Honiton II beaten in opener at Buckfastleigh

PUBLISHED: 21:50 11 September 2013 | UPDATED: 21:50 11 September 2013

Buckfastleigh 41, Honiton II 22

Honiton seconds kicked off their season with a trip to Buckfastleigh whose 1XV sit several leagues higher than the Lacemen, writes Tom Churchward.

In what is always an entertaining game, Buckfastleigh’s experience showed as they secured victory.

For many in the Honiton side, this was their first bit of rugby since the end of last season, and at times this showed, especially compared to their well drilled opposition. Just before kick off, torrential rain hit the beautiful surroundings and this would have a big impact on the type of game that would be played, with the ball becoming a bar of soap. As expected, there were some early errors, but it was Buckfastleigh who crossed over early, and with a penalty as well, they raced into a 10-0 lead. Honiton looked good with ball in hand but too much ill-discipline at the breakdown was costing the Lacemen valuable possession, and Buckfastleigh soon crossed over again.

Honiton kept the faith knowing that they looked dangerous with ball in hand, and after some good driving runs from the forwards, Louie Lane showed good strength to cross over.

With renewed confidence, Honiton started to play some rugby and an interception by Matt Bailey saw him make good yards, and he offloaded to the supporting Brad Spiller to cross over, with the impressive Steve Nex converting, leaving the score 15-12 at half time.

Honiton knew that a victory was possible but unfortunately some poor tackling led to Buckfastleigh scoring two quick tries after the restart to start to put the game out of reach. Honiton did still look threatening in attack and after a great steal against the head in the scrum, Rich Woolacott chipped a delightful kick into their 22 and William ‘The Wolf’ Davies showed clever thinking to collect and offload to the supporting skipper Churchward who made good yards to get there, and crossed for an unconverted try. Again Honiton smelt a comeback but their defence was not up to the standard required and frustratingly Buckfastleigh scored two more tries to put the game to bed. Honiton needed a miracle to turn it around but they did show a never say die attitude and a late try was scored by Dan Garman, who showed his experience to chase a clever chip from Nex to cross over out wide, leaving the score 41-22 at full time.

Overall, an eventful first outing the seconds against a strong and well organised first team. The weather was more like a winters day which made fluent rugby difficult, and although they looked strong in attack, Honiton will need to shore up their defence when they welcome Kingsbridge for their first merit table encounter on Saturday (September 14).

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