London Irish Wild Geese 12 Tonbridge Juddians 28
TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS made it five wins in a row in National Two South after a convincing victory against London Irish at their impressive Hazelwood facility.
TJs put on a determined show against the Wild Geese, who have always been something of a bogey side – and indeed had won at The Slade earlier in the campaign.
Handling would prove tricky in the cold, damp conditions but Irish made the ball stick as they crossed early on the left for the first try, which was not converted.
The visitors were soon into the stride, however, and their scrum started to impose itself while the backs made inroads with Finlay Coxon-Smith marauding down the left.
TJs could not break through for a try but Liam Prescott slotted three penalties to give them a 5-9 lead at the interval.
The only dampener on proceedings was a red card just before half-time for prop Reece Conlon, who had scored a late winner last week.
A man down with the game very much in the balance, TJs came out firing in the second half and were soon camped in the Irish 22.
Another series of drives took TJs to the Irish line where skipper Mike O’Sullivan snuck over for a try, Prescott adding the extras.
Irish then had their first open attack of the game as their full-back did the damage. With the conversion they had clawed their way back to 12-16 with 10 minutes to go.
A series of scrum penalties on the Irish line ensued and Ben Ashmore controlled the ball at the base to go over, Prescott converting.
A tiring Irish defence were then caught napping as TJs secured another penalty. Everyone looked to the corner but Prescott tapped and looked right, where he found Duncan Tout.
He shrugged off the defence and stepped through to score. Prescott added the conversion to complete TJs’ late charge to victory.
The win finally saw Tonbridge moving up the table to eighth place. They hit the road again at third-placed Redingensians next Saturday (January 27, kick-off 2pm). The following week sees second-placed Chinnor come to The Slade.