1st XV

Tough End for TJs on Guernsey

A trip to sunny Guernsey seemed like a nice way to end the season but it proved a bit of a nightmare for TJs as they were dominated from start to finish in a 40 - 7 defeat.

Dan Hawkes scored the only TJ try converted by Luke Makris in a game where TJs also had two yellow and a red card.

Elsewhere Dorking secured the N3L&SE title as expected with a 76 nil away win at Thirrock. OEs claim runners up spot as a result and saw off Bury St Es 45 - 7. Basingstokes chance of survival evaporated as they lost 21 - 61 to East Grinstead whilst Barnes made certain of survival anyway with a 30 - 31 win at Combe. CS Rugby lost out to Tring 27 - 28 whilst Hertford beat Barking 97 nil to cap an awful season for Barking.

In L1S Gravesend secured the title with a 33 - 3 win at Hove with Chichester taking the runners up spot after seeing off Brighton 24 - 31 with the coastal outfit finishing third.

Charlton Park celebrated the title in L2SE with a 44 - 25 win over third placed Medway whiulst Maidstone finished second and a final 38 - 16 defeat of Warlingham. T Wells finished fourth after a 39 - 31 win over D&B with 7Oaks in fifth after beating relegated Heathfield & Waldron 19 - 29.

Thanet claim the L3SE title after a 53 - 14 defeat of Old Dunstonians with Ashford as runners up after a 81 - 17 defeat of Sheppey.

 

TJs Put Bs in Danger

Basingstoke visitied The Slade knowing that they needed a result if they were to avoid dropping into the bottom three. They came mighty close but ultimately a 41-32 loss to TJs meant they were reliant on Guernsey doing them a favour at Barnes. That didn't happen though as Barnes beat TJ's next and final opponents 31-22 to climb above the Bs.

TJs went into a 19 nil lead in the first half hour with tries from Gregory, Bent and Campion plus two Makris conversions. Bs hit back with a converted try before Makris added a penalty. Just before half time Bs scored again and it ended 22-16.

Both Gregory and Campion added another try each from the wings and Makris another conversion to ease TJs away again to 34-16. But Bs came back again with two tries of their own. Campion sealed the win with his third but Bs had the last word with a closing try to leave it at 41-32 at the whistle.

At the top Dorking defied many a sceptic by beating OEs 25-20 to reclaim top spot with just one to play. That final game is away at relegated Thurrock so it looks like they are home and hosed with OEs taking the play off spot.

In other games East Grinstead made third theirs with a 66-14 defeat of Thurrock whilst Tring beat Combe 29-12. Barking lost 12-49 to CS Rugby and Hertford beat Bury St E 39-15.

In N2S Canterbury's hopes of promtion took a dent as third placed Ampthill beat them 41-8 to go second. Hartpury College are now 8 points ahead but they play Ampthill next weekend so all to play for still with three games left.

Gravesend look to have L1S wrapped up now after they beat Brighton 41-15 whilst Chichester dropped to second after losing 33-22 to Wimbledon. Level on points now but Gravesend have two to play whilst Chi have just one.

Charlton Park have won L2SE but nerves must have been jangling after they squeezed a 13-15 win at Warlingham. Maidstone confirmed second with a 7-59 win at Lewes. Tunbridge Wells beat Aylesford 30-28 and Sevenoaks saw off Crowborough 55-29.

Thanet capped a good day with 31-12 win over Gillingham Anchorians to secure promotion from L3SE back to L2SE. Ashford will hope to hold onto second after a 10-56 win at Old Dunstonians.

 

McMahon Treble Helps to See Off Thurrock

Thurrock are heading down a division next season but on this performance they could be straight back up. 19-39 was the final score with TJs leading 5-22 at the break. Tries from McMahon (3), Danckert (2) and Salter plus 3 penalties from Makris eased TJs to a bonus point win and a strong hold on fourth with two games to play.

At the top OEs took another step nearer the title with a 25-19 win over third placed East Grinstead. Dorking remain in the hunt though after a 10-50 defeat of Bury St Edmunds. OEs and Dorking meet next Saturday and an away win should be enough for OEs to take the title.

TJ's next opponents, Basingstoke, could have put some of their relegation fears to bed but they lost to nearest rivals Barnes 24-41. Basingstoke have TJs and East Grinstead left to play whilst Barnes need to take 2 points from Guernsey (H) and Westcombe Park (A) to overtake them at the bottom.

CS Rugby and Hertford saw out a 20 all draw whilst Guernsey beat Tring 33-26 with Tring climbing to fifth by virtue of their losing bonus point. Westcombe Park beat the relegated Barking 109-5.

Chichester kept their hopes of pipping Gravesend to the title in L1S with a 19-15 win iver their Kentish rivals. Gravesend now trail by 4 points but have a game in hand. Brighton, in third, will have a big say in the title race as they have to play first and second still.

