With a playing history going back more than a century, this has always been a West Country derby to watch and today was no exception with 90 points and 13 tries in the match. Taunton started brightly and took just 20 minutes to open a 3 try, 21-0 lead with tries from Hayler and two from Mason.
The match’s star player, Will Pomphrey, scored the first of his 3 tries to start the Clifton scoreboard ticking but Titans hit back with two scores in 5 minutes from Brown and Rice.
Five tries from Taunton (4 converted by Brown) made the score 7-33 and half time was looking bleak but Pomphrey scored his second and Barnes added his second conversion to leave the score at half time 14-33.
The second half saw a resurgent Clifton score 3 more tries from Pomphrey, Rovery and Harper (all converted by Barnes) before Taunton managed to find their 6th try from Fraser, converted by Barnes. Pomphrey scored his hat trick try in response on 70 minutes, converted by Barnes and the score was 35-38. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
Exchanged tries from Hayley (converted by Brown) from Taunton and Goatley (converted by Barnes for a 100% 6 from 6) left the score 42-45 with 2 minutes on the clock. The game was balanced and anyone’s… Taunton won a penalty and sealed the win with the last kick from Brown. Full time 42-48. Amazing.
Clifton Rugby: 42
Tries: Pomphrey 28, 36, 70; Rovery 49; Harper 60; Goatley 77
Conversions: Barnes 29, 37, 50, 61, 71, 78
Drop Goals: -
Taunton Titans: 48
Tries: Hayler 7, 75; Mason 11, 13; Brown 30; Rice 34; Fraser 64
Conversions: Brown 8, 12, 20, 34, 76
Penalties: Brown 80
Drop Goals: -
Referee: Benjamin Russell
Star man: Will Pomphrey
Photo: Ian Clark, Club Photographer