Honiton topple Tavistock to maintain unbeaten home run

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6071. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6071. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton were 30-12 winners when they entertained Tavistock in their last home league game of the year, writes Jon Collins.

The midweek rain and a strong wind made handling difficult, but an early visitors attack was seen off before, at the other end of the pitch, Harry Wright crossed for the opening try.

The early score was added to when James Coutts-Tucker spotted a gap in the defensive line and raced over for the Lacemen to lead 10-0.

Continued home pressure led to an Ollie Cave penalty and a 13-0 lead for the home side.

From the returning kick-off, Harry Wright broke downfield and a clever chip over the defence by Ollie Cave was gathered by Jake Smith, who crossed and, with 25 minutes on the clock, the Lacemen led 18-0 and another Allhallows ‘rout’ looked on the cards! However, a succession of final passes were dropped and the first half fizzled out with the Lacemen comfortably in control.

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After the break, Honiton were ‘up the slope’ and they were forced to defend for a period during which time the visitors kept the ball more than they had in the first half and the home tackle count started to rise!

After gaining a penalty from a high tackle, the Lacemen kicked to touch and, from the line-out, a driving maul was set up and player-coach Nathan Hannay dotted down to secure the bonus point. Despite trailing 25-0, Tavistock kept going and their endeavours were rewarded with a right flank breakaway try.

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That started a period of positive play from the visitors and, with the Lacemen making some uncharacteristic errors, Tavistock scored again and, at 25-12 with 20 minutes remaining, Honiton were starting to have to look over their shoulders and must have been wondering how they’d let the visitors back into the game!

More Honiton mistakes were not punished by Tavistock and, after a passage of attacking play, Smith crossed for the fifth home try to seal another five point success for the Lacemen.

While it does seem churlish to be disappointed with a 30-12 success, there were a number of uncharacteristic mistakes and a bit more clinical finishing would surely have, with an impressive season to date, seen another 50 plus points haul. Granted, conditions were difficult with ball in hand and to win comfortably without playing well for a full 80 minutes can be forgiven! The supporters weren’t really complaining, but there is unfortunately an air of expectation down at Allhallows and that is that the Lacemen will always win easily!

On Saturday, Honiton travel to Torquay who, though well beaten on their visit to Fortress Allhallows in September, they have been recording some impressive results together of late and they do currently sit fourth in the table, one point and one place below the Lacemen.

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