Preview Titans vs Bishop’s Stortford

Article published:
March 6, 2024

There’s no sugar coating the last results. Titans went away to league leaders Chinnor and scored ten points, including the final score of the game – a majestic run in from the half-way line by Charlie Wright. It would have been really good news this time last year had I been able to report that George Worboys had scored a hat-trick of tries amongst a personal haul of 35 points, but the Bath fly-half who came on loan to Veritas Park last season has spent this term in Oxfordshire with Chinnor. The final score was 80-10 to the Thames Valley side who have improved their points difference significantly and remain ahead of near neighbours Rams on that very basis. Rams went to the North East and beat Darlington Mowden Park 14-28 to maintain the tussle at the top.


Whilst Chinnor and Rams both have 82 points, there is a gap of 18 to third-placed Birmingham Moseley who lost ground in succumbing to Sale FC 37-31 at Heywood Road. The victory lifts Sale to 10th on the table and eight points above the relegation places they occupied for so long. Leicester Lions also eased their concerns about the drop by beating Sedgley Park 36-17 and Blackheath also pulled further from danger by triumphing over Plymouth Albion,34-12. Cinderford, too, claimed a much-needed win, to lift themselves out of the relegation spots, beating Richmond 40-34 in the Forest of Dean. Besides Taunton, the only other side in the bottom five to lose was Bishop’s Stortford who claimed a losing bonus point at home to Rosslyn Park, going down 21-27. It is Bishop’s Stortford, as chance would have it, who visit Somerset this Saturday to play Taunton Titans.


It was back in November when Titans travelled to Hertfordshire to face Bishop’s Stortford for the first time this season. Despite a brace of tries apiece for Charlie Wright and Noah Fenton, Taunton fell to an eighth consecutive defeat, 38-29. A similar result this coming Saturday would surely leave too much to do for Tony Yapp’s side in the battle to secure their National League One status.


Now into their second century, having been founded in 1921, Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club ascended to National League One for the first time in 2017. Last season they finished in sixth place, winning half of their fixtures. This term though they have fared less well, sliding down the table to lie in thirteenth, just one place above Titans.


This weekend’s opponents have Marcus Cattell as Head Coach and are captained by inside centre James Ayrton. Their scrum half, Chris Bolton, is a lively customer and they have amongst their ranks Dan Cole – but this one plays at flyhalf rather than prop. Their top try scorer is left wing Chris Smith who has crossed the whitewash eleven times this season.  


The most celebrated player to have emerged from the ranks at Bishop’s Stortford RFC is Ben Clarke. The England and British Lions back rower spent most of his senior career at Bath, although in the early days of the game being professional, he did have a high profile move to Richmond FC as the first £1 million move in Rugby Union. By the time Richmond went into administration in 1999, Clarke was back at Bath. Rugby trivia fans will need no reminding that Clarke was also the first player to receive a yellow card when they were introduced to rugby.


Taunton Warriors also play at home this Saturday, hosting Imperial at 2.30pm on the Motorway Pitch after a 45-10 home win against Wells last weekend maintained their nine-point lead over Avon at the top of Counties 2 Tribute Somerset. Both sides have five games left, though Hornets II in third have only three matches remaining. It was nice to see Taunton RFC Club President, Gary Kingdom, make his season debut. The veteran played at inside centre and scored a couple of tries. It was every bit as nice to see some of the Titans lending their support to Warriors - Brian Ncube, George Gosling, Will Vaughan, Charlie Williams and Elvis Taione were all there to cheer them on.


It is the annual Ladies Day at TRFC and another bumper turnout is expected at the pre-match carvery which has sold out. This Saturday’s match sponsor is British Gas and the ball sponsor for the day is JR Veterinary who will be in the Ladies Day side of the lunch.  


Kick-off for Titans vs Bishop’s Stortford at Veritas Park is at 3pm. Entry is £15 for adults and free for Under-16s. Parking at Veritas Park on Hyde Lane costs £5 with free parking in the overflow car park across the road. It being Ladies Day, no places remain for the superb pre-match carvery. There will, however, be delicious hot pasties and coffees available before and during the game from the Proper Cornish pasty van and three bars will be open.


Taunton resident and rugby lover, Richard Kitzinger writes content for Taunton RFC’s club website and match-day programmes. His day job is writing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney - he can be found at or reached on 07504 991893.

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Article published by:

Richard Kitzinger


Rugby fan and Taunton resident, Richard loves watching Titans and creates written content for the rugby club.