Rice delivers in gritty Honiton performance

Honiton won a tight game in Mid Devon on Saturday, beating a strong South Molton side 22-10 at Pathfields.

South Molton 10

Honiton RFC 1st XV 22

Honiton won a tight game in Mid Devon on Saturday, beating a strong South Molton side 22-10 at Pathfields.

The Lacemen showed grit and determination as they fought back from 10-5 down in the last quarter to strike back with scores from Rice and Nex.

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The result, which establishes Honiton as genuine title contenders, was put beyond doubt as Colt Rice, making his debut on the wing, scored his second interception try of the game, running in from 30 yards to put the score beyond doubt.

The game had started badly for the Lacemen in reality, starved of ball they threw away the little possession they had, and the robust home pack made good yards as Honiton continually infringed. South Molton scored from a lineout in the 22, as they mauled the ball in from the touch line the sturdy home number eight bulldozed his way over for an unconverted score.

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Honiton rallied and began to get a foothold in the game by building some phases and moving up field. The South Molton hooker was sin-binned for a high tackle on Dobson as Honiton moved forward. In the early exchanges they had looked to get the ball wide with little success but, at the end of the first quarter, debutant Hyland broke the gain line from outside centre.

The burst, resulting from a good fend, allowed the pacey teenager to break clear and make 25 yards before offloading to Rice. Rice was unfortunate not to score but did well to keep the ball alive and offload to Findlay. The ball found its way to Dobson, who levelled the scores at five each in the corner.

With the game moving towards half time, the home side lost another player to the sin bin for a late tackle, again on Dobson.

In truth, it was Honiton's sturdy defence that won them the game and they did well to repel their hosts before the break whilst launching attacks of their own.

At the half way stage, the Lacemen were clearly being made to work for their supper, but they knew that fitness would come into it at some stage. And so it proved.

The home side threw everything but the kitchen sink at the whitewash in the third quarter and Honiton were made to defend for nearly 20 minutes. Eventually, the Mid Devon side broke through for an unconverted score to take the lead 10-5 moving into the last period of the game.

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