Ballard try as Lacemen defeat Cockles in pre-season game

PUBLISHED: 12:44 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:44 01 September 2014

Honiton players before the match against Exmouth. Ref mhsp 4718-36-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton players before the match against Exmouth. Ref mhsp 4718-36-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Honiton concluded their preseason activities on Saturday with a second comfortable win in a week, writes Jerry Rice.

On Wednesday the whole club were involved in a trail game against Wessex and whilst it was a run out, the monsoon conditions made it a bit of a farce for those who were trying to put in bids for first team slots. Never the less, it was a win and it was good to see all the senior section working together as a club. We think the score was 20-5.

On Saturday the final games were far more structured with the second string entertaining a strong Crewkerne side. This was meant to be the first fixture but it was felt Exmouth offered a better challenge for the firsts and given the twos strong showing in preseason, it was felt they would give a good account of them selves. They went down 15-8 but certainly gave their visitors a bit of a scare. There were many positives and a well worked ‘team’ try dotted down by Martin Keep showed some of their potential. Several newcomers looked good on their debuts and along with some of the regulars I’m sure they will be pushing for senior activity as the season goes on.

Also at home and in front of a large ‘Beer Festival’ crowd was Honiton firsts, who were entertaining a strong Exmouth second team string. The visitors as a club, have been the benefactors of several transfer ins from Honiton over the closed season as several of the Towns young players have decided to trying their hand at playing in the much higher National leagues. As a club, Honiton wish them well and they will be watching their progress with interest. Luckily none were in the line up to face the Ton on Saturday!

As for the actual game it was very much tit for tat in the opening first quarter as the sides got the measure of each other. You could see however that Honiton had the edge and if they’d cut out several of the early season handling errors and the kicks to nothing that just gave the ball away, they would have been on the score sheet much earlier than they were.

The dead lock was broken with a well worked try that saw Hyland put the powerful Small in a gap which he hit well, he fed Webber for an easy dot down. Webber then kicked a penalty and just before half time skipper Guilbert crossed for another try to put Honiton 13-0 up at the break.

Playing up the slope in the second period Honiton conceded a try and it looked as if the visitors would get back into the game. None of it, Honiton pressed the after burner switch and a good try from Ballard seemed to break the Cockle’s resolve and Honiton powered on and with further tries from, Player Coach Hannay and Cheesy and Webber striking his goals very well, in the end it was a comfortable 35-5 win to the Ton.

There was much to be taken from this and in particular how effective the scrum was and they were dominant through out. This was in no small part due to the arrival of new vet Will Gulden who had an excellent debut at the coal face. It was good to see Player coach Hannay back on the field after a year’s absence and the young Uc Almagrady was also very impressive when he entered the affray. Doidge was also making a welcome return to the Honiton strip and with the ever reliable regulars all showing good form what was a difficult summer, has now turned into quiet optimism.

League action starts next week with a difficult away trip to newly promoted Looe and Liskeard.


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