Somerset Under-18s League
Chard Colts 29, Taunton Colts 37

TAUNTON Colts have claimed their first Somerset Under-18s league title for five seasons with a dramatic bonus point win in their final game of the season at Chard. 

They conceded a try within three minutes but Taunton steadily established their normal powerful game to forge a 10-point lead by late in the first half through tries from Regan Walker and Will Perry and a penalty kick from Fen Glover. 

Chard immediately pegged back their hosts by running in their second try from a well worked move in the centre to close the score to 15-12 in Taunton’s favour at the half.

A huge concerted effort from Taunton in the first 15 minutes of the second half saw them edge further ahead thanks to a second try from Will Perry and another from Owen Gough.

However, Chard retaliated with a converted try of their own to reduce the deficit. 

With 10 minutes left, Taunton were awarded a penalty on the Chard 22 and Fen Glover added a further three points to extend the lead to 30-19.

Then, a sharp piece of finishing from full-back James Ley extended the lead further. 

Chard showed superb skill and tenacity by running in two tries in the last five minutes. 

Taunton now head to the Somerset Cup Final on the April 23 as Somerset League Champions.

National Bowl Under-17s semi-final
Southend 12, Taunton 15

TAUNTON took on South East counterparts, Southend RFC at Henley RFC in the National Bowl semi-final on Sunday and secured a memorable victory with a last-minute drop goal. 

By reaching the National Final, the Under-17s have created club history as the first age group to have reached a national competition final.
Southend scored the first try but failed to convert. 

Taunton enjoyed sustained periods of possession but missed two kickable penalties.

Reinvigorated by the break, Taunton’s pack forced Southend forced into desperate defensive measures and Taunton were awarded a penalty try converted by Connor Vickery to take the lead.

However, Southend struck back with a try and conversion.

Taunton were back on even terms at 12-12 within five minutes after Will Perry finished off a fine backs move.

With time running out, a deep pass from Taunton’s scrum-half Mitch Baker provided the perfect foundation for Connor Vickery to slot over a superbly-struck drop goal to win the match. 

Taunton now make the trip to Worcester’s Sixway’s Stadium on the April 30 to meet Darlington RFC in the National Bowl Final.