Honiton 2nd XV win well against Exeter Athletic

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

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

With the first team on the road, Honiton seconds took centre stage at fortress Allhallows in an eagerly awaited clash with Exeter Athletic.

Despite the wet and windy conditions, a bumper crowd gathered on the terraces hoping to cheer their heroes on to victory.

Even though injuries were depriving them of vice captain Austin Elliott and playmaker Andy Canniford, the Ton were able to name a strong squad with particular excitement around the inclusion of Dan Garman who had finally received clearance to play.

Playing up the Allhallows slope in the first half, Honiton immediately took the game to their visitors but in slippery conditions handling errors kept the scores level for the first 15 minutes.

The Ton forwards were clearly intent on tiring out their larger opponents and on 15 minutes, they created space for Will Tyers to leave his opposite number for dead as he raced in for a try.

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5 minutes later more Honiton pressure forced a penalty which Dom Pierson-lovesy duly converted to stretch the lead to 8-0.

With Exeter Athletic's larger boned forwards struggling to live with Honiton's pace, they conceded a further penalty and having pushed the referee's patience too far their second row was shown a yellow card. As he departed to the naughty step, Pierson-lovesy knocked over the penalty to send Honiton to the half time oranges with an 11-0 lead.

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At half time Lovesy replaced White in the front row and Lancaster came on for the Disney on Ice bound Churchward and the Ton knew that despite now playing downhill, the game still needed to be won.

From the kick off Honiton tore into their opponents and when Phil Bennett made a crunching tackle which dislodged the ball he was able to make ground into the Exeter 22. The forwards then stepped in and Ben Way rampaged over to follow up his try last week. Pierson-lovesy added the extras and Honiton were 18 points clear.

A third Honiton try came shortly after when great hands put Sam Heathcote over in the corner.

As they chased a fourth try that would bring a bonus point, Honiton introduced the dynamic duo of Garman and Platten from the bench.

Garman had the visitors defence looking twitchy and that helped open a gap for Will Tyers to burst through and sprint in from halfway for his second try of the afternoon Pierson-lovesy converted and Honiton had their bonus point and were out of sight.

Injuries saw Exeter Athletic run out of subs so Honiton's Tom White joined their ranks to allow the game to continue with competitive scrums.

With 10 minutes left, Robin Bennett was shown a yellow card and the extra man advantage seemed to boost the Exeter forwards. In the last play of the game they finally managed to rumble over with White coming up with the ball and the game ending 30-5 to Honiton.

This was a good performance from a Honiton side which gets better each week. Stand out performances came from Callum Budge at number 8, Phil Cooke at scrum half, Tyers with his two tries and man of the match Ben Way.

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