the home side they kicked to Honiton’s twenty two where Ollie Rice made a mark. It was on to the left and Honiton made excellent progress through Ballard and then Dalton through the middle. As play moved from left to right Rice was again involved before Barratt crossed in the right hand corner. Barratt converted from out wide Honiton looked good value for their ten point lead.

Crediton however came back into it and used their effective rolling maul to score a converted try to reduce the deficit. A penalty kick levelled matters before half time as the sides went in level.

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Honiton started the second half brightly and forced play into Crediton territory, but they began to make errors that left the home side off the hook. Within ten minutes of the second period Crediton had put themselves in a positive position and they stuck to their game plan and ground out a try on the left.

It left Honiton chasing the game and their intensity dropped during this period. Crediton turned up the heat and when a kicking exchange saw full back Rice make an uncharacteristic error, Honiton were under the cosh.

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The home side went for the jugular and when the experienced number eight Mark Nott picked from a yard out he couldn’t be stopped.

Honiton could have collapsed, but they didn’t and they went back at Crediton. As the game went into the final play Honiton turned the ball over on the twenty two. The pack made a few yards before the ball found its way to substitute Bailey who received the ball on the right wing before beating several defenders with sidesteps on his way to a fine solo try. Guilbert converted to make the scoreline respectable.

It was a definite step in the right direction for the Lacemen which they must focus on developing for next weeks’ cup game at Torquay.

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