Only two games played in L2SE as Maidstone played their game in hand on leaders Charlton Park, with a 63-3 defeat of Old Colfeians. Sevenoaks beat Warlingham 7-52 to climb to fifth. In theory Stones could still overhaul Park's 10 point lead but Park have Medway and Warlingham left to play so they should get the one point they need for the title irrespective of whether Stones can beat Lewes and Warlingham themselves. 

 

TJs Grit Not Quite Enough

After the huge disappointment of the Dorking result and a resilient if unspectacular performance against Hertford one or two may have been thinking that the visit of OEs might be a game too far for a TJ squad who have suffered with injuries for a while now.

With OEs running in a gift of a score within the first 2 minutes and then shunting TJs back at scrumtime8 it looked like a lot of the bad prophecies would becomre reality but TJs were having none of it. A Luke Makris penalty opened the account and then a fantastic counter attack by TJs with Adam Danckert reading the play superbly to support and split OEs wide open. His interchange with the forwards looked like it might falter but the bisy Dan Hawkes can smell a chance from cloe range as he went in under the posts. 10-7 TJs and smiles all round.

TJs then shot themsleves in the foot as they floated a wide pass only to see the league's leading try scorer step in off his wing to snaffle the balland romp home. Two Os penalties just before the break and one from Makris saw OEs go in 13-20 in front and a further 3 points soon after the restart extended the lead again.

2TJs could have crumbled at this point but they continued to try and move the larger OE pack around and they had the edge in the Backs although the OE wingers were a constant threat. Birthday Boy Lee Campion (pictured) painfully shrugged off the pain to crash over when a lesser player would have baulked at the risk to his health and TJs were back in it at 18 - 23, Makris hitting the upright with the conversion.

Tristan Sweden received a yellow for knocking down a scoring pass and OEs slotted the penalty before adding 7 more points with a converted try to make it 18-33. The writing was on the wall again for TJs but again they dug deep and made the most of uncontested scrums to run a very simple backline move which saw Harry Salter go over, Makris converting.

OEs though had the final say with two unconverted tries in the last two minutes to run out 25-43 winners, a result which took them top in N3L&SE.

Elsewhere Dorking went down 35-17 to East Grinstead, a result that puts them second now and in the play off spot. OEs have to play East Grinstead next Saturday and then travel to Dorking before ending with Bury St Edmunds 5th) at home on 12th April.

Doomed Barking lost 5-83 to Guernsey whilst Barnes seem to have turned their season round after beating Thurrock, TJ's next opponents, 41-5 although they are still 6 points adrift of escaping the drop. CS Rugby beat Bury St E 42-27 and Hertford beat Combe 24-6 with Tring beating Basingstoke 67-19

In London 1 South Gravesend still look odds on to win the division after they beat Sutton & E 6-36. They are though still second, although with a game in hand, behind Chichester who beat Staines 5-29. Just one point separates them at the top.

Charlton Park are practically home and hosed now in L2SE after they beat Lewes 65-13 to remain 15 points clear of Maidstone in second. Stones have a game in hand but that won't be enough although they beat Sevenoaks 18-14 to drop Oaks to fifth. T Wells climbed to fourth with a 7-51 win at Heathfield & Waldron.

 

Winning Matters

A week later and TJs get back to what they do best, winning, in front of a reasonable crowd in spring like conditions at The Slade. Hertford came in search of a scalp after TJs had been mauled by Dorking the Saturday before. And as they shot into an 8 point lead it looked a little like TJs were still in Dorking-mode.

Mcmahon and Campion though turned the tide with a little bit of Makris magic boot to put TJs in front but it was short lived as Hertford got back to 15 a piece before going into the break 18-20 in front.Makris edged TJs in front with a penalty soon after the break but then Hertford took control for 15 minutes as they went 21-34 ahead.

When Tommy Murray was red carded and Hertford lost one of their own for retaliation the game could have gone away from TJs but Hertford seemed to decide enough was enough and tried to close the game out. This gave TJs the chance to scramble and rush and they did to great effect as first Tristan Sweden, then Lee Campion and finally Luke Makros took advantage of Hertford errors to secure the win on the back of Luke's boot, 43-34.

In the only other rearranged game. Combe beat Basingstoke 30-29. TJs now face Old Elthamians at home next Saturday KO 3pm

In L1S Dover beat Staines 36 - 12 whilst Sidcup beat Sutton & Epsom 20 - 12 neither of which impact top or bottom in the division.

L2SE leaders Charlton Park beat T Wells 21-32 to remain 14 points clear at the top although Maidstone have a game in hand. T Wells slipped to fifth. Stones beat Heathfield & W 7-78 whilst Crowborough earned a 20-19 win over Aylesford Bulls.

Ashford should have played their spare game against Bromley in L3SE but it was postponed so they remain 6 points behind the leaders Thanet. Folkestone drew 36 apiece with Dartfordians whilst Beccs recoved from their 100 point loss to Thanet last time out to beat Gillingham Anchorians 22-20

Canterbury kept their amazing season going with a 17-20 win over Dings Crusaders although 2nd v 13th should produce a slightly more convincing result. Hartpury College still lead by 6 points at the top with a game in hand.

 

 

 
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