National 2 South
Henley Hawks 24, Taunton Titans 25

THIS was another entertaining game between the two sides which went down to the last kick of the game, writes Keith Brooking.

It was Henley that started the brightest, catching the Titans cold and scoring within two minutes with a try from a driving maul, finished by flanker Tom Hall.

The game then went back and forth with some strong defence on both sides.

But it was the Titans who scored next to take the lead, when from a turnover a couple of meters from touch the ball was popped to Freddie Fraser, who showed great pace to tiptoe down the touch line, evading the covering defence.

With Gary Kingdom kicking the conversion it made the score 7-5 to the visitors on 20 minutes.

Ten minutes later, from a scrum just outside the Henley 22, number 8 Sam Prior picked the ball up from the base and managed to fend off the defence to slip the ball to flanker Conor Harbison, who defied two would-be tacklers to run in the try from the 22.

The conversion was missed but the Titans led by seven with 28 minutes played.

But the visitors then went through a period of giving up possession and conceding penalties, and with the hosts on the Titans' try-line one penalty too many saw Dan Frost sent to the sin bin.

From the resulting penalty prop David Manning barged his way over, and Liam O’Neill then kicked the conversion on the stroke of half time to tie the game at 12-12.

Once again it was the hosts that started best after the restart, and O’Neill showed great pace to score in the corner, converting his own try to give Henley a 19-12 lead.

Kingdom kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit, before Henley extended their lead with their bonus-point try, scored by winger Sam Portland in the 60th minute.

The Titans were now 24-15 down, and so they went for broke.

The visitors were camped in the Henley 22 and after several penalties Lewis Webb delayed his pass to captain Nick Mason, who hit a great line to go in under the posts on 74 minutes.

Kingdom added the simple conversion to bring the Titans within two points.

With time running out the Titans were on their own line when a penalty turnover from Dan Frost gave them a lifeline, as they kicked to touch and went looking for the winning score.

Henley conceded another penalty and as the Titans tapped and went the chance looked to have gone, but the hosts were penalised yet again on the left-hand touchline.

Kingdom pointed to the posts and kept his nerve to send the ball sailing between the posts, giving the Titans another last-minute win, 25-24.

Henley Hawks: Portland, Andre, Awcock, O’Neill, Perry, Butler, Burn, Hadfield, Emery, Manning, Clements, Albon, Hall, Bell, Hyde. Replacements: Montout-Alexis, Philpott, White, Haynes, Gardner.

Taunton Titans: Kingdom, Thompson, Mason, Popham, Fraser, Webb, Massy-Birch, Chase, Spurdle, Tribble, Lonsdale, Lugg, Harbison, Frost, Prior. Replacements: Gatford, Rhodes, Gibbs, Hooper, Persey.