Luck holds out for Lacemen

Newquay 8, Honiton RFC 1st XV 10

Honiton 1st XV had another early start as they made the difficult trip down to Cornwall to play mid-table Newquay. With unavailabilities and injuries, there were eight changes to the winning side of last week so, on paper, this was always going to be a difficult encounter, writes Nick Guilbert.

Honiton got of to an excellent start when Glenn Channing knocked over a difficult penalty. Newquay rallied and, for most of the half, the sides cancelled themselves out. The home side got three points back, following a handling in the ruck decision which did tend to be Honiton’s problem throughout the game. With tails up, the seasiders edged ahead with a try which was, crucially, not converted.

Just before half time Honiton were hampered with a bad knee injury to Luke Kenny and thanks must go to the Newquay winger who, as a paramedic by trade, organised the support and ambulance superbly.

After half time, it’s fair to say, Newquay were the dominant side and any attacks from Honiton were nullified by the mounting penalty count.

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Then, disaster. Honiton had two players yellow carded in quick succession and were down to 13. Honiton did not crumble and the 13 dug deep and their defence held strong.

A good clearance kick from Ollie Rice put the pressure on the visitors’ line and, with the home side then losing shape and also having two players binned, Honiton were able to capitalise. A half break and a “stretch Armstrong” launch saw Channing dot down for a “get out of jail” try, which he converted to put Honiton 10-8 up.

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Final drama: Honiton conceded a penalty right on full time but, when your luck’s with you, it just is and the kick just went wide for Honiton to hang on for the win.

Truth be told, Newquay were the better side on the day and Honiton won “ugly”, but that never-say-die approach and willing stand-ins are what’s keeping them right up there in a difficult league.

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