Launceston produce strong finish to the season with good, rain-soaked win over St.Austell
Dylan Doherty and Alex Maciver-Redwood nail it as Launceston's new recruits really step up
For the last regular season game Launceston travelled down to St. Austell with a big squad looking for a positive season defining finale. After weeks of fantastic weather the heavens opened with a vengeance that produced a soggy game (the supporters were happy enough though) with a strong wind coming in over the main stand.
Launceston were looking to give some of their new recruits a good run out and rest some of the players involved in last week’s sevens. Some established players were also asked to play in unfamiliar positions in an attempt to mix things up a bit.
It was great to see St.Austell with good numbers and they proved to be competitive in the opening exchanges with the teams equally matched. The breakdown was a messy affair both teams flooding the breakdown and neither team gaining the ascendancy. The conditions were challenging and became worse as the game progressed. Freddie Ward and Jack Goodman made good ground as always but were just lacking support at the crucial moments in the early stages. Dylan Doherty (captains man of the match) was also looking to get on the ball at every opportunity and carried with real intensity.
As the half continued Launceston started to apply concerted pressure and spend more time in the Saints half. Better line-speed from the Launceston backs caused trouble for their St Austell counterparts. In attack Launceston were starting to pull the strings and find some space. A neat chip by Ollie Tomkies allowed Tom Lowe to race forward, collect and produce a trademark weaving/stepping run to score on the left. 0-5
St. Austell were desperately trying to get their big forwards to punch holes in the Launceston defence. They have certainly unearthed some useful players with great potential and have improved as a team. However, the tackling was good and they failed to create any real scoring opportunities. Excellent work from the back row – Freddie Ward, Finn Stiles and Alex Maciver-Redwood (Captains man of the match) meant that St.Austell failed to gain any momentum. At the other end, Jack Goodman (the juggernaut) produced some barnstorming runs which the defenders struggled to stop. With the try line in sight he burst through from the 10m line to score under the posts. Conversion Tom Lowe. 0-12
Finlay Moses, playing in the centre, was full of beans. With his long stride he was drawn to the big open spaces and really made good ground. Ben Webb, coming off the bench, was also proving difficult to bring down with some excellent runs down the right. With increasing confidence Ollie Tomkies darted up the right, produced a great show and go and outstripped the defence to go round under the posts. Conversion Tom Lowe. 0-19. Half time
The second half continued in much the same vein. Improved decision making and urgency at the breakdown made life increasingly difficult for the Saints. Billy Martin, usually at hooker, was enjoying more freedom on the flank. The front rower club of Kian Hicks, Jake Glover, Dylan Doherty and Josh Bakehouse never took a step backwards with the Launceston scrum always going forwards. Unfortunately, it was never going to be a day for the back three, but George Mill, Sam Sharman, Alfie Hold and Joe Allen all defended well and pushed forwards as much as possible whenever they could.
Great work by the forwards created real momentum and as the St. Austell defence started to tire Freddie ward pounced and raced over on the right. 0-24
Driving heavy rain was making the game increasingly difficult but with 10 minutes still remaining Nicky Crighton gathered well from a loose Saints kick and jinked over in heavy traffic. 0-29
The referee decided that it was time for an early bath and called it a day. Well done to all given the conditions.