Tonbridge Juddians 32 Barnstaple 14
ANOTHER home win saw Tonbridge Juddians move up to sixth place in what is turning into an impressive first season for them in London Two South.
Barnstaple had set off at 6.30am for the game but they started the brighter as they used their pack to gain territory and ball, though the home defence had the pace to cope.
That tempo revealed itself in the first TJ attack as they turned over ball at the tackle and Tom Nicoll carved through to release Sami Atiola, who went over, Liam Prescott converting.
But TJs went offside and the visitors kicked to the corner before phase play took them in for a try, which they converted.
It was clear TJs had to keep the visitors out of their 22 to ensure the defence stayed watertight.
The solution was to attack and Tom Nicoll went close down the right before just stepping out of play as he went over, while Ben Ashmore was held up over the line.
A turnover was again to prove the catalyst for a TJ score. Prescott’s kick pass was fielded by George Lawson, who got in behind and fed Rory McHugh to run in from 40 metres out.
TJs offended again shortly after the restart and Barnstaple kicked to the corner, rumbled and scored to level again at 14 apiece.
Duncan Tout, who has enjoyed an excellent first season for TJs in the centre, showed impressive pace to blast through a hole to go over after yet another turnover in open play.
Prescott converted and added a penalty so TJs went in 24-14 ahead at the break.
Barnstaple’s forwards continued to slug it out in the second half but could not trouble the scoreboard again and it was TJs who extended their lead with another Prescott penalty.
A final push by TJs saw them kick to the corner, where a few phases ended with Hugo Watson crashing over on the left to secure the bonus try.
With four games left TJs enjoy a weekend off before heading to Wimbledon on April 7 (kick-off 3pm).