Honiton start with narrow win

PUBLISHED: 11:37 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:09 16 June 2010

Honiton opened their latest Devon One campaign with a narrow victory at home to Wessex on Saturday

Honiton opened their latest Devon One campaign with a narrow victory at home to Wessex on Saturday. It was a stuttering start to the season, but tries from Andy Canniford and Louis Lane ensured that the Lacemen got off to a winning start in their pursuit for the league title.

A rare spell of pressure after 20 minutes by the Exeter side caused Honiton to give away a penalty, which was duly converted. Honiton forced their way back up the field. Good support play by the pack and strong running by the backs forced Wessex into giving up a penalty. Honiton elected to kick for touch and found it five metres out from the try line. From the line out, Jake Stegall once again found his man and quick ball was spun out to the backs. A dummy run by Barratt made space for DeLarge to off load to Canniford, who showed good strength and pace to hold off his marker to go over right of the posts. An excellent conversion by Steve Nex meant that Honiton went into the break 7-3 up.

Honiton began the second half confident that a win was possible. Honiton worked well to gain possession at the breakdown and looked good with the ball without really pressing for the line. There were spells of good support play, the pack making good yards by supporting the front runner. But a spilt ball allowed Wessex to punt the ball clear and undo the efforts of the Lacemen.

On the hour, Barry Locke entered the fray and he set up a driving maul, which Honiton trundled up to the opposition five metre line. From here they set up the ruck and began pummelling the defensive line. Wessex put up a good battle, but Louis Lane was able to pick up and power over for Honiton's second score. Another good conversion by Nex extended Honitons lead to 14-3.

The remaining 20 minutes saw Wessex apply pressure. A few missed tackles and unforced errors allowed the visitors to make ground and keep town pinned back. Once again, the Honiton pack performed well to win ball in key areas of the pitch and this helped to pull back yards and keep Wessex from scoring. In the last play of the game, sloppy play gifted Wessex a try which was converted, with the final score 14-10 to Honiton.

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