Honiton have victory snatched from them in frustrating circumstances by Paignton

PUBLISHED: 15:26 18 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:26 18 November 2015

Honiton 2nds at home to Paignton. Ref mhsp 6914-47-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Paignton. Ref mhsp 6914-47-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife


Honiton’s disappointing season continued on Saturday as they slipped to a 21-19 defeat at Paignton, writes Jerry Rice.

This latest reversal was certainly hard to bare as the Lacemen’s first victory of the season was cruelly snatch from them with the final play of the game!

It did not help the pre-match planning when the front row was disrupted at the 11th hour leaving second team regular Matt Olive being called up to step in.

Factor in the atrocious weather conditions and a strong Paignton side and the recipe for a tough afternoon was certainly in place!

Training had been good during the week so despite the odds Honiton took to the field in good sprits.

The old cliché of a ‘“game of two half’s’ was very apt because the near gale conditions and driving rain was running straight down the field. Having lost the toss, Honiton were given first use of the elements and, during a bright start, took a 10th minute lead courtesy of a well-struck Ben Webber penalty.

Five minutes later Webber repeated the process to double the Lacemen’s lead.

He made it three on the spin with a monster kick from inside his own half before the home side scored from what was their only sortie into Lacemen territory in the half.

Honiton kept pressing and were rewarded just on half-time a good set of phases ended with Rory Smith crashing over. Webber slotted the conversion and the Lacemen trooped off with a 19-5 lead.

However, a nagging concern during the interval for Honiton supporters was whether the team would rue the try the opposition had scored.

After the break Paignton had the elements fully in their favour. The floodlights were on and the home side began to dominate with the Lacemen applying backs-to-the-wall defending!

They chipped away at the lead, kicking two penalties, and, with 10 minutes to go, knocked over one more to get in a single score of victory at 19-14.

The last minutes were frantic, a penalty would not do so Paignton pounded Honiton’s defence, just when you though Honiton had somehow managed to hold out, a final drive saw the seasiders score at the base of the post pad at the front of the upright a cruel rule in rugby, but nevertheless a try, this set up an easy conversion that just sailed over, to leave Paignton 21-19 win.

It was heart breaking finish as the whistle went straight afterwards and Honiton were robbed of their first victory in a game they deserved to win.

The positives was the attitude of the players and it was good to see them taking the game to the opposition. It was a great team effort from everyone involved, none more so than skipper-for-the-day James Cootie who led the way with tackle after tackle. Ollie Cave was another to catch his eye for his general endeavours and line breaks while Corry Pullman, on his debut, worked hard. It was just a shame all-round really and the losing bonus point was scant reward on a tough day!

Next up there’s a visit to Allhallows this Saturday with Penzance Pirates the visitors. Good support from our towns folk can only help in Honiton’s hour of need!

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