Cave holds his nerve with late kick to seal another thrilling away win for the Lacemen

PUBLISHED: 12:23 12 February 2019

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife


Honiton bagged another fine away win, but ended the latest matchday slipping off top spot in the Tribute Cornwall and Devon table, which now sees the top four teams separated by just four points, writes Jerry Rice.

In the past, the Lacemen have found visits to the Looe and Liskeard home ground very much of the ‘difficult’ nature.

This season, the Cornish side boast a good home record and sit comfortably in a mid-table berth.

When the side’s met at Allhallows earlier in the campaign, the Lacemen secured a good win, but, despite the score line, the visiting side had been ‘in the game’ throughout and so this latest fixture had an element of ‘banana skin’ about it.

Honiton received the kick-off, and, for the opening 10 minutes, it was even-steven in terms of control.

Honiton broke the deadlock with a well-worked backs move that saw Kyle Blackmore ghost in out wide. A missed conversion was followed by further attritional play with Honiton seeming to make more and more mistakes, and, despite pressure on the home line, they were kept at bay by some resolute defence.

Just before the break, the home side hit back with a well-struck penalty and the teams trooped off at the interval with the Lacemen holding a narrow 5-3 advantage.

After the break, with the strong wind at their backs, the Lacemen were quickly onto the front foot, but a catalogue of silly handling errors, kept them from scoring.

From one such attacking error a ‘hoof’ downfield from the Cornishmen saw Honiton have to scramble back to their own line and, after trying to defend the attack, the home side crossed for a converted try and Honiton were now seriously in trouble!

The Lacemen’s cause was then further hamstrung as they lost a couple of players to injury.

However, they dug deep, stuck at it, but with lots of pressure they just seemed to get more and more frustrated and the error count mounted.

They butchered at least two, ‘two-on-one’ situations and had several close-to-the-line ‘rumbles’ – scenarios that they would normally walk in and, all in all, it did seem as if this was set to be ‘one of those days’ for the Lacemen and their travelling supporters. There were lots of ‘head in hands’ moments, for the travelling supporters, but as had been the case seven days before, the continual pressure eventually paid dividends, and, with a great reach, Ollie Cave, crossed the line to level things up before composing himself to fend of any ‘nerves’ and tuck away the match winning conversion kick.

As the rugby phrase goes ‘ The Ton won ugly’ and credit must go to them for ‘sticking at it’ to bag the 12-10 result.

However, credit must also go to the home side, who were tough opponents on the day and, if they play like that for the rest of the season, they may do the Ton a few favours as the run-in of this campaign ‘hots up’.

To add to a tough day, Honiton’s injury list is growing and with difficult encounters coming up the pressure is mounting.

It’s the side that took over top spot after their mauling of Hayle, Penryn, who visit ‘fortress’ Allhallows this coming Saturday (February 16).

The visitors will no doubt pitch up with ‘all guns blazing’ and this fixture does have the look of being a ‘winner takes all’ encounter! As ever, all support will be made very welcome.

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