There's no Disney fairytale for Hornets as high-flying Launceston inflict late sting
PUBLISHED: 10:26 22 February 2019
Hornets had to settle for a pair of bonus points after suffering a late loss to high-flying Launceston in South West One.
With four-try Sean Disney influential at scrum-half, Hornets looked rejuvenated against second-placed rivals, only to concede a late try in a 42-39 defeat.
The hosts began well, only for Launceston to intercept a pass and run the length of the field for a converted try.
But a clever kick over the visiting defence was chased down and retrieved for Disney to dart over in reply.
After a 10-minute spell of midfield attrition, the visitors broke the line and raced clear for their second try, then kicked a penalty deep into touch.
Although Hornets held up the maul and won a scrum, the visitors hooked the ball and drove the hosts back over the line to score again for a 19-5 lead.
Disney went close soon after, with Launceston reduced to 14 men, and Josh Hallett-Fairhurst crashed over from a lineout move following a penalty, with Jordan Humphris converting out wide.
A Launceston penalty preceded a strong run by Joe Gadd, before Disney darted over from a breakdown to make it 22-17.
But with half-time approaching, Launceston won a series of scrums before moving the ball wide to claim their bonus-point try and open up a 10-point gap at the interval.
A long-range penalty widened the gap to 13 after the restart and Hornets saw Charlie Carter produce a try-saving tackle after Launceston cleared upfield.
Joe Howe and Ross Cheeseborugh made good ground for Hornets, before Danny Bailey broke through and offloaded for Disney to complete his hat-trick under the posts.
Carter’s penalty made it 30-27, but Ozzy James was denied a breakaway chance before Launceston kicked downfield and scored a fifth try from a scrum.
However, Carter made a big break and the ball was recycled for Gadd to go over, before Disney touched down again after a break by Bailey to put Hornets 39-35 up.
With a big home crowd hoping to see the hosts hold on for victory Launceston had the last word, as they kicked another penalty to touch and crashed over from the resulting maul to snatch victory.
Although disappointed to lose, Hornets can take heart for next weekend’s vital game against Keynsham.