Fortress Ton breached
By Jeremy Rice
Penryn stay on top after tough encounter at Honiton
What a mouth watering prospect down at Allhallows on Saturday. Following the sponsors lunch for both Blamphayne sawmills and Ultim8 Construction there was the small matter of a rugby match, where top played second. For the Ton just two weeks earlier, they had gone down to Penryn in the National cup and not only won but took away the Cornishmen’s unbeaten run. This week it was Penryn turn to try and topple the Ton who were also unbeaten on home turf.
Despite a rather miserable dank day, there was the biggest crowd seen at Honiton for many a year and this was bolstered by Penryn bringing a bus load of supporters as well. So all in all, a mouth watering prospect for a rugby game.
Honiton elected to play up the Allhallows slope but from receiving the kick, a fumble soon after gave the visitor the ball and they then preceeded to batter Honiton’s defence which, despite the pressure held firm. Honiton then got a foot hold and made inroads but were often guilty of giving away penalties after working hard to get into scoring territory. Honiton’s cause was helped when there was a sin bining for Penryn’s 12 after an altercation with Josh Rice
. Soon after, a collapsed maul by the visitors saw Jake Smith
knocked over the penalty to give Honiton the lead.
Charges and tackles were brutal between the two evenly match sides. After a couple of tough scrums,Honiton’s line was threatened and after a few pick and goes Penryn got the ball over the line. Honiton felt they had a player under the ball to prevent the touchdown but the score was given and duly converted. Honiton then lost Ross Watts
to the bin for not being 10 metres back from a penalty but despite this loss Honiton pressed but kept losing ground from unforced errors. Honiton did finish the half strongly and with a series of pick and goes it was player coach Hannay who forced his way across the line for the converted try and Honiton had the narrow 10-7 lead at the break, with their turn to use the slope, which is usually a key advantage.
A Unfortunately Honiton were pegged back right from the kick off as they had a man in front of the kicker and they then struggled to get the ball back and with some good work up the left Penryn crossed for a try but to all watching the ball was not grounded and knocked on but the try was given. A Tmo might have said different but that’s how it goes and the difficult conversion was well slotted for a 14-10 lead for the visitors .
It was still no quarter given but errors were costly for the Ton and again a turn over saw a Penryn attack result in their third try out wide. Honiton bounced back with a try soon after after some sustained pressure, Robert Price
scored under the sticks and Smith converted to make it a one point game in the visitors favour at 20-21. The pressure built as the game entered the last 10 minutes a sustained bit of pressure saw the Cornish side press and a missed tackle saw them score again and crucially converted to give them a two score lead. The whistle soon went with Honiton attacking but it was too late and the fortress was sacked.
This was a good close game between two good sides. Credit to the visitors they did there home work well and courtesy of too many Ton errors they deserved their victory and now have the clear edge in the title race.
There were some good performances from many a Ton player with Harry Wright getting the Ton’s man of the match.
For Honiton they can’t dwell on this set back and must lick there wounds, cut out unforced errors and rebuild the fortress walls quickly, as they have the small mater of the big cup game at Honiton next weekend.