Molton hold out against Honiton challenge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:58 15 June 2010

Honiton narrowly lost out at South Molton 27-25 on Saturday afternoon in Mid Devon.

Honiton narrowly lost out at South Molton 27-25 on Saturday afternoon in Mid Devon. A poor first half left Honiton with too much to do in the second period.The teams were unable to play on the normal pitches as they were both waterlogged, and so the game had to be played on the other side of town. The venue was probably the most 'interesting' of pitches I have graced in my 11- year career thus far, with a good slope and an interesting curvature across the middle. But hey ho, it was the same for both sides. Honiton played up the slope in the first half, but started poorly, with South Molton prodding the ball down into Honiton territory. South Molton won a scrummage on their right in the visitors' 22. This saw the home side's fly half move across the back line and put the full back in space. He crossed the whitewash to give the Mid Devon side an early five point lead. Honiton moved back upfield but an interception provided South Molton with a 12-0 lead in less than ten minutes. Honiton were struggling up the field and their attacks in the early stages were repelled with relative ease. However, Honiton turned the ball over in their 22. Hannay made yards as the play moved up field, and De Large dummied the last man to score under the posts. Nex brought Honiton to within five yards, but they struggled for the rest of the half as South Molton's big runners hit up through the ten channel as the Lacemen defended the fringes. Parkyn left the action for Lane and Guilbert came on for Kenny. As the half wore on, South Molton scored three further times, with a penalty and two tries. Honiton were 20 points adrift at the turn around, and they knew a few heads required a bit of testing in the second period. It was a second half which Honiton dominated and they were unlucky not to come away with the win. The Lacemen immediately pressed through the midfield, doing as South Molton had done in the first half, through the fly half channel. Quicker ball enabled momentum to build and Honiton were awarded a penalty which Nex converted to narrow the margin. He also did so a minute later and Honiton were within two scores. The first came as good handling skills saw the ball move quickly from left to right to winger Garmen. Garmen, who had a good game, raced down the right hand touchline before chipping ahead. The turf didn't allow him to re-collect the ball on the move, and sensibly he slowed to gather it. This gave the covering defence time to catch up and Garmen was tackled. However, Spence was on hand to shove Garmen over the line, Nex again converting. Honiton were within seven points but, soon after the re-start, the visitors conceded a kickable penalty. Fortunately the South Molton kicker couldn't make the distance and Honiton cleared. They made yards throughout the whole of the second half, and Lane carried that on and made a great break down the middle. South Molton were scrambling and soon conceded a penalty for offside. Captain Sampson elected to go for the posts once more, however Guilbert had already tapped and gone (sorry!) and he found De Large who put Locke in at the corner. Nex this time was unlucky with the conversion. South Molton showed their experience in the final 10 minutes as they kept it tight and deprived Honiton of any ball. Honiton couldn't fashion another decent chance and in the end lost out by just two points. It was disappointing as Honiton had put it on the line in the second half and showed a bit of pride in the shirt. l Honiton entertain table toppers Teignmouth next week.

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