National 2 South

Worthing 42, Taunton Titans 46

TAUNTON Titans maintained their winning start to the season - just - as Tom Popham's late try sealed a thrilling victory at Worthing in a match which saw 13 tries scored.

The tone was set in the very first minute as Titans scrum-half James Tait touched down to give his side an early lead, with Gary Kingdom adding the conversion.

Kingdom was next to score, going over in the corner for an uncoverted try, but Worthing hit back and got themselves on the board with Callum Waters' converted score reducing the deficit to 12-7.

A Kingdom penalty gave Taunton some breathing space before a fine team try extended the lead further, Oli Down applying the finishing touch to a fine move involving Nick Mason and Jack Arnott.

By half-time, however, the advantage was down to a single point as converted scores from Kiba Richards and Jack Forest saw the teams go into the break with Taunton leading 22-21.

Worthing struck first after the interval to take the lead for the first time in the match, Waters going over after a kick was charged down, but an excellent try from Charlie Williams saw Taunton hit straight back.

The end-to-end action continued, Harry Forest scoring to make it 35-27 to Worthing before Down scampered away to score a try which was converted to bring the gap back down to a point.

A Jack Forest try pulled Worthing clear again at 42-34 but Taunton refused to buckle.

Isaac Dalton, who carried well throughout, barged over for a converted try to keep the Titans in touch before Popham had the final word, scoring the try which put Taunton back in front at 46-42.

It was a lead the visitors held to record their third successive bonus-point victory to start the season and keep the Titans third in the fledgling National 2 South table.

Taunton Titans: Alex Rodd, Alex Spurdle, Isaac Dalton; Chris Courtier, Barrie Chapman; Charlie Williams, Brett Harvey, Dan Lee; James Tait, Gary Kingdom; Tom Popham, Nick Mason; Freddie Fraser, Jack Arnott, Ollie Down. Replacements; George Gosling, Connor Baker, Andy England, Ben Oliphant-Thompson, Rich Baker