Honiton complete pre-season with victory at North Tawton
PUBLISHED: 09:37 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:37 04 September 2019
Honiton warmed up for their first game in the Tribute Western Counties (West) campaign this coming Saturday (September 7) with a warm-up match 36-26 success at North Tawton.
The home side will play this season in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League that the Lacemen were promoted out of at the end of last season.
Missing no fewer than 10 of last season's 'regular' performers, the Lacemen travelled to West Devon knowing that they faced a stern test of their strength in depth.
The contest, played over two sessions of 30 minutes before a final run-out over 20 minutes, saw Honiton score first with James Coutts crossing after several phases of play.
Adam Thompson crossed next and both opening tries were successfully converted by Tom Steer.
Despite the bright start, it was pretty clear that Honiton were up against it in the forward department and it was here where they often struggled to supply good 'front foot' ball for the backs to use and both number nines used by the Lacemen - Meadows and Cook - had difficult afternoons in getting the ball away from the base.
The home side scored the games third try before Honiton's new Spanish signing, David Maynadie charged down a kick and then popped the ball up for player-coach Alex Brooks to cross.
The second period saw Honiton in much more of a defensive mode as it was now their turn to play into the stiff breeze.
The home side used the advantage well and with strong runners and Honiton's defences stretched they got their second score.
Honiton skipper Wright scored the fourth 'Ton' try, crossing the line from the back of a retreating scrum, but the home side hit back with a third try of their own.
Young Sam Olive got a score from a pass from his skipper but in the dying moments back came North Tawton.
The final 20 minute session saw Honiton lose a toss and they had to defend the stiff breeze again.
It was tight and an even 20 minute period of play with both sides scoring. Tom Steer got Honiton's with a good individual break.
Honiton's Jerry Rice said post match: "Credit must go to the home side as they stuck to their task well.
"For Honiton there was also a real plus as their make shift forwards who did well against a strong opposition.
"This struggle up front did however mean Honiton didn't have as much of the ball as they are used to and the backs, whilst looking dangerous were probably frustrated by the afternoons proceedings.
"It was obviously an opportunity for several to show what they could do and both David Maynadie and Sam Olive looked good on their first full senior outings."
He continued: "It's clear the back have potential and skipper Wright and Baily worked hard, but it was Will Goulden who got my Man of the Match, as he held the front row together and worked hard in the defence and carrying departments."
Post match the Honiton players donated match fees and there were other donations made which went to the fund being run at North Tawton for their skipper who had recently been left paralysed by a work accident. The fund is being run to help him in his rehabilitation.
On Saturday Honiton entertain St Austell in their first game of the new Tribute Western Counties' West season.