A LARGE crowd gathered at Hyde Park last Saturday afternoon - probably the best gate of the season to date - to cheer on the Titans in their National League 2 (South) fixture against Bristol-based Clifton.

The crowd was swelled by an enthusiastic number of former players of Taunton RFC who had gathered for their annual reunion lunch.

On reflection the game, which ended with a 32-30 victory for the visitors was definitely something of a “curate’s egg” from a Titan’s viewpoint - only good in parts.

The first half saw Titans slowly turning the screw and despite Clifton resistance the home side were showing some dominance and went in at half-time 18-11 up and all looked reasonably comfortable.

The second half opened in much the same vein as had been the case in the first with the Titans continuing to edge onwards, eventually clinching a fourth bonus-point try.

Something happened just around then that was difficult to discern, even in hindsight as mistakes began to creep into their pattern of play, tackles, usually a strong point, began to be missed and the lines-out went hopelessly awry.

Clifton seemed to sense the vulnerability and upped their tempo, pressing and pressing, and suddenly they had them looking like “rabbits in the headlights” A big gap opened up for them to score under the posts followed by an easy conversion from their out-half Barry Barnes, and it was all over.

The Titans were dazed, frustrated and found wanting against a side who are just now finding some real form.

It doesn’t get any easier as this coming Saturday they go on the road to take on old friends Bishops Stortford...