Honiton look forward to new league
PUBLISHED: 14:27 25 April 2012
Honiton first XV ended their season with a 29-6 win at lowly Torrington, it was not particularly glamorous but it was a job done. However, it was another bonus point win gained on the road, and in that respect, it was another box ticked, writes Nick Guilbert.
Playing into the wind in the first period Honiton decided before the first whistle that they would tap and go with anything out side their own 22. This was a moderately successful approach and it was clear that Honiton were capable of running the show. They were, however, again hampered by substandard handling.
There was almost too much space for Honiton, as they chose to offload out of the tackle too often, rather than leg drive through the gain line. This caused a touch of disarray, and players became isolated. After about 10 minutes a decent scrummage gave the back line sufficient room to feed Barratt who stepped off his left foot to break the gain line and round the full back to score under the posts. Webber did the honours for the two extra points and Honiton had a foot hold that they deserved.
Honiton found that by attacking slightly tighter to the break down, a method not normally employed this season, they were able to gain some decent yards. This gave a decent platform and a tap and go from Canniford from his own 20 which gained territory. Excellent forward play allowed vice captain and former club captain Lee Chester to score from nine-and-a-half yards out with a sensational pick from the base of a ruck. It was a worthy reward for the hooker in his final game before retirement. We thank him for his work, passion and commitment over the last 15 years.
Honiton should have kicked on, but basic errors allowed Torrington back with two wind-assisted long-range penalties. It was tighter at half time than Honiton would have liked, but they pressed on. The fumbles kept on happening, and overall decision-making was poor.
The set piece was going well however and going into the final quarter Honiton made the telling break through, again with the forwards prominent. Dalton and Chester carried well before Hannay gathered the ball and ran across the gain line before making a telling incision. Having stepped off his right foot, he broke through to the left of the posts before dotting down under them.
Honiton were finally turning pressure into points. Channing broke through and scored to seal the bonus point and the result. Honiton introduced Cooke, Spiller and Churchward to provide more impetus and that paid off in the final minute. Barratt collected a loose ball before offloading to Hyland, who was stopped five yards short, Selway recycled and found Guilbert who danced off his right foot to complete the scoring and the game.
All in all it has been a fine season for Honiton RFC, who have united well as a group and shown significant improvement, culminating in successful league campaign that has seen them promoted.
There have been some disappointments, not least over the last fortnight, and it is clear that there is some distance to go if they are to compete well next year.
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