Honiton drop to bottom after heavy Teignmouth defeat
PUBLISHED: 15:14 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:14 29 January 2020
Saturday saw Honiton very much aggrieved about having to play a catch up game against Teignmouth on a week they had been already told was a free one, writes Justin Nuttall.
Unfortunately because of a late directive and no real notice, what was to have been a week to regroup and recover, was unfortunately undermined and best laid plans were scuppered. The result meant several who had made other plans were not available and combine that with three injuries picked up from last week's mauling, this was always going to be a tough afternoon for the Ton.
Despite this there was a healthy large crowd watching which included Jonathan Willis and his company Blamphayne Saw Mills who were the main sponsor for the day. They were fortunately able to hastily change plans to be there and it was a case of Honiton having to get on with it.
Given the recent dry weather, conditions were fairly good under foot and having lost the toss Honiton kicked off down the slope and early exchanges were pretty even. A penalty against Honiton saw Teignmouth gain territory and they pressed the Ton's line but stout defence say the ball cleared and the danger passed.
Ross Watts won a penalty at the ruck and Honiton kicked down field unfortunately the line out was lost and from an ensuing penalty Teignmouth were able to break out left and they scored the first try of the game.
The visitors then applied the pressure and they scored again when a set move off a scrum, saw there right winger gets his second of the game. The conversion was again missed and they were 10 nil up after the 15 minute mark and were looking dangerous.
From the kick off Will Tyers gathered the ball well and made yards and Honiton had there first venture in to the Teignmouth twenty two but a spilled ball from the ruck, saw a turned over and a scoring chance was lost.
A penalty for offside gave Honiton a line out, they won the ball and Teignmouth's tight head prop was yellow carded for killing the ball at the breakdown. The ball was knocked on in the line out by Teignmouth giving Honiton a scrum and after several phases it was Robert Price who powered over on his return to first team action. Dom Lovesy was successful with the conversion and Honiton were back in the game 7-10.
A harsh penalty at the kick off for not released when being tackled saw Teignmouth move the ball in the Honiton twenty two and they got their third try of the game under the posts, this was converted 7-17 and this score didn't go down well with the home support.
The penalty count was not going in the home side's favour and from one such penalty Teignmouth kicked to the corner, the kick didn't make touch luckily and Will Tyers cleared well. Unfortunately two more quick penalties for offside gave Teignmouth possession and territory and this time they used the ball well and got their bonus point try wide on the left. The conversion was missed but Honiton went into half time with a mountain to climb at 7-22 down.
Honiton changed personnel and retired player Nathan Hannay was introduced from the bench to bolster ranks. He'd been pressed into action out of necessity for a late change before the kick off.
From the kick off Honiton received and Jake Smith cleared from deep and a good break through the backs unfortunately came to nothing and then to make matters worse, Teignmouth again got over the try line after a good break by their dangerous right winger and the score went out to 7-27.
Teignmouth continued to look dangerous in the back line and only some last ditch tackling one in particular by Sam Heathcote stopped another score.
Unfortunately the pressure was building for Honiton and they were clearly struggled to exit their twenty and it was only desperate defence and errors from the visitors that kept the score at bay.
Off another scrum set move Teignmouth got another try this time with their left winger scoring to the left of the posts. This was converted and it was now 7-34 with half an hour of the second half gone. To add to the suffering of the home side the awarding of a penalty try for slowing the ball down at the ruck just shy of the try line saw the score move on to 7-41.
They go the final try of the game curtesy of a dubious line out but at 7-48 you could not argue who had won the day.
Once again Honiton battled hard through out and you could not fault the effort but again it was perhaps a lack of fire power that was the difference. One positive for Honiton was the fact they had a new quartet of youngsters playing in Will Lancaster, Fin Blackmore and the half back duo of Sam Heathcote and Dom Lovsley. For the halfbacks it was not an easy ask to step up to be the main play makers on what was tough ask but they aquitted them selves well and it was Lovesly was was awarded the man of the match for his efforts in the generals position.
Honiton are now the basement team in the league which is tough but it is only 5 points that separated the bottom 4 sides so there is all to play for in the survival task. Clearly it's not going to be easy but by being committed, sticking together and being positive it can be done.