WITH Taunton Titans’ league programme taking a break on Saturday, the club's focus was on the 2nd XV - the Warriors - as they travelled to play Weston Hornets in the Somerset County Cup quarter-finals, writes Dick Macey.

The Warriors won this trophy last year and were anxious to extend their tenure as champions, but knew they were going to be truly tested by a Hornets side bristling with ability and confidence, sitting as they are as leaders of South West 1 West.

The game was played on Hornets’ all-weather pitch, which looked a treat after seeing what the recent deluge has done to most pitches.

This quickly showed itself as a real contest, with some firm defensive play and strong running made possible by the quality of the surface.

The lead changed hands no fewer than eight times before Taunton emerged as victors by the narrowest of margins, 29-28.

Taunton head coach Tony Yapp had expressed his commitment to keeping the faith with those players who sit in the shadows of the Titans and who have fewer opportunities to display their talents, so this was a genuine second string with only a couple of players who have made an appearance for the top side.

The outcome was a total commitment to the cause of what unfolded as a genuine contest, and a relieved Warriors side emerged as victors to battle on.

Taunton's scores came through a pair of tries for winger Shai Bonnick and one each by fellow winger Ollie Massey-Birch, second row Fynn Elworthy and No 8 Sam Prior, with three conversions and a penalty goal coming from the boot of fly-half Sam Baker.

Taunton team: Sonny Haines, Dave Edwards, Joey Prior, Fynn Elworthy, Andy England, Ben Clark, Charlie Samways, Sam Prior; Connor Banks, Sam Baker, Shai Bonnick, Tom Popham, James Keay, Ollie Massey-Birch, Richard Baker.

Replacements: Gary Carpenter, Danny Martin, Sam Leworthy, Ben Oliphant-Thompson, John Roberts.

This coming Saturday it's business as usual for the Titans, who continue their quest for a top two place come the end of the season with a trip to Barnes.