Five out of Five for the lacemen
Honiton come out on top after slog in the gloom
--Honiton v Withcombe
Saturday saw Honiton trying to defend their unbeaten run for this season and this week it was perhaps their sternest test as they took on near neighbours Withcombe. The seasiders are one of the leagues more consistant sides and over recent years Honiton have always come off second best and have been often out classed so this encounter was to be a stern test of their resolve and characture.
Honiton elected to play up the field in the first half and were for the first 15 minutes very much under the cosh as Withycome came out of the blocks fighting and they were in no mood to pay any attention to the seasons form book. Credit where credit was due Honiton defended well but the visitors were first on the score sheet with a well struch penalty. Honiton were patient and got into the game and after a good passage of play it was skipper Will Goulden (Sponserd by Cool heat) who crashed over for the first score and Ollie Cave (sponsered by Robert Tyers Plumming )converted. Back bounced Withy with converted try and with mounted pres ure they scored again to take then two score out but this game in the first half was a ding dong affair and almost straight after the restart Honiton reacted well and Ben Kidson dotted down out wide. Right from the touch line Cave knocked over a sublime conversion to pull Honiton back in it at 14-17 behind. Withcombe kept up the pressure and again scored their third try of the game out wide, the conversion was missed and as the half drew to a close Cave knocked over a penatly and at the half way stage Honiton were 22-17 down with it all to do in the second half. To be fair Honiton felt they should have had a penalty try awared and coach Nathan Hannay was positive he’d got the ball down from close range pick and drive but at this level there are no replays for the ref to review so it wasn’t given.
With the Lacemen now playing with the slope there was a clear believe they could over turn the 5 point deficit but with the rain starting to come the second half got scrappy and it became a bit of a slog for both sides. Honiton kicked an early penatly to get with three and really it was all about holding ones nerve. Withycome had two plays binned in the second half and were down to thirteen for about 5 minutes. Cave broke the deadlock by kicking a second penalty on the 68 minute mark and Honiton this score meant they were ahead for the first time in the game and the final ten minutes were nerve racking for both sets of supporters especially as the visitors had a missed shot at goal with minutes on the clock to go. Honiton hung in there and the whistle went it was the Lacemen who had come out on top by the narrowest of margins of 23-22.
To be fair it was a good close game enjoyed by a healthy number of supporters and this despite the weather. Honiton could argue they should have had a couple of scores awarded in the first half but a narrow Honiton win was probally the correct result to a nutural. Honiton to a man were committed to the cause and they are now playing very much like a unit, there was some great individual performances as usual but it was number ten Adam Thompson (sponsered by Priory Paving) who was named as the Lacemens man of the match.
Next week it’s another home game against Lanner who are also going well this season.