Honiton lack patience in defeat at Exeter Saracens

Honiton made the short journey to play old rivals Exeter Saracens and just to add spice this was to be a triple header game, writes Roger Dance.

Firstly it was a league game, but doubled up with a cup game to progress to the next round and finally both sides always play for the traditional Paddy Thompson trophy when ever they meet.

Honiton arrived to the depressing site of groups of people armed with forks and spades trying to clear puddles and filling them with sand so it was obvious it was going to be a slog in the mud and so it proved to be!

The early action was even-steven and, as the pitch inevitably began to cut up it became crystal clear that it was going to be a close encounter.

Sarries broke the deadlock when a wayward defensive kick was gathered well and with space, the quick wingman skinned the Honiton defence to dot down out wide. This seemed to galvanise the Lacemen and, with several takes against the head in the tight, Honiton started to get back on top and they would count themselves unlucky as a clear ‘legal’ touch down by prop Robbie Harrison was disallowed.

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His remonstrations were, as is the case in rugby, rewarded by a march back of an extra ten metres. Honiton kept up the pressure though and went close on a further two occasions and, with time running out in the first half, a good brake by Josh Rice found Jason Hannay who cutting a good line to crashed over near the uprights. Webber knocked over the extras for the Lacemen to hold a 7-5 interval lead.

With the pitch now in tatters and a slight difficulty in telling who was on whose side the second half was always going to be a big slog in the mud!

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The home side scored first twenty minutes into the second half, scoring out wide.

Honiton came back strongly, but didn’t get any luck, and, fortune played it’s part when a clear knock on was missed to allow the hosts to sweep up the field and score again and with the extras easily kicked Honiton were down and out at 17-7.

However, they did, to their credit, keep going and had the lions share of possession in the final 10 minutes and, had they been a little more patient when camped in the home sides twenty-two, they should surely have scored.

As it was, time ran out and the home side were deserved winners in difficult conditions and of course they took the three results!

For Honiton this was a big disappointment, but they were just not patient enough in their build up of phases. Throw in a few wrong options and the understandable handing errors and it does leave room for improvement.

A positive note was the that the tackle count was huge and young Harry Wright, playing as an eight, is growing with each performance. Honiton’s Man of the Match award went to the hard-working and reliable Robert Price, who’s tackle count lead the way for the Lacemen.

So it’s played ten, won five, for the Lacemen and leaves them mid-table. With three difficult fixtures coming up it’s going to be a tough old lead up to the Christmas break.

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