‘Added time’ woe for Honiton as they are edged out in close-encounter at Falmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:45 01 March 2020

Action from Honiton's home win against Cullompton. Picture: Honiton RFC

Action from Honiton's home win against Cullompton. Picture: Honiton RFC

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Honiton suffered a 16-13 defeat on their visit to Falmouth for a Tribute Western Counties West game.

The final score suggests a 'close contest' and it most certainly was just that, though, on the long journey home, the Lacemen were left to lament 'what might have been' after a contest in which they led 13-10 well into 'added time'.

Indeed, the home side struck two penalties that were awarded in some 13 minutes of 'added time' to consign the Lacemen to a narrow defeat.

Despite a soft playing surface, the biggest issue on the day, for both sides, was a gale-force wind!

Honiton spent the first half playing into the gale, but they began well and their early endeavours yielded profit with Ollie Cave slotting a third minute penalty.

The home side hit back from the restart, but stern defence held them at bay and a fine line move from Honiton ended with full back Kyle Blackmore crossing the try line to score an unconverted 20th minute try.

Falmouth scored next, with a forwards move that ended with a try to the right of the post, but the conversion attempt, into the face of the gale, landed short. However, 27 minutes into the match and Honiton led 8-5.

For the remainder of the half it was Honiton who edged both possession and territory, but, despite clear dominance in the scrum, mistakes in possession meant a second try was not forthcoming and the teams trooped off at the break with those three points between them.

Honiton began the second half in similar vein, but once again it was the 'fine line' of individual mistakes when in possession - and in good field position - that prevented them from getting the further tries their approach play warranted.

However, they stuck at it and were eventually rewarded when Cave took a good delayed pass from Alex Brooks to cross the whitewash, but the conversion fell short to leave the Lacemen leading 13-5 at the halfway stage of the second half.

The home side lost their hooker to a yellow card for not retreating 10-metres and then, albeit against the run of play, the home side scored a forwards led try to close the gap to one of three points again.

The contest was then struck by a hail storm of 'biblical proportions' and that was followed by what appeared to be a 'harsh' yellow card issue to David Morales that left the Lacemen a man down and, as the game moved beyond the 80 minute mark, the home side tucked over a penalty awarded after Honiton had been penalised at the breakdown and that tied things up at 13-13.

Smelling a vital victory, the home side, who began the day sitting immeditaely above the Lacemen in the table, in the next 10 minutes, launched a strong attack, but the defence was once again more than up to the task only for a penalty to be awarded to the hosts that they slotted to record a narrow 16-13 victory.

The long trip home gave the Lacemen time to reflect on what had been a tremednous team effort in testing conditions and they were left feeling 'hard done by' given the amount of added time that had been played, denying them a precious away win.

A huge positive on the day was the return of club captain Harry Wright back into the action after a lengthy injury-enforced absence and his presence will be vital in the closing two months of the season as the battle to avoid relegation continues.


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