Withycombe take the foot off the gas in Honiton success
PUBLISHED: 11:53 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:53 18 December 2014
Withycombe were 41-17 winners of the East Devon derby meeting with Honiton.
However, despite the win and retaining top spot in the Devon and Cornwall table, the Raleigh Park faithful and Withy management will have been disappointed with the second half when they were outscored by the visitors.
With Crediton and Saltash both joining Withycombe on 60 points, not only bonus points, but winning margins may yet come into play and so, having been 29-0 up at the interval, a chance was missed to boost the points tally!
Withy started with high tempo and a lineout drive set by Dave Sims allowed Liam Cullen to break from the back of the maul and crash over in the corner in the first minute.
Six minutes later a scrum against the head saw number-eight Mike Richards in unfamiliar territory as he picked from the base and ‘ran’ 40 metres to score, dummying the full back along the way!
He was back in his comfort zone 15 minutes later as the Withycombe pack scored yet another pushover try at the Brook End of the club.
The other Richards brother would be next to score as Joe Parkin made a spectacular break and uncharacteristically made his best effort at butchering the finish, being brought down within the 5-metre line. Fortunately Dave Richards was on hand to collect the offload and secure the bonus point with 35 minutes on the clock.
Sam Conway rounded off the first half scoring when he got on the end of a three-quarter move.
Withy began the second half with Simon Tozer in the sin-bin, but their one-man deficit can hardly be blamed for Honiton’s first score as some lax defending allowed the visitors in for a long range try!
Withy hit straight back with a Parkin scissor move, John offloading to brother Joe who finished under the posts.
However, back came the visitor’s with another long range try, much to the consternation of Withy coach Glenn Channing.
For the next 25 minutes the game remained scrappy, with both sides possibly guilty of trying to play too much rugby in the conditions.
Withycombe created lots of chances, but lacked a finishing edge until a simple blindside scrum move put Conway over in the opposite corner to his first half try.
Honiton had the last word, but all eyes now turn to Liskeard for Withycombe.
After Liskeard failed to send a side to Hayle last week, the league leaders will be looking to capitalise and give their points difference a healthy boost going into the Christmas break.