National 2 South
Taunton Titans 39, London Irish Wild Geese 20

FREDDIE Fraser was the star man for Taunton Titans as they earned a bonus-point victory to stay in the hunt for fourth place.

They did not have it all their own way, however, as London Irish Wild Geese were right in the match until the hosts pulled clear in the last 15 minutes.

The hosts made a fast start, but could not breach the visiting defence, and so settled for a Gary Kingdom penalty to take the lead.

But the Wild Geese response was as ruthless as it was swift - who built up well and sent prop Kerry O'Sullivan over in the corner, and although the conversion hit the post they had the lead 5-3.

There was not a great deal of fluency from the Titans in the first half, but they made the most of one fine passage of play, with Kingdom directing the attack and Fraser beating the last couple of defenders to dive over - Kingdom converting for 10-5.

After a scrappy period of play Kingdom added a penalty to make it 13-5, but George Owen hit back with an outstanding solo try as the home players could not lay a hand on him.

Oliver Turner missed the conversion, and then a penalty opportunity, meaning the Titans limped into the half-time interval 13-10 up.

Wild Geese were well on top after the restart, pinning the Titans back and piling on the pressure close to the hosts' line, resulting in Dan Frost being yellow carded for coming in from the side and a Turner penalty that made it 13-13.

The visitors' handling had been superior for much of the game but more errors started to creep in, and the Titans' 14 men punished them - Nick Mason found space and set up Tim Thompson to race in for an unconverted try that made it 18-13.

Back up to their full complement, the Titans may have felt that they had finished the game off with 25 minutes to go, as Tom Popham made a direct run and offloaded to Fraser, who was fleet of foot to jink in for his second try of the game, converted by Kingdom for 25-13.

Yet within five minutes their lead was back down to five points, as the Wild Geese pack rumbled forward and crashed down over the line, Karl Gibson taking the plaudits, and with Turner's conversion it was 25-20.

If there were any nerves among the hosts, they didn't show as Fraser secured his hat-trick and the Titans' bonus-point score with 15 minutes remaining.

And what a try it was, as Mason and Fraser were quick of hands and quick of thought, combining to send Fraser away for the touchdown that Kingdom converted for 32-20.

Wild Geese pressed again, but Stuart Persey stole a penalty lineout and the Titans moved back upfield.

The visitors looked to launch one last attack, but the pass was picked off by Mason, the Titans skipper gleefully taking the interception and racing in under the posts.

Kingdom converted with the last kick of the game, and the five points - coupled with Redruth losing to Bishop's Stortford - put the Titans into fourth spot ahead of the Cornish side's visit to Hyde Park in a couple of weeks.

Taunton Titans: Gary Kingdom, Tim Thompson, Nick Mason (captain), Tom Popham, Freddie Fraser, Lewis Webb, Oliver Massy-Birch, Alec Chase, Jon Gatford, Charles Tribble, Sean Lonsdale, Blake Lugg, Conor Harbison, Dan Frost, Arron Gibbs. Replacements: Joshua Mynett, Alex Spurdle, Sam Prior, Thomas Hooper, Stuart Persey.