Honiton book their place at Twickenham after beating Portsmouth away
HONITON have reached the RFU Senior Vase final at Twickenham after beating Portsmouth 30-20 away on Saturday.
The East Devon club will now play Yorkshire side Northallerton at the home of English rugby on Sunday, May 5.
Honiton, who this month also won promotion to Western Counties West after finishing as runners-up in the Cornwall/Devon League, went 3-0 behind early on to a Portsmouth penalty.
But the visitors, who were dominant in the scrum, hit back when man-of-the-match Ben Small made a great break from midfield and the ball was recycled wide for Adam Thompson scorched in for a try. Tom Steer added the conversion to put his side 7-3 ahead.
After a couple of further chances Honiton did increased their lead when Steer kicked a penalty on 23 minutes.
Honiton’s defence was strong and Portsmouth struggled to make any in roads towards the try line.
But the hosts did win a penalty at a scrum, which they kicked to reduce the deficit to 10-6, which was how it stayed until half-time.
After the break, Honiton got a penalty and Steer put it over to put his side 13-6 ahead.
Portsmouth got back in the game with a try after sustained pressure from the forwards camping in the Honiton 22. They added the conversion to level the game with 20 minutes to go.
From the restart, Portsmouth broke through but fumbled the ball and the visitors made them pay when they broke left. Although they were ruled to have been held up over the line they did score from the resultant scrum when Steer went over and he also converted to make it 20-13.
The home side were not in to the mood to simply give up and Portsmouth’s left winger finished off a move well for a converted try that levelled the game again at 20-20.
But Honiton hit back straight away when they camped of their try line from the restart and Phillip Cook sniped in for a try at the base of the posts. Steer converted to make it 27-20 and he also kicked a late penalty to seal the win and a trip to Twickenham.