IT has been a little under two years since a depleted Kingsbridge team travelled to Honiton and were resoundingly beaten. So the trip to the other end of Devon in Tribute Western Counties West last weekend was an opportunity to gain revenge for that defeat.
Kingsbridge, missing a couple of regular players, were bolstered by the return of ex-captain Ben Glover in the centre.
Jake Vincent, inching his way back to full fitness, was on the subs bench as well as having to manage the team.
As many of you will know the Honiton pitch has quite a slope and Kingsbridge played down it towards the clubhouse in the first half.
Although the Blue and Whites started brightly it was Honiton who were first on the scoreboard with a well taken penalty.
Kingsbridge were soon back on the Honiton goal line and Ben Newman crossed over under the posts, converting it himself to make it 3-7.
It was obvious that the Kingsbridge pack were going to dominate the game and it wasn’t long before prop Stu Winzer was driven over to make it 3-12.
Honiton were determined not to be pushed around and a brief foray into the Kingsbridge half resulted in another penalty for the home side, 6-12.
Having been on the substitutes bench last week, Buster James made a welcome return to the starting XV and he was next on the scoresheet. Newman’s conversion making it 6-19.
This soon became 6-24 as scrum-half James Trout burrowed his way over for an unconverted try. This was the final score of the first half and the loyal band of Kingsbridge supporters were wondering if the home side would use the slope and hit back at Kingsbridge after the break.
Unfortunately for Honiton, Kingsbridge were in no mood to relax and the score board kept on turning over in favour of the visitors.
Young Toby Baldry, playing in the centre, took the final pass to score near the posts, with Newman’s conversion making it 6-31.
Next on the scoresheet was Stu Harris; his incredible work rate being rewarded as he ran in a try which, again, Newman converted and the score was 6-38.
A break by Newman saw him score his second try of the match under the posts making for an easy conversion to give Kingsbridge a 6-45 lead.
Honiton, game as they were, were proving no match for Kingsbridge in this mood and Freddie Buckle joined the list of scorers for another converted try, 6-52.
It seemed it was just a case of how many tries Kingsbridge were going to score. James Palmer, whose excellent work around the field is not always recognised, ran in the ninth try of the game.
Newman, who had definitely brought his kicking boots with him, converted to take the score to 6-59. Ben Letham, another of the very promising young players to come through the junior section, then helped himself for a brace of tries, one of which was converted by the in-form Newman to stretch the lead to 6-71.
As Honiton were praying for the final whistle Kingsbridge summoned up one final effort and were rewarded with a penalty try to finish the scoring at 6-78.
There will not be many easier games for the Blue and Whites this season but you can only play what’s in front of you.
Hopefully the team’s climb away from the bottom end of the league table continues over the next few matches, with the next two fixtures being Wiveliscombe and Newton Abbot at home and if they play like they did at Honiton it certainly will!
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