The Titans grabbed an early Christmas present last Saturday afternoon when they pouched five points from their encounter with the Kent side after a really well-fought contest in miserable conditions, writes Dick Macey. The ground at The Slade in Tonbridge is always a feature due to its proximity to the neighbouring river and with the rain that increased in intensity throughout the game creating handling concerns for both teams, the brave souls that endured the weather were treated to an intense battle with the result potentially going either way until the last quarter when the Titans were able to tighten their squeeze on proceedings.
T/Js began by taking the game to the Titans with some vigour and were rewarded with an early converted try but this prompted a quick response from the Taunton boys who replied with a try under the posts after a run-in by the excellent Charlie Wright, converted by Jack Walsh. TJs missed a penalty to have moved ahead and then found themselves further frustrated when the Titans exploited a gap in the home defence to get prop Will Norton over fora try, again converted by Jack Walsh, but at no time could the visitors feel comfortable with their lead. The resolute home side battled back to score a converted try just before half-time for the sides to go in for abreak all square at 14-14
The weather began to be a serious influence as the rain intensified but the enjoyment of the game was not diminished. Taunton went ahead with a try wide out by strong -running Titan's winger, Shai Bonnick, and the Titans were beginning to look the more comfortable of the two sides. This, however, proved a false dawn as a determined TJs forward drive took the home side down the pitch for their fly half to place a huge cross-kick into the far corner and their winger to touch down with the conversion from the touch line putting them in the lead with around ten minutes to go and their hopes riding high.
This became a vital part of the game. Titans handling, despite the greasy ball and difficult conditions, proving to be of a higher order, they moved the ball quickly and with confidence across the threes managing to create a telling overlap for Frankie Dart to run the ball in and put the Titans into the lead 24-21 which they clung onto the final whistle.
This was a heartening team performance by the Titans who will draw further confidence in their abilities in recognising their graft brings about reward and the efforts of the coaches, Yappy and Chris Brown, to improve accuracy is paying off One other aspect is the improving quality of the line-out
with Charlie Williams, this correspondent's man of the match against TJs, providing the key to consistency.