The Titans were note-perfect against Sedgley Park to boost their National One survival hopes while the fight for security in National Two North is no clearer. Photo Credit: (Mike Craig)

National One

Taunton Titans significantly boosted their survival chances in National One after a brilliant seven-try win over Sedgley Park.

The hosts took an early lead thanks to a try from Isaac Dalton and a penalty from the excellent Dan Martin before brushing The Tigers aside.

Two tries from Charlie Wright and scores from Oliver Burrows, Ratu Vakalutukali, Deago Bailey and Charlie Rice handed Taunton their fourth victory of the season while Martin kicked a further nine points.

Sedge’s response came in the form of an Andy Riley score and a penalty try on a tough afternoon in Somerset.

Taunton – who began Round 18 at the foot of National One – are now one point from safety with Bishop’s Stortford now propping up the division after they were beaten 26-14 at home by second-placed Rams RFC.

Cinderford remain just one place above the bottom two after they lost 30-18 at home against Blackheath, which in turn was an important win for James Shanahan’s troops.

Leicester Lions’ surge away from the relegation places was halted by Midlands counterparts Birmingham Moseley who moved up to third following a 20-10 victory at Westleigh Park but Sale FC were able to continue their momentum as they secured a third win on the bounce after impressively seeing off Plymouth Albion 31-3 at Heywood Road.

At the top, Chinnor remain four points clear after a ruthless first-half display set the platform for a 31-10 victory over Rosslyn Park as Nick Easter’s side recorded a ninth straight success while elsewhere, an in-form Darlington Mowden Park are up to fifth as they sealed a fourth home win in a row after coming from behind to beat Richmond 34-22.

National Two North

Hull Ionians and Billingham played out a pulsating 38-38 draw as two sides scrapping for their National Two North status shared the spoils at Brantingham Park.

Billingham – who remain in the bottom two – led 17-14 at the interval following tries from Peter Evans and Mike Walton, with Ryan Foreman kicking seven points.

Will Yates and Sam Pocklington had gone over in the first period for Hull Ionians, and the hosts muscled their way in front thanks to Lewis Minikin and Allan Hudson.

The North-East visitors reacted almost immediately as Joe Spoors and Connor Witton went over but the I’s held a five-point advantage heading into the final 10 minutes after a James Sanderson try and three points from the boot of Minikin.

However, Billingham had the final say as Evans capitalised on a yellow card shown to Alex Forth to grab his second and the away side could have won it late on but Foreman’s drop-goal attempt was off target.

This gripping draw might not be ideal for either side but it suggests this fight for survival could go down to the wire.

After that result, bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield are now 13 points from safety after they were humbled 57-19 at home by a Josh Leslie-inspired Tynedale while Lymm (11th) are now eight points clear of trouble after losing 28-24 away at an in-form Sheffield (3rd).

At the summit, we are running out of superlatives for league leaders Leeds Tykes who scored 42 unanswered points to secure a remarkable 18th straight victory. Pete Seabourne’s men breezed past Sheffield Tigers 49-6 and they have still only dropped one point all season.

Despite Leeds’ scintillating campaign, second-placed Rotherham Titans are keeping this title race firmly alive as they dug deep to claim an excellent 32-27 win away at Fylde.

Elsewhere, Wharfedale made it three wins from their last four games as they surged clear in the second half to defeat Otley 41-0 while Reece Dean and hat-trick hero Bureta Faraimo guided Hull to a 40-33 victory over Preston Grasshoppers.

National Two East

Sam Jones broke the hearts of Wimbledon as his last-gasp penalty clinched a 28-26 victory for Old Albanian at Beverley Meads.

The visitors scored the opening try when Harrison Legg finished off a well-executed move and the OA’s full-back scored his second after teammate Oluwaseyi Ajeigbe had also touched down.

But Wimbledon hit back after half-time with Ed Morgan and David Aniebonam going over.

Jones and Jonathan Mason then swapped scores before the former landed a penalty, but the Dons thought they had snatched victory one minute from time when Tomasz Pozinak wriggled over from close range.

However, there was to be a sting in the tail as from the restart, the hosts coughed up a penalty and Jones – for the second time in just under a month – kept his cool to snatch the win for OAs.

The two points collected by Wimbledon mean they remain in the bottom two after rivals Worthing also picked up a try and a losing bonus point in their 31-28 home defeat to Guernsey Raiders. The visitors were inspired by the superb Ciaran McGann who scored 26 points to help his side to a fourth straight win.

In terms of the race for promotion, league leaders Esher remain in charge after a hat-trick from Ben Robbins helped them to a resounding 60-15 success over Bury St Edmunds. Victory for Peter Winterbottom’s troops extended their winning streak to 11 matches and the EEEs are now five points clear at the top with a game in hand.

Second-placed Barnes ground out a 23-19 triumph against Westcombe Park to earn a sixth win from their last seven games while Dorking (3rd) responded to back-to-back defeats by beating Canterbury 42-22.

Meanwhile, 15 points from the boot of Tom White and clinical last 10 minutes helped Tonbridge Juddians come from behind to defeat Henley Hawks 35-26 and Sevenoaks shrugged off bottom-of-the-table North Walsham to claim a 35-19 victory on the road.

National Two West

National Two West leaders Luctonians remain six points clear at the top as they overturned a half-time deficit to secure a bonus-point win over Exeter University.

The table-toppers found themselves 15-7 down at the break after tries from Exeter’s Tirion Bowen and Campbell Ridl, as well as five points from the boot of Jack Park.

Lucs boss Ryan Watkins was less than impressed by his side’s showing in the opening 40 and the hosts responded with Charlie Grimes and Owen Randell going over.

Two penalties from Park made things all square on 66 minutes but Ben Link’s try proved to be the winner for Luctonians.

This was another hurdle which the league leaders were able to overcome but second-placed Dings Crusaders continue to apply the pressure after they stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games following a battling 45-14 win away at bottom-of-the-table Dudley Kingswinford.

With the top two facing one another at the end of February, that clash at Mortimer Park could go a long way to deciding who gains promotion to National One.

Elsewhere, Hinckley are up to third after a 36-15 win over Camborne secured a fifth home success on the spin for Chris Campbell’s side while Clifton (5th) were beaten 45-27 by Hornets, with the hosts putting in one of their finest displays of the campaign.

Also across National Two West, Bournville took a major step to securing their status in the division for next season after coming out on top in a 12-try contest against Loughborough Students. The Chocos won 44-38 to move themselves 16 points clear of danger after relegation-threatened Newport (Salop) lost 24-5 away at Old Redcliffians.

Meanwhile, Redruth made it three wins in a row thanks to a gritty 19-7 victory over Chester in challenging weather conditions.

Make sure you follow National League Rugby on social media across the course of the season!

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | TikTok | Threads