This was a great game of physical rugby that went to the wire. With Taunton going on one of their longest trips of the season it took a while for them to get into the game and to start with it was all Bury St Edmunds. The Titans couldn’t get any possession or field position and it didn’t take the hosts long to get on the score board when a missed tackle in midfield allowed centre Ben Leng to ghost through and score under the posts. Full back Anton Lemlie converted and added a penalty a few minutes later to extend their lead to 10 – 0.
Taunton started to get into the game with some strong carries and after some concerted effort on the Bury try line flanker Jarrard Hayler forced his way over. Gary Kingdom converted to close the gap but the home side extended their lead a few minutes before the end of the half when winger Michael Stanway found some space on the wing after some good interplay from Bury. The conversion was missed to make the half time score 15 – 7.
The Titans needed a good start in the second half and that they did when again after some good forward pressure flanker Max Woodward was driven over under the posts. Again Kingdom converted to make it a 1 point game. Again a missed tackle allowed Bury to extend their lead when back rower Alex Grey powered his way over. With 20 minutes to go the game was still anyone’s and prop Connor Baker managed to squeeze through a gap and go in under the posts for the easy conversion for Kingdom to make it a 1 point lead once again.
With tensions fraught on the touch line the physicality on the pitch continued with some big carries and some bigger tackles being put in by both teams. Taunton started to put the pressure on up front and managed to get a scrum penalty and kicked to the corner. They secured the lineout and drove to the line but were held up in the maul and Bury awarded the scrum. As time was running out some more pressure in the hosts 22 led to another penalty and this one was kicked by Kingdom to give the Titans the lead for the first time. With 2 minutes to go on the clock the Titans were lucky to get a scrum from the kick off and a penalty from the resulting scrum. With a minute to go they kicked to the corner. Once again they secured the lineout ball and cleverly carried it through the forwards to see out the game and claim a hard fought win on the road.
The County Stores Man of the Match this week was Barrie-John Chapman who won it on his return from a few weeks enforced rest, this man of the match was all the more pleasing for BJ as it was voted on by the players.
With around an 18 hour day for some of the players, staff and travelling committee the 4 points will be a fine reward for the hard work and sacrifice.
Next week sees the rearranged fixture against Henley Hawks on the Sunday to allow for the 6 Nations fixtures,but if you cannot make that one Cup rugby returns to the Commsplus Stadium when Taunton host Bath University in the semi final of the Somerset Cup.