By David Harrison

JUST nine weeks after completing their 2023/24 programme with a 5-1 win over Mullion, Launceston were back in action when they travelled to SWPL East club Torrington on Saturday for their first pre-season friendly. 

The Clarets went with an experimental starting eleven comprising a few first team regulars alongside others drawn from the club’s young St Piran League side. 

On a blustery day which made handling difficult for both keepers, the Clarets started well and moved into a 14th minute lead. A Denham Guild free-kick was spilled by the keeper, allowing Lewis Young to fire home the loose ball. 

Launceston dominated first-half possession without being able to add to their lead. Both sides made a series of changes at the break but while the home team significantly bolstered their midfield, the Clarets lacked a physical presence in that area. 

Playing down the slope, Torrington equalised two minutes into the second half and added three more goals during the next half-hour, as a much-changed young Claret side struggled to retain any significant midfield possession. 

With rolling substitutions permitted, Guild, withdrawn at half-time, returned for the final 20 minutes and added a second Launceston goal with a fierce 22-yard half-volley. 

Despite their best efforts, the Clarets were unable to further reduce the deficit and will move on to Sidmouth Town on Saturday (3pm) as the build-up increases in intensity. The SWPL season will open at Penzance on Saturday 3rd August with the first home game, against Millbrook, three days later.

Millbrook are also Launceston’s opponents in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase.

They provide the opposition at Pennygillam on Saturday, August 24, the same day Camelford welcome Bishops Lydeard in the same competition.

Launceston will be away to either Middlezoy Rovers or Okehampton Argyle if they get through, while Camelford would welcome Radstock Town from Somerset.