Tonbridge Juddians 32 Guernsey 26
A LACK of discipline saw Juddians in danger of allowing Guernsey back into the game late on.
But the leaders in National League Three London and South-East held on for the last five minutes to stave off the visitors’ hopes of stealing victory.
TJs started the game at full speed and scored in the fifth minute. A series of pick-and-drive moves led to Cole Campbell touching down when the maul crossed the line in the corner. Liam Prescott converted with a fine kick from near the touchline.
Guernsey shook off the effects of their journey, and a driving maul proved too strong and well-drilled, flanker Daniel Hill scoring their first.
On the half-hour, TJs winger George Lawson intercepted a Guernsey pass and fed centre Tom Nicoll who had the acceleration to get away from the cover and score.
But Guernsey kept up the pressure, and eventually scored a try through prop Cameron Craine to make it 20-12 to the home side at half-time.
From a lineout TJs produced a good driving maul for replacement flanker Adam Darracott to score.
Then Murray Galbraith-Lowe was held up at the line but flanker Richie Bent was on hand to dash through for the bonus point try.
TJs flanker Ben Ashmore received a yellow card for an offence in defending the lineout.
Guernsey’s close-quarter drives created space for scrum-half Adam Nixon to squeeze through for visitors’ third try.
Now TJ supporters’ nerves were becoming frayed as Bent was yellow-carded and the home side were down to 13 men.
From a scrum close to the Juddians’ line, Guernsey used their manpower advantage to shove TJs backwards.
The scrum collapsed in disarray and referee James O’Brien awarded Guernsey a penalty try, closed the gap to just 32-26.
The narrow win keeps TJs five points above second-placed -Wimbledon, who had a bonus-point win at Guildford.
Next week Tonbridge travel to Cambridgeshire to play Shelford, and they will have to tighten up if they are to maintain their current lead at the top of the table.
Pink Ladies return to top of table
TJS PINK LADIES went back to the top of WCSE2 with a 53-13 win over Hammersmith & Fulham. They are a point clear of Blackheath, who they face on March 19.
Two TJs, Anne Roberts and Rachel Marsh, were selected to represent the British Police against the RAF in a friendly at RAF Halton, which the Police 1st XV won 31-14.