Honiton defeated at home by a physical Falmouth side

PUBLISHED: 10:23 27 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:23 27 November 2013

Honiton 12, Falmouth 23

Honiton were beaten by a physical Falmouth side on Saturday afternoon at Allhallows, writes Nick Guilbert.

The Lacemen didn’t make enough of their first half superiority when working down the hill and left themselves too much to do in the final quarter.

Falmouth won the toss and played up the slop in the opening half. Honiton took a while to get into their stride and the Cornish looked dangerous when they were allowed to get the ball into wide areas. Honiton weren’t making much headway with their line outs, but the scrum looked in good shape in the opening period.

It was very much tit-for-tat over the opening first ten to fifteen minutes, until the deadlock was broken when Falmouth knocked over a penalty from the twenty two.

Honiton woke up and good work from full back Ollie Rice gave Honiton a platform. The forwards were getting on top going down the slope and when they worked their way into clubhouse corner Thompson was awarded a shot at goal. He missed from a difficult angle but Honiton were clearly on top at this stage. More good running Guilbert and Josh Rice saw play transcend back into Falmouth territory. Honiton won a scrum on the twenty two and duly pushed Falmouth back to their own line with fantastic work from the front five. Honiton were held up several times, with the visitors fortunate not to concede a sin binning. The Lacemen continued to press and from the scrum the backs fashioned a space for Ollie Rice to break through and score an unconverted try.

Falmouth responded well, and used the wide channels to work their way up the field and score in the top left hand corner. It was disappointing for Honiton, as they should have look to keep their foot on the throat.

Honiton boomed back and soon found themselves in clubhouse corner with a scrum in their favour. As they started the set piece the referee blew for half time which was a real chance gone begging for the home side and a let off for the visitors.

Honiton were determined to turn the second half around and started very brightly with Thompson showing great awareness to time his passing to release Reed, Bennett and Ballard up the left hand side. Quick ruck ball allowed Thompson to put Dalton in this time, and the mobile prop showed excellent pace and balance to evade several tacklers to cross twenty yards left of the posts. Thompson knocked over the conversion from out wide to give Honiton the lead.

Falmouth had looked keen for the encounter since their arrival, and their intensity had not waned throughout. They kept plugging away, and a new front row addition reversed the trend in the scrummage, giving the Cornish superiority in that area. This gave them the platform they needed to pressurise Honiton and they did so. Honiton couldn’t maintain the intensity they had in the first half, and while they did well to hold the ball for long periods they couldn’t break the Cornish side down.

Falmouth came at Honiton and when the away side kicked to the corner things looked ominous. Honiton reacted well and pushed the defensive line back up to the twenty two, only to concede a penalty in front. Falmouth knocked it over and scored a try shortly afterwards, with their scrum as the platform.

Honiton kept at it, but strength in depth is an issue at present with unavailability’s and let downs hurting the Lacemen. As it was Falmouth scored again before the end and Honiton couldn’t muster a response. There were some positive elements to the game for Honiton, so they must keep at it, as they travel to Hayle this Saturday.

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