Titans lose as Chinnor show their worth
From a 12 point half time lead the Titans succumbed to a Chinnor side full of experience.
Chinnor proved the league table right when they came from behind to claim the full 5 points they required to stay in the mix for a play off place with one week to go, however the Titans pushed them all the way.
It was the home side that started brightly putting the Titans under pressure early on and from a powerful scrum that turned over the Titans ball the Chinnor number 8 Tom Burns crashed over. Former Cornish Pirate & Gloucester fly half John Bentley converted to give the home side a 7 – 0 lead.
Taunton then started to get into the game and started to get the upper hand against Chinnor’s large pack. While under pressure the Chinnor back row Alex Bradley got a yellow card and with a kick to the corner from the penalty the Titans pack rumbled forward for hooker Jon Gatford to score, with Gary Kingdom converting from the try line to tie the score. The visitors then took the lead when number 8 Arron Gibbs showed great strength to power over and with Kingdom’s conversion it made the score 7 – 12. Taunton then extended their lead on the stoke of half time with a carbon copy of the first try when from a kick to the corner the pack drove over for Gatford to claim his 2nd. Kingdom converted from the touchline once again and gave the Titans a 7 – 19 lead at half time.
Chinnor are unbeaten at home in the league this season and the second half showed why. After 5 minutes Burns claimed his 2nd try to close the gap to 5 points. Kingdom then kicked a penalty before Chinnor took control. With a yellow card for Titans captain Nick Mason for a deliberate knock on and the referee awarding a penalty try in the process the home side closed the gap to 3 points with Bentley’s conversion.
While Taunton were down to 14 men Chinnor showed their experience and used the extra man well scoring a further 2 tries and finishing the game as a contest. First over was winger Charles Broughton followed by centre Daniel Barns and with Bentley converting one of them they took a 31 – 22 lead.
The Titans tried to get back into the game but a turnover lead to a further try for Chinnor scored by hooker Jamie Townsend and coverted by former Redruth scrum half Greg Goodfellow giving them a 16 point lead with 5 minutes to go.
Taunton pushed for a bonus point try and were rewarded in the last minute when scrum half Lewis Webb belly flopped over the line. Then a full blown skirmish erupted from nowhere before Kingdom could kick the conversion and bring the game to a strange end with the home side deserved winners.
The game was played by two good teams that were 3rd and 4th in the league and it showed as every mistake was punished the Titans scored 14 points while they had the man advantage but it was unfortunate for the Titans that while they were down to 14 Chinnor scored 19 and capitalised on a mistake for their last try as well. Hopefully this will be something that the Titans will learn from because these two teams could still be meeting next season.