Lacemen bag clean sheet win at Tavistock and the promotion party begins!
PUBLISHED: 10:07 12 April 2019
The celebrations began in earnest in the Tavistock RFC dressing rooms after the Lacemen, who had just beaten the hosts 46-0, heard news from South Molton that Bude had been beaten and so Honiton, regardless of what happens in their final game this coming Saturday, will be promoted and so will start next season in the Tribute Western Counties (West), writes Jerry Rice.
Not for the first time this wonderful campaign, the travelling Honiton supporters outnumbered the home followers!
The Lacemen made a flying start with Harry Wright at the heart of a move that ended with Ben Webber scoring out wide and Tom Steer slotted a difficult conversion to see the visitors into a 7-0 lead after just two minutes! Moments later, a penalty was awarded for off-side and again Steer landed his kick to make it 10-0.
James Coutts Tucker was close to the second try before another penalty was punished by Steer with another fine kick and the lead became one of 13-0.
There was more to come from the Lacemen with the scoring of a second try as Adam Thompson cut through the home ranks to cross the whitewash.
The Honiton dominance continued and Coutts Tucker crossed after a 40-metre run and another successful Steer conversion saw Honiton into a 28-0 lead.
The next score came when the enormous reach of Nathan Hannay saw the Honiton coach ‘charge down’ a home kick before brushing aside a challenge and crossing to bag his team the bonus point score.
Steer slotted another difficult kick and there was still first-half time for Thompson to score his second try and Steer to dissect the uprights once more with a kick and the Lacemen trooped off at the break with a healthy 39-0 advantage.
The second half was a frustrating one for the visitors with the whistle being blown on a regular basis for what did seem like a succession of dubious penalties and infringements!
The Lacemen enjoyed clear dominance in the pack and, whilst driving the opposition, often caved inwards or stood up, yet it was Honiton who were the ones penalised!
Despite territorial advantage, Honiton could not advance the scoreboard. Kyle Blackmore, who had been added to the attack, looked dangerous, but, as mentioned, attacks were often nullified by strange penalties.
Skipper Will Goulden with Hannay adding the weight, clearly crashed over for a perfectly good score, but again it was adjudged to have been held up.
Eventually the deadlock was broken when Hannay got his second try of the game, forcing over just to the right of the posts. Steer added the extras and that proved to be the final score of the contest.
It was a frustrating half for all playing and watching, but credit must go to the Lacemen as, despite the frustrations, they kept their cool and did not remonstrate with the official when there seemed just cause to do so!
Since the dark days of March 2017, when Honiton narrowly avoided relegation on the last day of the season, there has been a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes.
Huge credit must go to the coaching staff, all the players, especially those who have stuck with the club through some pretty tough years, and of course to the long suffering ‘back of house’ staff.
It has been a remarkable season so far and it is far from over yet, as the Lacemen have only completed part one of the potential treble, with the semi-final of the National Senior Vase in two weeks’ time and the Devon Cup final on home ground in three weeks.
Before that there’s the matter of a final league game of the season on Saturday (April 13) when Topsham will be the opposition at Allhallows.