Taunton Titans used their get out of jail card in this game with a penalty kick with two minutes to go and a try saving tackle in the last move of the game.
The hosts started the game well and took the game to Barnes, who defended valiantly throughout, and it wasn’t until the 13th minute that the Titans managed to breach the defence when scrum half Oli Massy-Birch did a quick show and go and darted through a gap to touch down, Gary Kingdom adding the conversion.
Barnes with their first real attack of game kicked to the corner and from the resulting driving maul hooker George Head was at the bottom of the pile. Fly half Josh Hammett added the extras. Taunton kept on creating opportunities but the Barnes dogged defence kept them out. On the half hour mark winger Matt Jess, who was making his debut for the Titans, collected the ball off first phase and found some space and scored in the corner. In the tit for tat game Barnes came back and with a carbon copy of their first try, a driving maul, this time prop Alastair Ryan the man under the heap. This tied the scores at 12 – 12 and it wasn’t until the last play of the first half that it changed when Massy-Birch sniped down the short side from a scrum and scored in the corner to make it 17 – 12 at the turnaround.
Both teams huffed and puffed in the second half but didn’t really capitalise on any pressure. With 15 minutes of the game to go the visitors used some great hands and centre Dan Holmes hit a great line to score. Hammett added the all-important conversion to give Barnes the lead for the first time.
Taunton came back and threw everything at the Barnes line but their defence and some wrong decisions kept the Titans out. Kingdom missed one penalty but with two minutes to go had another chance and kicked Taunton into the lead.
From the kick off Taunton claimed the ball but instead of running the clock down surrendered possession and Barnes went on the attack. After several phases an overzealous Titans defender jumped out the line and Barnes pounced and with a flurry of passes made it up to the Taunton 5 meter line but a try saving tackle forced the knock on and the Titans breathed a sigh of relief to get the win.