A crowd of over 600 was treated to a war of attrition between two top of the table sides and in the first 18 minutes Tonbridge only encroached into the Taunton half twice. Wave after wave of attack finally resulted in a Taunton try by their hooker Alex Spurdle. However the Taunton error was exploited in midfield for Tonbridge to score almost from the kickoff. A series of Tonbridge drives saw the ball spun to their right for winger Tom Chapman to escape the Taunton defence for a try. Just 4 minutes later after relentless Taunton pressure they were awarded a penalty which Kingdom converted. Tackling from both sides was relentless and in the first half Tonbridge only got into the Taunton half on four occasions such was the dominance of the Taunton pack ably supported by their backs.
Tonbridge came out in the second half with purpose and pressured the Taunton line which resisted in every aspect until they gradually worked their way back into the Tonbridge half where they spent most of the next 40 minutes. Drive after drive received walls of resistance from Tonbridge and even when they got the ball and went through their phases Taunton tackled tenaciously. They were then rewarded after a wave of drives for Dalton to score on 58 minutes with Kingdom adding the extras. Then came the expected break by Tonbridge only for a fantastic covering back by Oscar Kolowski to tackle his man for Taunton to win the ball. More pressure from Taunton with a number of half breaks by Lewis Webb who managed to either get the ball away or to present for another phase took Taunton closer to that Tonbridge line. Drive after drive saw Isaac Dalton go over for his second try and his fourteenth of the season on 77 minutes. Could the impossible prevailed that fourth try come with only 3 minutes left. Tonbridge were not going to let this happend produced a rare foray into the Taunton half which was resisted as gradually Taunton worked their way to the Tonbridge line. Again wave after way of Taunton forward pressure with a number of penalties in their favour as Tonbridge transgressed were not rewarded with that fourth try. Eventually the ball went lose and Tonbridge were able to breathe a sigh of relief. This is probably the best game seen at Taunton this season and credit must go to both sets of players.
Taunton coach Tony Yapp said "we are very pleased with the result, Tonbridge are a quality side and when we played them down there, we let ourselves down. Today we played our best game of the season by really raising our performance." The Tonbridge coach responded by saying "we were outplayed today by the better side and well played Taunton." The final result of 20 points to 5 in favour of Taunton did not reflect possession or dominance but showed the total commitment of the Tonbridge players to tackle and resist against immense pressure.
This coming Saturday the Titans travel to Hertfordshire to take on Albanians and return to the Towergate Stadium the following week (1st February) for the game against Westcliff which will be preceded by the President’s Day Lunch with an auction and bumper raffle being amongst the attractions of the day.