Tonbridge Juddians 17 Clifton 10

BY GEORGE Lawson sprints in for his second try PHOTO: Adam Hookway

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS had ended last year on a high with the scalps of Taunton Titans and -Canterbury, and they produced a workmanlike -performance against visiting Clifton to win the first game of 2018 in National Two South.

Clifton dominated territory and possession early on in cold and wet conditions, and took the lead with a converted try.

TJs were struggling to put meaningful phases together but when they did, they manufactured a score for Duncan Tout and went in at the interval  5-7 after the conversion was missed.

The second half saw the home side enjoy longer periods of possession. Both teams struggled with ball in hand, though Clifton added a penalty kick.

A purple spell of TJ urgency secured the win, however, as winger George Lawson grabbed a brace of tries. Both came from sustained pressure through the forwards.

The first score arrived from a deft kick over the top by Liam Prescott for Lawson to home in on and score under the posts.

That put TJs in the lead 12-10, and then Lawson cut a line off his right wing to take Prescott’s pass and crash through for his second.

The conversion was missed so a nervy final 10 minutes followed with TJs 17-10 ahead. Clifton pressed hard but could not break through.

Four points was a good haul on a day when higher sides slipped up, and TJs are sitting in 10th place in the table after three wins on the bounce.

Now they travel to Henley Hawks on Saturday (January 13, 3pm kick-off) looking to continue their impressive and hard-fought run.