Honiton selectors have plenty to ponder

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 April 2010

P2300-45-08TI Honiton v South Molton.
photo Terry Ife

P2300-45-08TI Honiton v South Molton. photo Terry Ife

Copyright Archant Ltd

Honiton bounced back from last week's defeat at Teignmouth with a positive 19-5 win over South Molton at Allhallows.

Honiton bounced back from last week's defeat at Teignmouth with a positive 19-5 win over South Molton at Allhallows. The home side played with commitment and showed good cohesion en route to the win. Conditions were poor to say the least as Honiton played up the slope in the first half. Play moved into the top right hand corner, and Pellens found Jones at a lineout before Huggett moved the ball up through the 15 yard channel. The forwards pressed on again and the visitors were correctly penalised for diving over the top. Captain Sampson elected for a shot at the posts, which was a sensible option given the situation, but Nex was unfortunate with his connection and Honiton left the territory without points. It was then the all blacks' turn to press and they did so with more fluidity than one could have predicted they would before the game. Their large forward runners used their bulk to ensure that Honiton spent the next 10 minutes defending. Honiton's defence was, as it has been for the large part of the season, good and they held the opposition out for long periods. However, from a scrummage on Honiton's right, clubhouse side, South Molton retrieved their put in and attacked down the blind. I couldn't exactly see what happened from the opposite corner of the field with the wind and rain in my face, but the net result was that the winger scored in the corner. Honiton stuck to their task and Parkyn made good yards up the right, as he carried his side into the South Molton 22. De Large then broke through the centre, but crucially was turned over just short. They cleared but only to the 22. Honiton moved the ball to the left and won a penalty 10 yards left of the posts. Having elected to scrummage, Sampson took the ball to the right and De Large dummied from the second phase and broke through the centre to score under the posts. Nex successfully added the extras to put his team ahead. The game was level until half time, and Honiton were in positive mood given that the slope was in their favour for the second half. Truth be told, it was all Honiton in the second half. They pressed in the opening quarter but couldn't break through. Lane, who was making his first team debut, came off for Galling. Lane had a productive game and the coaches will be pleased with his efforts at the first time of asking at this level. As South Molton attempted to break clear they spilt the ball and Pellens hacked on, and then pounced on the loose ball. Webber, who was on for Parkyn, broke down the right and had the presence of mind to offload inside before contact. This kept the momentum up and the forwards hammered on towards the line. Wilson tidied the ball up at a key moment to provide Kenny clean ball as the attack quickly moved to the left where Galling was caught by the upcoming defence. Galling was right to hold the ball at that point, as a loose pass could have cost Honiton dear. He held off the defender and popped a well timed ball to open side Jones who scrambled across to complete a good team move. Nex added the extras nicely to take Honiton more than one score clear. South Molton realised that if they were to win they had to react and they did so from the kick off. A member of the Honiton forwards, who'll remain unnamed until later, elected to attempt to kick the ball. His 'effort' was charged down, South Molton gathered and attacked quickly. They pressed into the Honiton 22 and it was tense stuff for the spectators. A South Molton man broke the gain line, but in doing so separated himself from his support and Huggett turned the ball over to make up for his hack. Honiton cleared and that was as close as the visitors got. Honiton moved the ball well given the conditions and all the players showed good commitment. A Sampson break down the middle took the game in to the bottom 22 and from a Honiton scrummage in the middle of the field the backs moved the ball wide. Spence came on to the ball with good pace and crossed unopposed in the left hand corner. The final whistle went shortly afterwards with Honiton in command. It was a good team performance. The coaching staff will have plenty to ponder if there is a good turnout at training next week with both Parkyn and Webber playing well. Whilst Garmen and Spence didn't perform as well, they both have played better in recent weeks and, with Dobson also to consider, I would imagine there will be plenty of fat to chew. Lane also was another who put in a good performance and has put his hat in the ring for the trip to Tamar Saracens next week.

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