TAUNTON RFC Under-17s have written their names into the record books after winning the National Bowl courtesy of a victory over Darlington’s Mowden Park in Sunday’s final.

The youngsters’ 43-17 win at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium saw them become the first ever Somerset side to win a national title at that age group.

Taunton went behind early to a converted try, having looked dangerous for the first 10 minutes but failed to  score. 

Man-of-the-match Connor Vickery decided to take matters into his own hands and, after a great dummy, powered over for Taunton’s first try before adding the conversion. 

Taunton then exploited every opportunity to play fast open rugby, which resulted in a fabulous offload from Vinny Gordon to put Will Perry into the corner for a try which Vickery converted.

Vickery then saw a gap in the Mowden Park defence and a clever chip and chase brought his second try, again converted, before Mowden Park replied with a penalty.

In the second half Taunton put on a display of rugby described as a ‘masterclass’ during the live streaming of the event, as flowing moves resulted in a further try for Vickery and two more for Will Perry.

Huge credit must go to the forwards for their performance, both at the set-piece and breakdown, as they worked tirelessly all day to secure ball for the backs. 

It was a physical battle but Taunton certainly stepped up, none more so than Jamie Guest who put in the tackle of the day.

Mowden Park were rewarded for their effort with a try and conversion late in the game, before Taunton’s final score came from Eoghan Westhoff, who took a super offload from Callum Buchanan to race over the line.

Head coach Julian Graham said: “We have endeavoured to play open, fast and exciting rugby with this group of players, who have performed beyond expectation.” 

“We have showcased Taunton Rugby at its finest.”

Taunton squad: Callum Lane, Matt Alvarez, James Ley, Connor Vickery, Sam Wellwood, Adam Coles, Callum Buchanan, Eoghan Westhoff, Vinny Gordon, Finbar Wishart, Ed Stock, Adam Turner, Easton Dyekan, Patrick Cross, Jamie Guest, Ollie Williams, George Tucker, Jack Caudwell, Chris Heybourne Coach, Andy Ley Coach, Fin Boarder, Gabe Mead, Will Perry, Richard Baker, Flyn Drury