West Country Wills Preview: Titans vs Darlington Mowden Park

Article published:
March 20, 2024

One is reminded of John Cleese’s character, Brian Stimpson, in the film Clockwise who said, “It’s not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.” Mathematically, there is still a chance that Taunton Titans can avoid relegation to National League Two but that blasted commodity – hope – is fast fading. Defeat by 29-21 at Leicester Lions kept Tony Yapp’s men rooted to the foot of the table, five points behind nearest rivals Cinderford who lost at home, 14-38, to second-placed Rams. It is now eight points to Bishop’s Stortford who were thrashed 80-10 by Chinnor, the exact same score line as Titans suffered at the hands of the league leaders recently.


Blackheath have all but secured their place in next year’s National One line-up with a 36-12 win over Birmingham Moseley and Sale FC, so long strugglers at the foot of the table, also eased their worries with a 35-24 win in their Mancunian derby with Sedgley Park. Plymouth Albion won a tight encounter in Devon 18-10 over Richmond and Rosslyn Park pipped Darlington Mowden Park in the North-East by 30-36. It is DMP who visit Taunton this Saturday in Titans’ penultimate home game of the season.


Taunton do, at least, enjoy a good record against their most distant rivals. In November the Titans travelled to the Northern Echo Arena and won 24-33 with tries from Will de Boehmler, Charlie Wright, Noah Fenton and Ratu Vakalutukali.  


Sixth-placed Darlington Mowden Park’s player-coach, Garry Law, is assisted by former Northampton Saints scrum-half Lee Dickson and the squad includes Taunton-born tighthead Carl Guest, Tongan international lock Talite Vaioleti and in the backs Callum McKenzie who has in excess of 230 appearances for DMP. They have won five and lost six of their away fixtures so far this season and their leading try scorer is outside centre Harry Yates with 14.


Amongst the famous names to have graced the blue-and-white hooped shirt over the years are England internationals Toby Flood and Alex Tait, Epi Taione of Tonga and Scotland’s Dutch winger Tim Visser.


Taunton Warriors, 41-15 winners in the county town derby over Huish Tigers last weekend, maintained their place at the head of Counties 2 Tribute Somerset, and are now 14 points ahead of Avon with just 15 points available in the season. A win – or even a defeat with two bonus points – at Imperial this Saturday will see John Wrelton and Brett Harvey’s charges crowned champions, a wonderful achievement for the young side.  


This Saturday’s match sponsor at Veritas Park is TRFC main sponsor Summerfield Developments and we are delighted to have them join us. We have a match ball sponsor which is long term supporter and sponsor A1 windows and doors.  


Kick-off for Titans vs Darlington Mowden Park at Veritas Park is at 3pm. Entry is £15 for adults and free for Under-16s. Parking at Veritas Park on Hyde Lane costs £5with free parking in the overflow car park across the road. The wonderful pre-match two-course carvery still costs a trifling £20 per person. Contact the club office on 01823 336363 to make a booking. There will also 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 www.westcountrywills.co.uk 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.