Honiton 2nds edged out in close encounter at Crediton III
PUBLISHED: 12:50 21 February 2019
Honiton 2nd XV were left feeling disappointed after they were beaten narrowly at Crediton, going down 21-19 to the Mid Devon side, writes Phil Bird.
Crediton are the only team to have beaten the Honiton 2nd XV at Allhallows this season and so the Lacemen travelled looking to exact revenge!
After a week of uncertainty as to whether the club would be able to field a team for the fixture, 2nd skipper Ben Welch did a terrific job and a squad of 17 went across to Crediton.
Playing the first half up the slope, Honiton took 20 minutes to get going, by which time they were already 14 points down!
They hit back when Sam Heathcote broke up the blind side to run in from outside the 22. Crediton started to run it back through their influential full back, but with Robin Bennett putting in one of his characteristic, bone-crunching tackles, the ball was spilled!
Honiton seemed to gain momentum and it was no more than they deserved when Sam Olive crossed and a successful Heathcote conversion saw the Lacemen troop off at the interval trailing by just two points at 14-12.
During the break the consensus of opinion was that, if they were to take anything from the game, then a top all-round show was needed in the second half.
With a team full of big ball carriers they thought they could use the slope to their advantage.
Unfortunately, Crediton were the quicker team to get going after the restart and, with their 15 kicking well all day, they soon found they had field position in Honiton’s 22. They were determined to not leave without a score and, after several pick-and-goes, they finally broke the defensive line to get the third converted score of the game. Honiton’s ball carriers then maybe tried a little too hard to get the next score and regularly found themselves getting turned over at crucial moments. Eventually, after several minutes in the Crediton 22 and several phases of play, Honiton were awarded a penalty try for continuous infringement at the breakdown by Crediton. This left the game heading into the final five minutes with the hosts leading 21-19.
Sadly, the closing minutes saw scrappy play with Honiton guilty of making a few poor decisions resulting in turnover ball.
Crediton were finally awarded a penalty, which they put into touch to end the game.
Ultimately Honiton could only blame themselves for not getting going quick enough and making the right decisions at the key moments.
The disappointment at the end was proof of how far the team has come this season, as a two-point loss at Crediton in the years gone by would have been seen as a victory!
There were some good individual performances on the day, certainly with the likes of Matt Broom and Josh Webber playing out of position, but the undoubted Honiton Man of the Match was Andy Easton, who carried well all day and worked hard to keep his inexperienced back line in check throughout.