Bury St Edmunds 17 Tonbridge Juddians 50
TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS began their new season in the higher reaches with what was described as ‘an absolute cracker of a result’, beating hosts who had finished fifth in National Two South last season.
Many of last season’s title winning TJ squad remain and they have added a sprinkling of extras to give greater depth. Judging by the physical effort they put in, they will need it.
Bury St Edmunds had recruited heavily in the summer and added a new coaching team to boot.
In their first real foray upfield TJs made ground on the left and Mike O’Sullivan offloaded for Murray Galbraith-Lowe to scamper over, Liam Prescott converting.
The second try was a copy of the first after solid defence saw O’Sullivan go down the left again, sending Hugo Watson over in the corner.
BSE’s No 8 was the put under pick-up pressure at the scrum, and was turned over to allow Cole Campbell to go over from inches out.
Galbraith-Lowe scythed through and scored with smooth acceleration to make it 26-0 to TJs at the break, leaving the large crowd losing their voice.
A nicely worked try in the BSE backs gave the hosts a foothold and their up and under plans seemed to be working.
Liam Prescott scored with a penalty but BSE hit straight back from the restart to make it 14-29.
Things got a little ragged for both sides for 10 mins and neither seemed too sure of whether to go for a BSE fightback or a TJ runaway win.
Fortunately Galbraith-Lowe made the choice and went through for his hat-trick.
Duncan Tout added a debut try down the left and O’Sullivan added the coup de grace. Nathan Holmes added the conversion to take TJs to their half-century and a bonus point win on their National Two South debut.
The display augurs well for the campaign ahead. On Saturday (September 9) Canterbury visit The Slade for TJ’s first home game of the new season.