Honiton make great start with clean sheet win over Teignmouth.
PUBLISHED: 11:28 07 September 2011
Honiton started their Devon and Cornwall league season in positive fashion on Saturday afternoon with a 48-0 victory over Teignmouth at Allhallows, writes Nick Guilbert.
The result, the most convincing in the league all day put them top of the pile, but as we all know it’s the team at the top come the opposite end of the season that is promoted.
The result could have been predicted by those who watched the Lacemen dismantle the same side towards the end of last season, but the task still had to be completed. As it was the South Devon side started very brightly.
Honiton gathered their opponents kick off and cleared up field. However the clearance was not as long as the Lacemen would have liked and the away sides’ number fourteen ran the ball back with some interest. This started a sustained period of pressure for the first five minutes, during which Honiton had to defend stoutly. They did so, and eventually Hannay turned the ball in the midfield. Quick ball to the left saw Webber make good yards before the forwards arrived. A couple of quick ruck balls provided Lane with a run to gain line. As he was tackled he popped out of the tackle to his second row partner Guilbert. Guilbert used his scintillating pace to score in the top left hand corner. I don’t get to score often these days, being in the forward department and all, so I’m learning to savour them.
Channing missed the tricky conversion, but it was telling already that Torrington had carried through twenty odd phases and gained little ground, but Honiton had scored with just four or five phases.
Although the Honiton scrummage struggled initially they began to gain parity as the opposition waned following their initial burst. A quick tap from skipper Rice gained good ground from a penalty. Honiton worked their way right and from a maul Channing challenged his opposite number with at the gain line. The Torrington man was brushed aside and the covering defence could not catch the Honiton stand off in the five yards that remained between him and the line. Channing converted and a penalty shortly afterwards to put the home side up 15-0 in as many minutes.
Honiton were turning the screw early in the game. Their superior fitness showed against the north Devon outfit, and with the lineout working well, the home side were providing decent ball for their backs. A Torrington clearance allowed Hannay to gather and Honiton were soon on the front foot again. Good hands in the back line put Webber in space, and last season top points scorer used his pace to cross in the top left hand corner. Channing was unfortunate with his conversion effort but soon made amends. Honiton won a scrummage against the head in the top right hand corner and Rice picked from the base. He and scrum half Selway went up the blindside channel, however Rice offloaded badly to Selway, and the ball bounced beyond the nine. Fortunately Pearce was on hand to gather following the second bounce and he cleverly avoided being placed in touch to cross in the top right hand corner. Channing converted the difficult kick from wide to put the Lacemen 27 points up at half time.
Honiton were well in charge, and they continued to dominate proceedings going down the hill. Huggett, Canniford and Owen were all introduced during the second period as the Lacemen pushed forward. Channing chipped ahead for Hyland to chase and the bounce favoured the centre who gathered to score left of the posts for his fly half to convert.
Honiton were finding themselves in the away sides twenty two frequently and two decent passes from the centre of the field created and overlap on the left hand side. Dobson made the most of the space and crossed for an unconverted score.
As the game drew to a close Honiton again found themselves in the centre of the field five yards out. This time the home side favoured the club house corner and Channing found himself available on the wing for a simple score which he converted to finish the game.
It was a decent run out for Honiton who know they can play significantly better. They will have to next week as they travel to Totnes. Totnes have a bogey side for the Lacemen in recent years, and their robust pack will offer a significant challenge.