Honiton go Top after tough away win
Hayle away has always been a tough fixture but Honiton ride the storm to come out on top
Honiton made the long trip to Hayle for their first Cornish trip of the season and in previous season any games in Cornwall have proved unsuccessful but on the back of an unbeaten 3 game start for the Lacemen and a bit of indifferent one for the Hayle, Honiton travelled in confident mood.
Hayle's pitch looked in superb condition but it is a very wide one and with a stiff breeze running from left to right it was tricky conditions. It was the home side who started very strongly and created a bit of chaos and from the off Honiton were on the back foot, defending a line out in the corner.. a bit of confusion with a pass, saw the Cornish men reacted quickest and they piled through and scored and in just three minutes Honiton was 7 nil down!
After some stern words Honiton started to build some phases and on entering Hayle's 22, they were rewarded with a penalty which Ollie Cave (sponsored by Rob Tyres Plumbing) knocked over.
Honiton then entered their best phase of the game after a good passage of play and great support from Harry Wright (sponsored by Lee Wright Garden Services) and Josh Rice (Ultim8) the ball was recycled quickly and Nathan Hannay (sponsored by JKS Flooring) picked and drove and he scored a try that put Honiton in front.
Honiton gained some ascendancy with some good running and good lines and from a good set of passes through Rice, Hyland , Price (DJM Construction), Hannay was put clear to score his second try and with the Cave conversion this put Honiton 7-15 in front .
Hayle upped their pressure and were pressing on Honiton’s 22 metre line Ollie Cave read their intentions and neatly intercepted the pass and if you freeze framed the picture at the first 10 metres, the chances of him making it all the way to the Cornish line seemed a vague shot, but fair play to him, he ran the length of the field to dot down but perhaps still suffering from the run he then missed the easy conversion.
Despite the set back the home side responded really well and after a good off the top line out their centre went in under the posts to put them right back in it at 14-20 as half time came around.
The second half started with Honiton going a bit AWOL and they lost their way a bit as they went hunting for try number four and this became a burden and the structure was effected. Hannay broke through the midfield and butchered a 2 on 1 with a huge forward pass to Philip Cooke. Then there was a panicked 22 clearance kick that was charged down and there was a scramble that Honiton ended illegally and Ben Webber (sponsored by Steve Webber Garden Services) received a yellow card but really it was a team offence and he took the can. Despite this set back Honiton got back to going through the phases and from a line out on Hayle's 22 an “off the top” delivery, resulted in a training pitch set move which sent Cave crashing through to score under the posts, he converted and Honiton had breathing space again at 14-27.
Honiton went back to trying to force the game again. There were a couple of penalty shots taken but they fell short and Honiton became more frustrated with some of the refereeing decisions. Hannay vented this to the ref and was frogmarched back 10 metres and still not taking the medicine a further discussion with the official saw him get given Honiton’s second yellow card of the game. Shortly after this Cave broke through the defensive line but was deemed to have lead with the forearm which was slightly harsh, but this offence was deemed as a yellow card one and Honiton went down to 13 men and they then had to fight hard to try and contain Hayle who managed to score another try during this period and at 19-27, Honiton were now looking over their shoulder.
Hannay was waved back on with 2mins to go and through pressure of a Harry Wright kick chase, the charge down saw Hannay gathered and brake through and with huge strides, he shrugged off a tackler or two to score under the post for his hat trick score and the Ton ended the game deserved winners at 19-34.
There was no doubt Honiton were the better side and they looked really strong in parts but they did make hard work of things at times. There were some good performances by all and Josh Rice, Oli Cave and Nathan Hannay stood out but the “Man of the match was awarding to Harry Wright just for his all round hard work.
All in all it was a good day at the office especially as it was in Cornwall and this win given Honiton a 4 from 4 start to the season and sees them sitting on the top of the top of the league at the early stage of proceedings.