Cave try double as Honiton win at Plymstock Albion Oaks
PUBLISHED: 14:34 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:34 03 April 2018
Honiton returned from their Easter Saturday Tribute Cornwall and Devon match at mid-table Plymstock Albion Oaks with a 22-10 success, writes Jerry Rice.
Over the years, this particular fixture has often proved to be a tough one for the Lacemen and they went into this meeting without key influential players, skipper Will Goulden and player-coach Nathan Hannay, both of whom were unavailable, but those that travelled were in confident mood following the superb win over Saltash seven days before.
Harry Wright took the captain’s job for the day and, on a surface that was remarkably dry given the recent rain, Honiton elected to play with a very strong following wind behind their backs.
The home side started brightly and, working against the wind, kept the ball well and the Lacemen struggles to get any sort of foot-hold on proceedings. The Honiton cause was not helped by them making mistakes when in possession!
However, Honiton opened the scoring when Ollie Cave knocked over a wind-assisted penalty from his own half.
The Lacemen then used the wind well, and, from a long kick to the corner, the turn over line out saw Honiton press and from a switch back to the blindside veteran Louie Lane was no match for the small winger and he crashed over for the first try of the day. Cave expertly converted from out wide and Honiton held a 10-0 advantage that they took through the interval.
During the break the concern amongst then travelling faithful was that a 10-0 lead may not be enough given how the elements were having such an influence on the contest.
From the re-start, Honiton were forced to repel wave after wave of attacking play from the hosts. They stood firm and, when a wayward clearance kick was fielded at pace by Ben Kidson on the 10-metre line, his pace took him clear to run in the second Honiton try of the game.
The home side hit back, and, using the wind well, they first kicked a penalty and then scored a converted try to get the score back to one of 15-10 in favour of the Lacemen.
It set up a frenetic final 15 minutes, and Honiton were again guilty of handing errors while the astute kicking from the home number ten, kept them pinned back.
The defensive work was food and, with five minutes remaining, after several pick-and-goes Cave slipped though a tackle to crash over near the post. He got up to slot the conversion and the seven points competed the scoring.
This was a hard-fought victory on a day when Honiton struggled with their cohesion and although they weren’t at their best, they ground out a win against a side who were never out of it.
The biggest positive for the Lacemen to take from the game was the excellent defence they served up. Cave kicked and tackled well, and Josh Rice and Robert Price produced their usual ‘big performances’, However, the Man of the Match award went skipper for the day Harry Wright, who led from the front in the hard yards department and handled the skippering duties and pressure well throughout the game. In conclusion, Honiton grafted out a win without playing particularly well which is why, this season, they are comfortably one of the top four sides in the league.