Tonbridge Juddians 20 Henley 14
HENLEY HAWKS made their Slade debut having lost heavily to National Two South title favourites Cinderford and they looked keen on making amends as they put their hosts on the back foot early on.
Fifteen minutes in, TJs were reduced to 13 men with Ryan Redman and Charlie Edwards sent to the sin-bin. With Murray Gambraith-Lowe injured, Henley took the opportunity to score first.
It came as a surprise when Tonbridge hit straight back through a try by their captain Jon McMahon.
Henley extended their lead through their full-back, however, and went in at the interval 14-5 ahead after TJs missed a penalty.
Fully restored in the second half, the home side went on the attack and after one unsuccessful sally into Henley’s 22, winger Will Ward out-paced the defender to score.
TJs could not make long spells of possession count but a Liam Prescott penalty got them back into the thick of it at 13-14 down.
Then they managed to create space for McMahon to score again in the right-hand corner.
Prescott’s kick from the touchline sailed through the uprights and TJs led for the first time in the match, an advanted they maintained until the end.
TJs have now won three of their four league matches after being promoted and they are in sixth place in the league.
Next week they entertain old opponents London Irish Wild Geese at The Slade (kick-off 3pm).
Kiwi Cole leaves large hole to fill
Tonbridge Juddians’ second row Cole Campbell is returning to his native New Zealand after playing more than 80 games as an ever-present in the TJs scrum.
From Maungaturoto, the versatile forward arrived during the 2014-15 season and has regularly topped the try-scoring charts for the forwards.
Cole (pictured) was a key component of the National League Three title-winning squad last season as well as successive triumphs in the Kent Cup.
His team mates describe him as a player with a ‘fantastic attitude’ and his -departure leaves big boots to fill.