AFTER eight months of hard work, tomorrow (Saturday) sees the last of the 30 league games for Taunton Titans as they host the team they played on the first game of the season, Redingensians Rams, writes Keith Brooking.

The season that started so well had its annual dip in form for the Titans which meant they missed out on the promotion push but overall the coaches can put the season down as successful.

They have already claimed 100 league points, scored 119 league tries and have played the brand of rugby that is thrilling to watch.

If you add into the mix the success of the Taunton Warriors, who won the South West Pilot League, and the amount of players that have stepped up from the Warriors to the Titans squad, now in double figures, that have not looked out of place and are challenging the regular Titans players for places.

If you also factor in the success of the Taunton Colts and U17s it looks like it has been a successful season.

However, all this success will mean nothing come Saturday if the Titans lose in their last game of the season and the last ever game for the current squad.

As always in the summer some players move on through work, education or just for a fresh challenge.

The coaches want to keep everyone but there are two players that are definitely making their last appearances for the club.

One is prop Alec Chase who is stopping due to work and family commitments.

‘Chasey’ has played 135 league games for Taunton and is an uncompromising prop that has seen the game change dramatically during his time at Taunton.

He has embraced it and moved with the demands needed to compete at the various levels as Taunton moved through the leagues.

Another stalwart who will be making his last appearance for Taunton RFC is hooker Jon Gatford.

‘Gatty’, or ‘The Chin’, will make his 280th league appearance this Saturday and is another player that has seen the changes at first hand at Taunton RFC.

He made his league debut back in 2001 and, apart from moving away for University, has been at Taunton ever since, playing with numerous props and making lifelong friends with many Taunton players.

Jon is another player that has adapted to changes in levels required as Taunton moved through the leagues, but his ability to carry the ball into heavy traffic as well as his strong set-piece has kept him as one of the leading hookers in not only the club but whichever league he has played in.

So emotions will certainly be high on Saturday but the players will still need to be focused on the job at hand if they want to give the two players a great send-off, as the Rams are no walkovers.

They currently sit in sixth, having won eight of their last 12 games, losing only to teams above them.

Redingensians have certainly moved on from the opening game of the season – which Taunton won 39-22 – so if the Titans want to give the supporters something to cheer about they will need to produce one more performance before heading for their well-deserved break.