Sampson sparkles as Honiton 2nds make Exmouth Nomads work hard for victory

Honiton rugby action

Honiton rugby action - Credit: Archant

Honiton 2nds gave a thoroughly good account of themselves as they were edged out 27-17 on their visit to Exmouth Nomads.

In a high tempo start by both teams, the Honiton pack won an Exmouth scrum on the halfway line and John Selway span the ball out to Dom Hawke, who made some great ground, but was halted at the Exmouth five metre line, and the Lacemen spent the next five minutes pressing the home line. Tom Churchward, Ben Welch and Josh Webber all made strong surges, but the home defence was equal to the challenge.

The action switched to the other end of the pitch after a terrific clearance kick and, following some nifty footwork, the Exmouth backs fashioned a score in the corner.

Both sides battled well for the remainder of the half with Honiton constantly getting the better of the home team’s pack, but again, another fine kick set up a second home try and the teams trooped off at the break with Exmouth leading 10-0.

Honiton began the second half on the front foot and, as the pressure on the home line increased, captain Ben Welch opted for points and summoned forward Benny ‘Boom’ Webber to get the first three points for the Lacemen on the score board.

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From the re-start there was more sustained Honiton pressure and, when another penalty was awarded, the trusty Webber boot made it 10-6.

With the two sides battling it out, the home side started to ring the changes and, with no fewer than 11 substitutes warming up, changes a plenty were made and two quick scores for the home side gave them a 24-6 lead. But the Lacemen were not finished and, with the forwards again doing some gritty work and making metres, Selway once again chose the right option in releasing Tom Holmes, who, in turn, off-loaded to Chris Sampson, and he sold a classic dummy before crossed to bag a terrific team try. Ben Webber converted and it was 24-13 with the clock ticking down, but any home worries were quickly extinguished as they scored a last-gasp penalty to complete the scoring.

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For Honiton, there were some great performances from John Selway, Benny Webber and Dean Patch, but it was Chris Sampson who took the Man of the Match award.

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