THE recent patchy form of the Titans left the home faithful slightly tremulous of what they would be served up in their local derby encounter with Old Redcliffians last Saturday, writes Dick Macey.

The Reds are an honest, hard-working outfit with some big forwards and pacy backs, so nothing could be taken for granted.

In the event the scoreline of 49-17 was an accurate reflection of play, but not before the Titans were made to graft for the bonus-point spoils.

READ MORE: Second-half surge puts Titans back on track

A lot of rain had fallen in the previous few days and a significant deluge the night before the game could have had a serious impact on the pitch, but excellent work from the groundstaff made for a fine surface and an interesting game of rugby.

The Reds enjoyed a very positive first half, scoring within two minutes of the kick-off with flanker Scott Coster bursting through, and before you could blink the visitors were 7-0 up.

In truth they did not encroach too often into the home side’s half, but by adding another converted try and a penalty goal before half time they went in 17-14 up, and their defensive work left the Titans frustrated.

After the restart the hosts raised their game and ground their opponents down, and in a sudden burst of dominance they scored three converted tries within 10 minutes to move out of sight, and with that came a confidence that has been lacking of late.

This correspondent does not normally dwell on the qualities of individuals but some standout performances are worthy of note, not least the truly spectacular defensive covering from Polish international Aron Struminski, who saved two certain Reds tries with his speedy covering tackles.

There were also quality performances from the ever-improving scrum-half Jacob Nash and stand-in skipper Lewis Webb at outside half, as well as a display of 80-minute commitment from man of the match Dan Ogden at lock.

All in all, this was a confidence-building victory from a team showing gratifying determination and ideas.

This Saturday, the Titans make the short trip up the M5 to Bristol to take on Dings Crusaders at their new ground at Frenchay (ko 3pm), before returning to Hyde Park for home games against Guernsey (December 15) and Redruth (December 22) in the run up to the festivities, with Friends’ lunches on both dates.