Honiton Colts lose unbeaten record – but only just

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Rugby - generic - Credit: Archant

The Lacemen Colts lost their unbeaten record when edged out 15-10 by a Barnstaple side that had only lost once before this season, writes Paz Parratt.

The early exchanges saw both teams display outstanding defence with neither outfit clearly prepared to give an inch!

The Lacemen began to bag the lions share of the ball, but the Barum defence stood firm. Following a loose ball, Barum managed to get into Honiton’s half and, with a little chip over the centres, a heavy booted race saw both sides scrabbling for Honiton’s line. Unfortunately the ball bounced in Barums favour and Honiton missed touching down to secure a 22 dropout. Barnstaple got a hand to it first and claimed the first try. Honiton responded well, but the sticky conditions tested both sets of forwards and they found it a struggle to get the backs involved with the game which reached half time with that one score of a converted try between them.

Both teams made high tempo starts to the second half. The Lacemen soaked up some pressure and, as phases started to slot in to place, momentum was built. Connor Long forced his way though and found the line to earn Honiton their first points following some good recycling.

Trailing 7-5 Honiton started to move the ball around the park a bit more and it was Kyle Blackmore who found the white wash next following some good support along with a strong run in from the wing. The heavy ball didn’t manage to find the sticks, but the Lacemen held the lead for the first time at 10-7.

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With both teams spinning the ball about attempting to find gaps in each other’s armoury, a disappointing overlap allowed Barum to cross to secure their second try of the game. Barnstaple were now in front by two points and Honiton had to work even harder to get within striking range. Barum smelt victory, and their defensive shutters were well and truly slammed shut and Honiton were unable to break through. Stale mate was back in force until Barnstaple were awarded a penalty kick in front of the sticks to close the game. Honiton could have scored on a number of occasions, but in all fairness, so could Barum. Defence from both teams led to a brilliant game of rugby, and on another day Honiton may well have had the rub of the green. I’m sure both teams will be looking forward to the return leg later in the season.

Man of the match went to Jonny House for stepping up and taking on some very difficult kicking duties.

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This weekend Honiton travel to face Exeter (2.30pm).

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