Ledger’s late effort ruled out and Honiton 2nds slip to Tavistock reversal
Tavistock 2nds 13, Honiton 2nds 10 This was a game that the Lacemen could, indeed should, have won and they would have done so had a late score not been ruled out.
The contest began in what can only be described as a ‘torrential downpour’ which left the surface wet and muddy rendering any chance of fast expansive rugby impossible!
Honiton showed their usual determination in defence and, unlike previous weeks they kept the door firmly shut when under the cosh for the first 10 minutes.
After settling into the game they found themselves getting the better of the possession and some fantastic kicking from hand by John Carnell saw the Lacemen into some great positions. It was from one of these kicks that the deadlock was broken. Having won a penalty the ball was kicked to touch. With Robbie Harrison throwing accurately all day, the ball was mauled and driven over the Tavistock line with Tom Churchward peeling off from the back to cross over. The conversion was missed. Honiton continued to dominate proceedings but some solid defence from the hosts saw half-time arrive with Honiton holding a 5-0 advantage.
Straight from the re-start good handling saw the ball moved wide and, after a few good breakdowns, the ball found its way to debutant Dave Beardy who crossed over for his maiden Honiton try.
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The hosts responded well, but got little change out of the exceptional Honiton defence. The loss of Louie Lane to the sin bin for a high tackle was to prove pivotal for during his absence the hosts scored a try which was converted and reducing the home deficit to just three points.
The scores were levelled with a home penalty with 10 minutes remaining.
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With Lane back on the field Honiton took charge and some great running by Phillip Cooke very nearly resulted in a score. At the other end the Lacemen were penalised at the breakdown with what looked a very harsh decision and the resultant penalty was slotted to give Tavistock a 13-10 lead.
Inside the closing stages Josh Ledger took a quick tap penalty and slid over in the corner. However, to the disbelief of the entire away contingent the match official deemed that Ledger had somehow been held up and didn’t award the try!
That proved crucial to the end result with Tavistock sealing a narrow victory.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Honiton in a match that saw them clearly the better side and the players trooped off with a feeling of injustice. Credit must go to Tavistock for keeping their scoreboard ticking over.