Clinical win puts Honiton in second

PUBLISHED: 09:13 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 01:04 16 June 2010

Honiton climbed to second position in the league with an efficient 31-6 win over Tamar Saracens on a slippery day at Allhallows, writes Nick Guilbert.

Honiton climbed to second position in the league with an efficient 31-6 win over Tamar Saracens on a slippery day at Allhallows.

The result, combined with Salcombe's loss to Wessex, sees Honiton acquire the play-off berth for the first time this season.

The midweek rain ensured that the top couple of inches of the surface were tricky, but the Lacemen knew that they had to move the opposition's big pack around. Skipper Findlay elected to play down the slope in the first half and, having received the kick off, they pressed the visitors from the off.

They gained territorial advantage and a wayward kick brought Honiton's back three into play. Canniford and Garman linked well to set the ball up on the right. Rice carried well from a forward melée to put play into clubhouse corner. Nex, Guilbert, Sampson and Garman handled before Webber rounded off the slick move by barrelling over in the left hand corner and was unlucky to see his touchline conversion sail wide.

Honiton were in the ascendancy but basic unforced errors from the kick off allowed Saracens a pop at goal. The number ten knocked the ball over to see the score board click over to 5-3. Honiton responded well and better play saw Saracens concede a penalty on the 22. Webber converted with ease, before Honiton gave away a penalty.

Honiton reacted with one of their own from Webber before taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

From a rolling maul down the right, Nex evaded the cover tackles to score in clubhouse corner. Webber converted, to carry the score to 18-6.

Steggall made excellent yards, breaking several tackles before being hauled down five yards short. Quick ball and Nex and Barrett created space for Sampson who hit the gap on the outside to crash over in the right hand corner for an unconverted score.

With the score at 23-6 at half time Honiton had done well. During the second half Honiton continued to play well without scoring as many points. Tamar Saracens pack came into the game more, and Honiton struggled a little at the scrummage.

As it was, Saracens had a bit more ball and, from a foray down the right they elected to kick across the field to their left winger. The kick was poor one and Canniford and Nex hassled the winger who dropped the ball. Nex gathered and played a nice one-two with Steggall (what was he doing there?) before cantering in from 25 yards for his fourth try in two weeks. Webber missed the conversion.

Honiton defended well and ensured that they did not allow Saracens to cross their line. In the last five minutes Honiton won a penalty on the Saracens 10 yard line on the right hand side of the field. Webber duly kicked the ball over the posts, with probably one of the best efforts this reporter has seen at Allhallows.

It was a workmanlike performance from the Lacemen, with many positives to take out of the game.

The unforced error and penalty count was low, play was expansive and direct for much of the game, and the defence worked well. There were also telling contributions from Lane, deputising on the flank for injured club captain Hannay, Steggall and Nex.

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