Lacemen snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at Penryn
PUBLISHED: 21:05 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 21:05 04 February 2019
Honiton booked a place in the area final of the Senior Vase competition after a 19-15 win at Penryn, writes Jerry Rice.
The Lacemen were cheered on throughout the game in Cornwall by a vociferous ‘Tonite’ support, who were able to celebrate with the team post match.
In the first half, Honiton played with a strong wind behind them. There was a ‘nervy feel’ to the opening exchanges and a brace of penalties saw Penryn move in to Honiton’s half, but great defending by Josh Rice saw him win a penalty at the breakdown and pressure was relieved with a good clearance kick.
The home side broke the deadlock with a 35th minute penalty, but the Honiton response was swift and a yellow card issued for a deliberate slowing down of the ball saw the Lacemen hit back with a Harry Wright try under the posts.
Ollie Cave sent over the conversion and Honiton trooped off at the break with a 7-3 lead.
Defence dominated the general pattern of play into the second half, but it was the Lacemen who looked the more dangerous in the early stages.
The hosts, using their home pitch knowledge, pinned the Lacemen back.
The pressure grew and, after a series of infringements, the referee decided Honiton should lose a player to the bin and Harry Wright got the team yellow card!
Penryn took full advantage of this and with a rare defensive error Penryn’s scrum half slipped through a gap for their first try of the day.
The conversion attempt hit the post and Penryn held a slender 8-7 lead.
Buoyed by their lead, Penryn struck again with their left winger crossing and, with a clean conversion, the home side led by two scores at 15-7.
At this stage, many of the travelling faithful must have feared the worst.
However, this current Honiton side are made of stern stuff and they were soon onto the front foot.
Their clear dominance in the scrums forced the home side back.
Another yellow card for the hosts came with just eight minutes remaining.
Honiton continued to press and, from another powerful scrum, Wright broke blind and crashed over out wide and with a superb ‘boomerang’ kick from out wide, Cave knocked over the conversion to bring the score to within one point at 15-14, which would have made it a respectable defeat with just a minute remaining!
Surely it was too late for another score?
Not so! Honiton won possession and Brooks swung a wide pass out to Cave, who fed James Coutts-Tucker and he carried it as far as the supporting Jake Smith and he raced clear until he was checked on the home 10-metre line.
The ball was recycled and moved right to the arriving Bill Baily and he, in turn, moved it on for Will Tyers to take the ball over the line, completing a superb team try!
A difficult conversion was missed, but kicker Cave led the celebrations as he knew that his kick was the final act of a compelling cup tie, one that had seen the Lacemen snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!
For the Ton squad it was a fantastic feat to travel all the way down to a fairly intimidating ground and beat what was a good side in their own back yard. Maybe key to the victory was fitness at the death, as the home side fell away badly in the last 10 minutes.
It was hard to pick a Man of the Match award winner, but Adam Thompson had to drink the pint for the honour winning it for his mates!
Post match there was a terrific atmosphere generated in the Penryn club house as the coachload of travelling ‘Tonites’ joined the home contingent to watch England defeat Ireland in the Six Nations before the large Honiton party boarded their coaches to return to East Devon.
Last, but definitely not least, a huge round of thanks to all that travelling support, who really did make a big difference on what was ultimately a very special day for the club.