Missed opportunities cost Honiton RFC dear

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:21 15 June 2010

Honiton lost for the first time in this season's league campaign as they went down 29-22 at Exeter Saracens

Honiton lost for the first time in this season's league campaign as they went down 29-22 at Exeter Saracens. Competing not only for league points but also for the Paddy Thompson Cup, Honiton's own mistakes cost them dear as they let the opposition through at key times.In bright sunshine, Honiton kicked off, and the home side set and cleared the ball accordingly. Honiton had infringed during the initial melee and were penalised, providing Sarries with a good attacking platform. The lineout on their right hand side found its way to the blindside winger who broke through the line all too easily and finished off by the posts for a converted effort. Honiton kicked off again, but found themselves struggling to interpret the referee's version of events at the scrummage and were soon back-pedalling. They conceded a penalty kick soon afterwards and were 10 points down in as many minutes. This is often an omen for a hammering but Honiton had to bear in mind that they had experienced little or no possession up to that point. There was some efficient 'hussling' from the kick off and Honiton established some good clean ball. From there they pressed in field and, after several phases, worked the ball out to Cousins who crossed unopposed in the corner for an unconverted score. Honiton were on the up and sensed that they would be able to overhaul their Exeter counterparts. At half time it was around 17-5, and Honiton knew that they had to step up the intensity and they did so straight away. Receiving the kick off the Lacemen made ground before Spence kicked ahead. His kick was allowed to bounce and he gathered and scored to the right of the posts. Guilbert, who was having a bad day with the boot, crucially missed again. Honiton were soon again on the score sheet as Rice fed Kenny from the base of the scrum. Kenny hit the gap and made good yards before feeding Cousins who scored his second of the game to the right of the posts, again unconverted. But Honiton were within two points. At this stage it was crucial that Honiton kept it tight, but the Lacemen let it slip. Findlay was sin-binned for a tackle that was deemed to be dangerous and Saracens reaped positive ball on their left and rucked their way inside. A short pick and drive from blindside Williams saw him cross the line under the posts. Honiton rallied again and it was a scrummage that was the platform. Rice and Kenny were again the link, and the offload at the gain line was to Guilbert who fed De Large who beat two men to score under the posts. With the conversion drop-kicked successfully, Honiton were within two points and they had time on their side. It was frustrating for all involved as Sarries spun the ball from left to right to break through and score to the right of the posts. The game was lost and really Honiton only had themselves to blame. Next week they face St Columba at Allhallows.

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