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London Scottish lose by a single point for second week running

London Scottish lose by a single point for second week running

London Scottish lost by a single point for the second week in a row yesterday, going down 13-12 to Launceston despite outscoring the hosts by two tries to one, as the second and third-placed sides in National League One met at Poison Bridge.

London Scottish lost by a single point for the second week in a row yesterday, going down 13-12 to Launceston despite outscoring the hosts by two tries to one, as the second and third-placed sides in National League One met at Poison Bridge.

Although Scottish had won away at Cinderford last month despite missing regular kickers Frankie Neale and James Brown, their absence yesterday, again through international duty, was sorely felt on an afternoon when Simon Amor, playing at fly half, missed a conversion and two penalty kicks in difficult conditions.

MPU

The first of those came within the opening minute, when on a pitch soaked by a pre-match deluge that resulted in a forward-dominated game, Amor unluckily slipped as he shaped to kick what should have been a straightforward penalty in front of the posts.

On 6 minutes, the hosts took the lead through a penalty of their own, put through the uprights by fly half Tony Yapp, and although Amor had an opportunity to level the scores four minutes later, again his kick missed the target.

With Launceston hooker Jamie Salter sin-binned, the visiting forwards began to impose themselves on the match, their hard work resulting in two tries that put the side in at the interval 12-3 ahead.

The opening try came on 23 minutes from number eight Willie Lipp, a deserved winner of the supporters’ man of the match award, who went over after a series of drives from the Scottish pack, although from a difficult angle, Amor’s kick went wide.

Then, with the half-time whistle approaching, the referee awarded a penalty try as Launceston illegally tried to kick the ball out of a ruck as the visiting pack threatened to push over in the corner. This time, Amor’s kick went between the posts in what turned out to be his only successful kick of the afternoon.

Following the restart, however, it was Launceston’s forwards, now playing with the slope, who began to gain the ascendancy as the hosts, playing into the wind, and ten minutes into the second half the Cornish All Blacks had reduced the deficit to just two points following a pushover try, captain Ton Rawlings getting the decisive touch, and Yapp adding the conversion.

Following the sin-binning of Scottish number 7 Ben Lonergan, Launceston claimed the decisive score on 67 minutes, when a penalty to the hosts gave Yapp the opportunity to send over his third successful kick of the afternoon.

Although Amor had a chance to put Scottish back into the lead five minutes later, again his penalty attempt failed to hit the target. As the clock wound down, the visiting pack pressed forward with renewed impetus in an attempt to rescue the game, but their efforts proved fruitless.

The story of the afternoon was summed up late on when, presented with a penalty that potentially was within kicking range, the visitors instead elected to take the scrum, and it was with relief that Launceston’s players and supporters greeted the final whistle.

A losing bonus point leaves Scottish four points behind league leaders Esher, who now have three games in hand, with the Cornish All Blacks a further 12 points behind.

Following consecutive away matches at either end of the country, the side continue their travels next week with a trip to the West Midlands to face Stourbridge, who yesterday lost 21-18 at home to Sedgley Park.

Match report by Simon MacMichael, with thanks to Ian Aitken

Home Team
13 (Try: Rawlings; Conversion: Yapp; Penalties: Yapp (2))
Away Team
12: (Tries: Lipp, penalty try; Conversion: Amor)
Home Team
Fabian, Lewitt, Westren, Murphy, Turner, Yapp, Webb, Bolt, Salter, Bayliss, Hilton, Jenkins, Lord, T Rawlings, Hocking (Replacements: pow, Semmens, Hannay, M Rawlings, Preece)
Away Team
Peel, Piotrowski, McInroy, Trueman, Howells, Amor, Grant, Johnson, Standfield, Graham, Karonias, Smith, Yellowlees, Lonergan, Lipp (Replacements: Kent, Palmer, Heeks, Broughton, Silvester)
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