A bit rusty but this was a worthy display

PUBLISHED: 16:39 20 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:55 15 June 2010

Honiton Seconds, after a lay-off of some six weeks because of weather and holidays, returned to action with a tough league encounter against Withycombe.

Honiton Seconds, after a lay-off of some six weeks because of weather and holidays, returned to action with a tough league encounter against Withycombe.

In this season's earlier match at Exmouth, Honiton came off second best but it was close, so Honiton were keen for revenge.

Honiton were on the back foot for the first quarter and, despite some valiant defence, Withycombe broke the deadlock with a try out wide. There were, however, signs of recovery and every time the ball was swung wide, Honiton looked dangerous. Having been hauled down by a try-saving tackle once, James Laughin made amends when, in a similar move, he was able to skin his man for a touchdown out wide to level the scores.

Withy piled on the pressure and again, despite some sound defence, they breached the Honiton defence twice and turned round 17-5 up.

The Lacemen were far from out of the game and, straight from the restart, a well timed pass from Salter released man-of-the-match Josh Barret who cut through the first line of defence and, with a neat side step, rounded the full back to touch down under the posts. Crucially, this was converted.

Then Honiton applied the pressure and won the next five scrums to deliver good balls and had they trusted hands rather than the boot they may well have scored again.

Then Withycombe introduced the "we've had enough rule" which is more commonly known as uncontested scrums and this meant Honiton's dominance of them was lost which evened things up.

Undeterred, the Lacemen continued on the attack and, with a good catch and drive, they developed a good maul. With things opening up in front of him, Tubbsie Galling broke through and galloped to the line for the equalising score.

Unfortunately that's how things finished and it was a 17-all draw, but Honiton once again were unlucky not to turn things round for a win.

Honiton were a bit rusty but there were some good performances, especially from the front row quartet of Nuttal, Foot and Pavey and latterly Carnal, and new bloke Mark Wilson looked the part when he came on on the wing. So all round, a bit rusty but a worthy performance.

Under 16s: Honiton's u-16s were the only junior side in action on Sunday and they played their league game away at Cullompton and duly came home with all the points in what was a close encounter. They turned round 5-0 to the good courtesy of a Ben Small touchdown which left several players dead in his wake.

The second half continued in the same vein and was nip and tuck all the way. James Powell made a try saving tackle to keep the home side in front and, having weathered the storm, in form prop Billy Wilkins crossed twice for two scores and Honiton were home and dry.

Having had a six-week lay off they were a bit rusty and the team didn't really gel as well as they have but they were worth their 15-nil score line and this keeps them in second place in the league with the critical Chiefs' game to come next week. Man of the match went to newcomer Nathan Mugford who seems to have taken to the game very well.

By Jeremy Rice

Honiton 2nds

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