Tonbridge Juddians 24 Canterbury 36
IT WAS back down to earth for TJs after their big opening win in National Two South as Canterbury took all five points and consigned them to their first defeat in exactly a year.
Canterbury came out firing and were 12-0 ahead after 10 minutes. TJs managed a penalty from Liam Prescott but two more tries and a penalty try saw the visitors leading 31-3 at the break – and TJs were a little shell-shocked.
The second half did not start much better, but TJs did manage to stem the Canterbury scoring.
Captain Jon McMahon led the fightback with an explosive try after Prescott had got through the Canterbury defence with a clean break.
Replacement Will Colderick had an immediate impact with a flying try, and the home crowd sensed a comeback was on the cards.
Hugo Watson then claimed a third score as Canterbury seemed stuggled to rediscover their first-half dominance.
At 24-31, TJs were in the hunt for a leveller. But Canterbury managed to work the ball upfield and their only real chance of the half ended with a try on the right to take the game away from TJs again.
It was a harsh lesson for the hosts, that the game starts from the kick-off and playing catch up at this level is tough against opponents who are more experienced in game management.
TJs will lick their wounds and travel to Clifton, who lost heavily 57-5 at Cinderford, on Saturday (September 16)