Churchward's last gasp tries sees Honiton 2nds snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

PUBLISHED: 15:24 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 10 January 2019

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton rugby. Ref mscsp 48 17TI 3845. Picture: Terry Ife

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Honiton 1st XV were with out a fixture on Saturday as Cornish side, ninth placed Lanner, cried off at the eleventh hour, writes Jerry Rice.

This meant Honiton 2nd XV took centre stage and, following a sponsors lunch organised for Paul Blackmore and his company Amaze Pools, there was a healthy crowd present to watch an enthralling game against Sidmouth 2nds.

Just before Christmas, Honiton travelled over the hill to Sidmouth and frankly, were well beaten by the better side, but the return fixture was now back on home turf and Honiton had a stronger team as well!

Thinks started badly for the Lacemen and, despite having the Allhallows slope advantage, a patient build up by the opposition and quick blind side break saw them score the first try of the day out wide, and, with only five minutes on the clock, things weren’t looking good.

Despite the early set back Honiton got into the game and, though struggling in the set piece, especially the line out, for the remainder of the first half it was really nip and tuck between the two sides. To be fair, Sidmouth looked the better of the two side, but there were no further sc ores through to half-time.

After the break, and now having to ply their trade up hill, expectations from the home supporters were not good, and, when they seasiders scored again, things looked bleak. Despite this, Honiton plugged away, and it was John Hannay, who crossed for a try which was well converted by Sam Heathcoat.

This seemed to rally Honiton and they really started to rattle the visitors and were defiantly back in the game, trailing by just three points.

However, despite the revival, home ambitions were dashed again with a third Sidmouth try was scored, though, crucially, was not converted.

Honiton moved up field and were awarded a penalty which they sensibly kicked to keep them that one score behind.

Again, they were delivered a set back when the Sidmouth kicker also knocked over a penalty and, with five minutes left on the clock, and two scores down, Honiton were more or less dead and buried, but a great passage of play saw them sweep up field and again it was Tom Churchward who cross for a converted try and with the whistle going seconds later somehow Honiton had rescued the game from the jaws of defeat, taking the match honours 24-18. The Honiton Man of the Match award went to Churchward, but it has to be said it was a great team performance with lots of the Honiton youngsters having good games.

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