Lacemen's injury woes mount as they battle well in defeat at Bideford

PUBLISHED: 13:04 15 October 2019

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Honiton suffered a fourth defeat in six Western Counties West outings when beaten 43-14 at third in the table Bideford, writes Justin Nuttall.

Once again, in what is quickly becoming an injury-ravaged campaign, the Lacemen were forced to travel to North Devon with plenty of changes to the starting line-up.

In front of a large crowd, Honiton kicked off, but the home side, beaten for the first time this season the week before, were quickly into their stride, scoring two tries - one of which was converted - inside 10 minutes to lead 12-0.

The home side continued to dominate the first half and, as dogged as the Honiton defending was, further tries were scored to see Bideford into the half-time break sporting a 36-0 advantage.

During the break, even the most partisan of Honiton supporter must have feared watching their side suffer more woe throughout the second period. However, once more the defending was of the highest order and they began to enjoy time on the ball in home territory. Midway through the second half, Jake Smith saw a penalty effort drift just wide of the mark before skipper Louis Groves trundled over close to the uprights and a Smith conversion saw the Lacemen put their first seven points on the board, much to the delight of another great turnout of travelling Honiton support.

Bideford hit back with a converted try to make it 43-7, but the Lacemen continued to battle away and it was no more than they deserved when, after a series of pick-and-goes, Finn Parratt barged his way over the try line and a second conversion from Smith completed the scoring.

Unfortunately, Honiton were very much outplayed for large parts of the first half and were undone by a strong unit and, with no possession gained from scrums, it proved to be a tough afternoon all-round.

Some comfort could be gained from the second half showing - a period of the match 'won' by the Lacemen by two tries to one, but they will have to be better than this if they are to compete at this level.

There were some good performance in the face of adversity and they can take heart from that and if they can take games to the opposition as they did in the second period then there is hope.

As for the Honiton supporters' choice of Man of the Match, that went to the veteran Nick Guilbert who worked hard through.

This Saturday (October 19), Honiton host near neighbours Chard with the Allhallows game kicking off at 3pm.

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