Honiton good value for draw with Withycombe
PUBLISHED: 18:12 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 18:12 14 April 2015
What could have been a non-event turned out to be an entertaining 22-all draw when Honiton entertained Withycombe in their penultimate league game of the season, writes Roger Dance.
On paper Withies were the clear favourites for a win as it was third in the table playing tenth.
But pride is a big motivator and in front of a healthy crowd this turned out to be a cracking game.
Honiton kicked off up the slope but backed by a keen wind. They had most possession in the early encounters and, on the 10-minute mark, prop Will Goulden finished off a good set of phases with a crash over the line. Ben Webber added the extras.
The visitors’ successful season is not with out reason and they bounced back with a well-taken try by Liam Cotton and they started to look ominous after they scored again out wide through John Parkin.
Honiton held strong and with some good defensive patterns weathered the storm.
Using the wind well Webber slotted two penalties and Honiton turned round 13-12 up.
The game continued in the same tempo. But with use of the wind, Withycome kicked for position well and scored another well-worked converted try by Dave Richards and they were in the driving seat.
Honiton did, however, have a clear advantage in the scrum and this told as it availed them with a good supply of possession. Honiton’s penalty count in the forwards crept up, which stopped them applying more pressure on Withies.
After Webber and Jack Pugsley exchanged penalties, Withycombe were 22-16 up.
Honiton continued to apply pressure and did look the more likely to score and they went close on several occasions
Withycombe went down to 14 men when Richards was sent off for a tip-tackle offence. Two Webber penalties into the wind got Honiton on level terms with two minutes to play.
The Lacemen were pinged at the restart, which left Pugsley a wind-assisted kick from half way to level the game. His kick was off target and honours were shared.
This Saturday is Honiton’s final game when they entertain basement team Looe and Liskeard.