This was another typical Taunton Titans end of season display where they have nothing to play for once again, and their capability of switching off in games and not applying themselves is one of the reasons why they are not challenging for honours at the business end of the season.
With Old Reds fighting for their National 2 South status with 4 games to go it was the home side that had the most desire and want to see off their local rivals, however it was the Titans that started the better putting pressure on their hosts but as with the previous weeks Taunton couldn’t convert the pressure into points. Once Old Reds got some possession they showed their intentions with some straight hard running from their scrum half which resulted in a try for centre Aaron Rice under the posts to give a simple conversion for fly half Ashley Groves to take a 7 – 0 lead.
The Titans then got their act together which resulted in a try for Gary Kingdom after several phases that stretched the home side from side to the other. Kingdom missed the conversion of his own try but was successful with his next attempt after second row Barrie-John Chapman rumbled over after several close attempts on the Old Reds line.
Taunton were now 7 – 12 up and in the ascendancy when centre Nick Mason hit a great line off a scrum and ran in a try in the bottom corner from his own 10 meter line to give the Titans a 10 point lead going into halftime.
Old Reds now had the advantage of playing down hill in the second half and certainly used this to their advantage running hard and forcing the Titans back time and time again. The hosts used their pitch and momentum well and frustrated Taunton who only managed to get into the opposition half for limited periods and instead of keeping the ball kept giving it back to Old Reds cheaply who used it well.
Old Reds got the bit between their teeth and started to claw their way back into the game. First Groves kicked a penalty before Rice went over for his second of the afternoon to make the score 15 – 17 with 20 minutes to go. The game was still in the balance but as Taunton kept giving up the ball and their defence was beginning to concede meters there looked like there was only going to be one winner.
With 10 minutes to go Old Reds number 8 Ethan Doyle broke through 4 would be tacklers and went in under the posts to give Groves a simple conversion and the home side a 22 – 17 lead. To be fair to Taunton they then had one of their better periods but after some pressure they either gave away a penalty or gave the ball away for Old Reds to relieve the pressure and eventually saw the game out deep in the Titans 22 and claim a well deserved win which could well see them keeping their league status.