Honiton made hard work of victory

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:19 15 June 2010

P9372-37-08TI Honiton v Wiveliscombe.
photo Terry Ife

P9372-37-08TI Honiton v Wiveliscombe. photo Terry Ife

Copyright Archant Ltd

Honiton RFC 1st XV laboured their way to a 12-7 victory at home to Wiveliscombe on Saturday afternoon.

Honiton RFC 1st XV laboured their way to a 12-7 victory at home to Wiveliscombe on Saturday afternoon. In rain-soaked conditions the Lacemen struggled to capitalise on their possession in an error-strewn performance. Playing on the higher of the two pitches Honiton received the kick off but found it difficult to progress out of their own half. In truth the visitors enjoyed a good start as a missed tackle in the midfield allowed the Somerset side's fly half to canter down field at pace before the move was halted in the Honiton 22. The Lacemen defended well but found that they were often isolated in the tackle area and turned over as a consequence. The home side were also guilty of forcing passes that were simply unfeasible given the conditions. At the end of the opening quarter a Wiveliscombe line-out provided the inside centre with space and he shot through some weak tackling before being hauled down on the left hand side of the 22. Unfortunately for the home side he was able to offload in the tackle to keep the move going and eventually the winger crossed in the corner for a converted score. The restart went short of the 10 yard line and Wiveliscombe attacked again but this time to no avail as Honiton stood strong. The Lacemen put together a few phases and the away side were penalised at a ruck. A kick to the corner allowed Captain Rice to order a set move from a lineout and Honiton went close as they moved the ball back to the blindside to Harrison who was pushed into touch just short. At half time Honiton knew they needed to cut out the unforced errors - it was only due to their mistakes that the away side were ahead. At the restart Honiton started brightly enough but Wiveliscombe kicked sensibly to keep the territory even. In contrast Honiton's kicking game was nothing short of appaling as the ball was kicked poorly too often. This provided the visitors with more than adequate opportunity for the counter attack and Honiton appeared to be far from their ruthless best. It was not until the final quarter that the home side launched into action. The phases became quicker and Honiton benefited by stretching the play. They soon found themselves down in the Wiveliscombe 22 and, from a scrimmage in the middle of the field, Nex fed Dobson who rounded his man to score in the corner for an unconverted effort. Town were soon back on the attack and a charge down nearly allowed the home side's back division to claim another score. A flowing move, initially from right to left, saw the ball move back across the field to Hugget on the right who popped to Salter to make ground. The forwards ground out some more yards, which, importantly, they did quickly. The ball found its way out to Chris Smith who evaded a couple of tackles before dotting down to the left of the posts. Guilbert converted and, despite some hazardous play in the final few minutes, Honiton hung on. Honiton start their league campaign next week at home to Salcombe and will need to tighten up their phases and support if they are to get a win.

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