Small stars as Honiton net comprehensive opening day victory away at Topsham

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9434. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9434. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton made a winning start to a new Tribute Cornwall and Devon League season with a 59-3 win at newly promoted Topsham, writes Jerry Rice.

Despite a couple of key players being unavailable, the Lacemen were able to field a strong starting XV and they were backed by a large contingent of travelling supporters that outnumbered the home contingent!

The opening score came on 10 minutes with hooker Robert Price going over from close range and Ben Webber converted.

A slick break led by Jake Smith saw the ball go to Alex Brooks and he chipped ahead and won the race with a Topsham player to score the second try to make it 12-0 to the Lacemen.

The next score followed a terrific break through the middle by Jason Hannay prior to an off-load to Ben Small and, after he moved it swiftly to Philip Cook, the ball eventually was returned to the supporting Hannay, who took it over the line and a second successful Webber conversion put Honiton into a 19-0 lead.

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A late penalty had the hosts on the board, but the Lacemen held a healthy advantage as they trooped off at the break.

Shortly after the re-start, Ben Logan bagged excellent turnover ball and moved it to Jonny House before it was taken over the line by Will Tyers prior to another successful conversion.

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The next score followed a ‘routine training ground movement’ that ended with Brooks crossing and then House used his pace to canter in from long range before Ben Logan got the biggest cheer of the day as he broke though from the 10-metre line and, with men either side, he showed the ball and the hapless defender bought the dummy and he had simple dot down under the sticks – not bad for a prop!

Further tries were scored by Louis Groves and centre James Coutts to wrap up a thoroughly comprehensive 59-3 win.

Out of what was an excellent all-round performance, the star top contributor was arguably Ben Small, who covered every blade of grass and fully deserved to be Man of the Match..

On Saturday (September 8) it’s the first Allhallows home game of the new league term and the visitors are a Torquay side that scored 99 points in their opening game at home to Hayle!

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