Honiton hit by late tries

PUBLISHED: 14:48 19 January 2011

Honiton v Bideford. Picture by Terry Ife ref mhsp 6749-03-11TI

Honiton v Bideford. Picture by Terry Ife ref mhsp 6749-03-11TI


Honiton slipped down the division following a 7-33 defeat to league leaders Bideford.

The north Devon outfit made use of their superior fitness and finish prowess to push the plucky Lacemen to one side. The score line didn’t reflect the nature of the game as the away side ran in three tries in the last quarter of an hour as the Lacemen chased the game.

Following a well-respected minute silence for the late John O’Brien, Honiton played up the Allhallows slope in the first half. Honiton had selected a robust pack and this enabled them to maintain their own ball in the loose, certainly in better fashion than in previous week.

After starting well, Honiton conceded two penalties for infringing at the ruck area, and were punished accordingly leading to a 6-0 deficit.

The opposition full back missed a third opportunity before Honiton really kicked into gear. Good forward play stretched the defence before Meadows and De Large kicked play into the top half of the field. Honiton’s lineout functioned better than the week before and, having won their own ball from a penalty, they moved the ball to the midfield.

Locke broke the first defender before being hauled down five yards out. Guilbert picked and drove and was stopped just short. Webber did the same, and crossed five yards left of the posts for a score that Meadows converted.

Honiton dominated the rest of the half, pressing and stretching the defence from one side of the field to the other.

It should be noted that Honiton had worked on structure in training and it was beginning to pay dividends.

However, as the game neared half time, the Lacemen swung the ball wide to the right, and showed too much exuberance as the ball came back across to the left a pass was intercepted to leave Honiton trailing 13-7 at half time.

Although Honiton trailed, they were positive about the second period given their play in the first half and they had slope in their favour.

The game remained scoreless for 20 minutes as both sides cancelled themselves out, however as the game entered it’s final quarter, Honiton lost a scrimmage in their own 22 and poor defensive discipline allowed Bideford to score on the right -hand side for an unconverted try.

Lane and Fahy entered the fray and Honiton pressed for the try they needed to get back into the game.

They successfully gained territory in the bottom half of the pitch, but, crucially, failed to show the required composure at key points, coughing the ball up when they were five yards out. Bideford cleared and, as they pressed again, Honiton were turned over and the north Devon side’s back three punished Honiton with their pace.

The Lacemen pushed on again, only to make crucial errors in the final third again, and in trying to chase the game Honiton lost their structure.

Bideford returned a poor kick from the midfield to run in another score to put the game to bed. Honiton travel to Crediton next week.

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