Honiton were keen to build on their fantastic start to ......
Honiton were keen to build on their fantastic start to the season last week with an away trip to Wessex on what promised to be a wet and windy afternoon. It was the Home side that got both teams underway with Honiton making their intent clear from the outset with some hard carries by the forward pack. Swift hands from Adam Thompson resulted in the ball being spread wide exploiting some early space and after a few phases and the ball found itself with Will Tyers (Sponsored by Rob Tyers Plumbing Ltd) finishing in impressive fashion to cap a well worked team try.
The Lacemen applied more pressure at the breakdown which resulted in a penalty being awarded in their favour, kicked by Oli Cave (Sponsored by Rob Tyers Plumbing Ltd) and increasing their lead to 0-8. It was evident that Honiton were not going to let up in their attack with a clean break up the middle by Cave and a well-placed pass releasing Kyle Blackmore in space and doing well to finish, evading the Wessex full back. With the extras added by Cave it was back to business, a good exit by Honiton forced an error by Wessex in their own half. From the resulting scrum Ollie “Cheeseman” Hyland broke through the tackle and to lift the ball to Cave in space as he ran it in unopposed to dot down under the sticks, again converted. It was the turn of Ben Small to cross the white wash as he evaded 3 or 4 defenders and sprint in from 30 metres out. It was Hyland again who made a good tackle to disrupt the ball which was gathered by Thompson to run in fifty meters to score.
Wessex then showed a great deal of spirit, in what was looking like an uphill battle for them, stringing together a series of phases putting the away side under considerable pressure. It was a sustained attack that was met with a well organised and structured defence with some big hits flying in. it was their fly half that looked the most threatening breaking the line on a few occasions although to no avail as the Honiton defence stood firm. It was then the turn of Ben Small once again bumping off a few tackles and offloading the ball well to the onrushing support of Ben Webber. It was a try and conversion by Cave that capped an impressive first half from Honiton leading 0-43.
The second half got underway and the hosts were certainly not going to lay down and roll over. Once again, they built well and applied some good early pressure to the seemingly dominant side . With Honiton playing with the wind behind them a few well-placed kicks allowed the contest to swing back in Honiton’s favour. It was the quick thinking of Nathan Hannay to tap and go from a penalty and allow influential number 8 Josh Rice (sponsored by Ultim8 Construction) to go over under the sticks for his first of the game. With the conversion successful the score reached 50-0.
It was a half of chances missed for Honiton with the accuracy shown in the first half diminish as balls hit the floor and scoring opportunities went begging. Through some good work from the forward pack first winning a penalty from a driving maul a kick to the corner set up another good scoring opportunity for the away side. A well-set maul was pulled down short as Big Ben Willis picked from the base and showed great strength to muscle over from close, the extras were again added by Cave. As the half drew to a close it was the combination of Nathan Hannay and Josh Rice once more as Hannay broke clear and offloaded well to yet more great team support. The beneficiary was of course Josh Rice (sponsored by Ultim8) grabbing his second of the afternoon and putting his hand up for buying a jug after the game for Hit Trick avoidance.
Honiton were able to sustain a late bit of Wessex pressure and closed out an emphatic 64-0 win away from home in a potential “banana skin” fixture. Credit where credit is due as Wessex showed a real never say die attitude continuing to batter the Honitons defences despite the game being all but lost before the second half kicked off. The Lacemen, I’m sure, will face more difficult fixtures in the coming weeks, never the less it was a game that required a professional performance from the whole side and a well-executed game plan. Man of the match was given to Oli Cave (Sponsored by Rob Tyers Plumbing Ltd) for his clean breaks and point haul for the day, although the most pleasing elements was the team performance and zero score line for Wessex. The Ton march on to a huge game against relegated into Devon and Cornwall league, Bude where they will look to maintain their 100% record.