Withycombe colts end the Honiton winning run

PUBLISHED: 13:40 09 October 2018

Action from the Withycomve colts win over Honiton, who were being beaten for the first time this season. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Action from the Withycomve colts win over Honiton, who were being beaten for the first time this season. Picture CONTRIBUTED

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Withycombe Colts became the first team to defeat Honiton Colts this season, beating their East Devon rivals 27-8 when the pair met at Raleigh Park.

Throughout the contest the Withy forwards and half backs created some great chances that made gaps for the backs to exploit in another demonstration of the spirit that exists in this team, giving everyone the chance to play their best rugby and keep themselves sitting on top of their group in the Devon Merit Championship.

Withycombe made a bright start and kept Honiton pressed back in their own 22 until Withy pressure resulted in a scrum.

As the ball came out the ball was fed back to Josh Saunders who slipped round the blind side for the first try with seven minutes on the clock. However, the conversion was missed, the windy conditions making kicking difficult all afternoon.

The restart saw the Withies forwards test the Honiton defence and some good tackles were needed to stop the charges forward.

Soon Honiton gained possession and in a concerted effort forced Withycombe on their back foot.

The referee blew the whistle when he judged that a dump tackle had been carried out that gave Honiton their first points with a kick in front of the posts.

For a while, after the restart, Withy tried to settle, but gave away several penalties as they held their line.

Another break came when deep in the Honiton 22, the ball was fed down the line ending up with Ben Dawson who touched down. Again the wind beat the kick so the score as the half-time whistle blew, was 10-3 in favour of Withy.

Honiton made a good start to the second half and forced an early scrum on the Withy 22. Unusually, a gap opened in the Withycombe defence and a quick thinking Honiton runner saw it and broke through to score. Again with the wind against them, the kick went wide.

The reply wasn’t long coming as Withy piled forward pressing the Honiton defenders deep within their half.

A pass to Jason Farrant changed the move as a brilliantly weighted cross field kick was collected in the air by Dawson who crossed the line to score. This time Farrant kicked from a tight angle to slot the conversion.

With the match almost over, Honiton were a converted try away from bringing the score level, but Withy were the dominant force and kept the play out of their half for the majority of the time that remained.

The ball was being moved well as the Withy boys pressed forward. With five minutes left, Farrant put another trademark kick to touch inside the opposition 22.

With Honiton to take the lineout, Withy were in a great position having dominated in the lineout throughout the game.

Withy duly gained possession and as the ball moved fast, Harry Hawkins saw his chance to put his head down and drive for the line to score. Farrant converted again.

Honiton kept their composure, and, from the restart looked good as they pressed forward, but Withycombe regained control.

The intensity of the Withy fightback brought the ball to the Honiton try line where defences were being tested.

The pressure and speed of the ball proved too much and Dawson was able to find touch which ended the game 27-8.

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