Honiton take mighty Torquay close in cup tie

PUBLISHED: 12:37 06 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:51 08 October 2015

Archant

Honiton travelled to Torquay for the first leg of the Devon Intermediate Cup, writes Paz Parrott.

With Torquay playing in the Western Counties league and Honiton playing in the league below and struggling at the moment this was always going to be a tough ask to get any form of result.

After the previous outing’s disappointing performance Honiton shuffled the side and went with a couple of tactical changes to try and bolster the team.

Things looked gloomy right from the off as a long kick ahead was well gathered and Torquay’s winger and he ran down the line for an early score. Ben Webber got Honiton off the mark with a well struck penalty.

With good running conditions the game was played at a fast pace with both sides prepared to run the ball. However, given Torquay play a league higher than Honiton they clearly had the edge in the set piece and their large set of forwards forced scrum errors and Honiton conceded penalties, two of which their kicker knocked over to give them a clear lead. Honiton were then on the back foot and despite some valiant defending Torquay added to their score with another converted try and at 18-3 down Honiton were clearly on the ropes.

Honiton didn’t give up and with a good set of phases worked their way up the field and from 5 metres out Finn Parratt storm the line to claim Honiton’s first try. Webber slotted the extras, but unfortunately, Torquay kicked a penalty to pull away again. Webber pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, but the Tic’s went into half time with a nine point cushion at 21-13.

Honiton with a new found belief started the second half well and as the set piece problems were addressed following a shuffle of players, Honiton grew in strength. With some good ball skills Honiton worked their way up the park to get within striking distance and Josh Rice found the week link in the Tic’s defence and he crashed through to score a converted try and Honiton were within a point of their more senior opposition. Honiton keep plugging away and were carrying the ball well by working the fringes and Ben Webber found the smallest of openings to dive through and added another five points to Honiton’s tally and they were now in the lead for the first time. This was unfortunately short lived as Torquay regrouped and they scored a converted try to go.28-27 up. Honiton then gave away two penalties and with the Torquay kicker on form he slotted both to give them a seven point buffer. Honiton continued to attack and in the dying moments following a good attacking position Luke Witton sliced through the defence to dot down out wide. Webber needed the kick to force extra time but the kick just drifted wide and avoided the blushes for the senior Torquay outfit.

The final score was 34-32 and given the Lacemen’s efforts they may have been disappointed with the result but they will take heart form this as this was clearly their best outing of the season and hopefully they can take it into league action on Saturday (October 10) when they entertain early league leaders Withycombe at Allhallows kick off is at 3pm.

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