Lacemen run in 14 tries in mauling of hosts Withycombe

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton exacted sweet revenge for a disappointing defeat they suffered to Withycombe at the end of last season by thrashing them 92-0 on their own Raleigh Park turf, writes Jerry Rice.

In what were perfect playing conditions, Lacemen skipper Will Goulden opted to play up the slope and they made a dream start as a big drive into the twenty-two by the forwards saw the ball shipped wide and Jake Smith crossed in the corner.

The home side gathered themselves and had a good percentage of possession for the next 10 minutes until the ball was spilled and Honiton slickly moved the ball upfield with some great support running and handling and Harry Wright crossed before Ben Webber slotted the conversion. Honiton then stepped up a gear to serve up some sublime rugby as they spun the ball, supported attacks with men either side of the carrier and just looked a different class. The halfbacks in Jonny House and the general Alex Brooks ran the show superbly and it was Brooks who delivered a neat pass to free Ollie Cave for the third try and a 17-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

For the remainder of the first half the home side were on the back foot, unable stop irresistible Honiton, who ran in further tries from Cave, Nathan Hannay, Smith and Will Tyers to troop off at the break with a 43-0 lead.

The Lacemen also made a flying start to the second half as slick hands from Wright and Rice released Tyers to canter in from long range before Webber crossed for the next try.

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For what was a large contingent of travelling support, the next 30 minutes were a joy to watch as Honiton ran in tries at will.

Smith finished off what looked like a very complicated set piece move with players running dummy lines all over the shop, which meant Tyers was able to ghost though a gap, he checked the full back and Smith had an easy run in for his hat-trick try.

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Josh Rice was on hand and in support for the next and Webber got a second as Logan broke the gain line and brilliantly offloaded to Cootie to canter in.

Rounding off a fine individual performance, Jonny House was again there in support from a Jason Hannay line break, and he had a walk-in final try to complete the scoring.

Frankly, this was a quality performance and was a joy to watch. The Lacemen systematically dismantled the opposition, running in 14 tries with an outstanding team performance from Will Goulden’s men. Whilst some of the tries were pretty to watch, we must also applaud the defensive effort which saw another nil points against, and, with an average of 3.75 points against for the first four league games and a 247 points tally, this is an impressive start to the season!

It looks to be a tough task this Saturday (October 6) with the Lacemen making the long trip to Bude, who are always a strong side at home.

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