Honiton undone at Penryn where the score line did not reflect the Lacemen’s effort.

Action from Honiton 2nd XV

Action from Honiton 2nd XV - Credit: Archant

Penryn 34, Honiton 3 Honiton slumped to a disappointing 34-3 defeat to Penryn in deepest Cornwall on Saturday afternoon, writes Nick Guilbert.

The result was a little unfair to the Lacemen who were in contention throughout and never stopped grafting.

The game at Allhallows was an evenly contested affair earlier in the season, and the first half was no different to that encounter. Honiton were under pressure for significant periods of time through the first half, but never eased off the pedal.

Penryn won the toss and played with the strong first half wind in the opening period and soon found themselves in Honiton territory. However, Honiton were strong in defence and defiant in the face of the Cornish onslaught.

Penryn kicked to the corner a couple of times from penalties but could not break Honiton down as the Lacemen disrupted the lineout’s and cleared into touch consistently well against the harsh breeze.

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Penryn did eventually open the scoring with a penalty that was incorrectly given for holding on, when quite clearly the tackler had not released. We were in Cornwall and you know you won’t get many of the 50:50’s but this was taking it to the extreme.

As it was Penryn knocked over the penalty, and as the game moved into the last ten minutes before half time, Honiton looked in excellent shape. They had played expansively enough in the dour conditions to alleviate the pressure at key times and given Selway and Salter enough of a platform to dictate play when the East Devon side were in possession.

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However, another marginal decision in a rolling maul from open play allowed Penryn to break down the left channel and cross fifteen yards left of the posts. Again it was harsh, but Honiton should have played the whistle.

Honiton needed a score before half time and they got it following the re-start. Price, who again performed well in the loose and shows signs of continual improvement, hussled well from the kick off, winning possession for his side.

Honiton worked their way up the field from the following scrum and when Selway broke further right he was shoulder charged by the home side six who was immediately sin binned. Webber did well in the wind to convert and take his side in just seven points behind at the re-start.

The second half should have been a fruitful period for the Lacemen, but they simply failed to show the control that had taken them so close to victory in last weeks Okehampton game. The conditions were completely different, but Honiton didn’t show enough control in the tight to provide the platform for the width that had worked well in the first period.

The fitness issue was also apparent, as Honiton struggled to contain the larger, fitter home side as they showed good patience in hitting up around the edges. Honiton conceded a few penalties which gave Penryn territory and they used their big runners to pound the Lacemen.

Penryn scored several tries in the second period, from their pack based dominance and Honiton couldn’t retain enough possession to ask the questions they had asked in the first half. It was also apparent that Penryn had used the wind more effectively then the Honiton fulcrum players, which led to Honiton playing too much of the second half in their own half.

Honiton were tenacious to the end and won many plaudits from the home crowd and coaching staff for their unrelenting efforts. Honiton now have just two games left, against league champions St Austell at Allhallows next week, and away to Kingsbridge the week after. It would be great to see a few of the townsfolk at Allhallows next week to cheer on the team that has worked tirelessly for the shirt of the town throughout this unforgiving season.

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