It took just about every ounce of effort on the part of the Titans to squeeze past a determined Old Albanian side who had clearly rehearsed the mantra “they shall not pass”. Eventually the home side found the way through to claim victory 10-8 by way of the boot of Gary Kingdom but that only happened in the 75th minute after the OA’s had held out with some resolute defence throughout the second half.
It was always going to prove a tricky afternoon with some drenching showers in the run up to kick off and the pitch getting heavier and gloopier and so it proved, ensuring the weather was always going to be the major influence on the game. Unfortunately the game itself failed to reach any great heights either with stop, start under the referee’s whistle proving a factor in slowing down proceedings.
The Titans took an early, encouraging lead with a try by hooker Chris Francis after a determined forward drive carried him over the line with the conversion being made by Gary Kingdom. OA’s came back with penalty goal by Dan Watt and then a try from right winger Hogan after he swiftly chased down a speculative kick ahead and gained the touch down in the corner. That gave the visitors the lead 7-8 which they took into half time and held onto for a great chunk of the second half.
The Taunton faithful were beginning to get a little anxious as time moved on and although the Titans had enjoyed a clear territorial advantage they had struggled to break down the efficient OA’s defence. Eventually a penalty kick by Kingdom sailed through the uprights assisted by 300 puffing spectators to put the Titans back in front 10-8 and they were able to hang on ‘til the final whistle to claim the spoils.
This victory keeps the Taunton boys in touch with the scramble now going on for second place in the league with the play-off game being the reward as the end of the season gets ever closer. Canterbury gained a bonus point win away to Clifton and with Henley hammering Worthing all eyes were on Tonbridge Juddians who inflicted the second defeat of the season on runaway league leaders, The Rams. These results leave the Titans having to play catch-up in the rearranged game away to Henley on Sunday 24th February.
On the day before that game the Warriors will be taking on University of Bath at Commsplus Stadium, kick off 1.00pm, in the semi-final of the Somerset County Cup, with the winners playing North Petherton in the final. Intriguing or what? The other date for your diary is 2nd March when the Titans play Barnes at The Commsplus Stadium. This date is TRFC’s Presidents Day with a carvery lunch, an auction of goodies, heads and tails and a cabaret spot and all before kick off. It all starts at 12:00 noon for 12:30pm – it would be a crime to miss it!