Gritty Eagles stop the rot with victory over Honiton

Falmouth Packet: Gritty Eagles stop the rot with victory over Honiton Gritty Eagles stop the rot with victory over Honiton

Falmouth Eagles 29 Honiton 20

Falmouth Eagles tasted victory at the Recreation Ground on Saturday, and finally put an end to their losing streak by defeating a strong Honiton side.

The Eagles’ first victory in almost two months featured a slightly re-jigged line up with a new half-back pairing of Andrew Munro-Lott and Kieran Rodda at 9 and 10 respectively, regular fly half Justyn Irons playing at full back,  and changes in the pack as Ashley Searle joined the second row.

A strong breeze swept across the Recreation Ground as the Eagles kicked off under bright spring sunshine.

Honiton tried to build an attack early, moving smoothly through the phases. But the Eagles defence stood firm and stole possession, recycling the ball wide to winger Josh Symons, who knocked on just before he could run for the try line.

Honiton had a scrum on their ten metre line, but seemed unprepared for the power and determination of the Eagles pack,  who drove them back and won a penalty, which was kicked to touch seven metres out.

This cycle repeated itself four times as Honiton gave away penalty after penalty, allowing the Eagles lineout to set itself closer and closer to the visitors’ try line.

Then on the 20-minute mark the constant Falmouth pressure was rewarded as the Eagles forced a penalty try which Irons converted to put them into a 7-0 lead. 

Soon after the restart Honiton captain Nick Guilbert was sin-binned, and the extra man advantage in the pack proved vital as the Eagles drove themselves over the whitewash from a lineout, allowing AJ Geach to touch down and put them into a 14-0 lead.

For the next ten minutes Falmouth put constant pressure on the Honiton defence, who were penned back into their 22.

However, the Eagles own ill discipline allowed Honiton to kick up field, and from the breakaway Ollie Rice raced over to touch down and drag the score back to 14-7.

But the Eagles ended the first half strongly, as more pressure on the five metre line allowed the Eagles to drive over, and Geach grounded the ball for his second try of the game. Irons missed the conversion allowing the Eagles to go into the break at 19-7.

The second half began with the Eagles playing into a strong wind and giving away the first points of the half from a penalty, which Honiton’s Ben Webber knocked over.

The Eagles forwards continued to dominate the set pieces and the lineout proved successful once again as they caught and drove from ten metres out and allowed Geach to touch down for his hat- trick which Irons converted.

And Irons scored again soon after when Honiton gave away a penalty under the posts, which the Eagles full back slotted over.

Honiton battled back, winning a penalty try which reduced the deficit with 15 minutes left to play.

The Eagles supporters might have expected a nervy finish as often has been the case this season, but Falmouth held firm.

The final points of the game came on the stroke of full time as the Eagles were awarded a penalty underneath the posts which Irons gratefully kicked over to seal a welcome 29-20 win for Phil Angove’s side.

Falmouth: Matt Kevern, AJ Geach, Toby Mears, Ashley Searle, Tony Whittle, Tom David, Nick Carne, Simon Bailey, Andrew Munro-lott, Kieran Rodda, Josh Symons, Tom Spiller, Matt Biggins, Tom Edmonds, Justyn Irons. Reps: Ollie Church, Rob Fitzpatrick, Lee Humphries.

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