Cussed TJs Quell G Force
Not too many pundits would have forecast a TJ victory as they took on East Grinstead at home but a resolute and a tackle everything that moves approach saw them to victory by 23-22 in an exciting and tense game.
EG made all the running early on and TJs struggled to get hold of any ball for long periods. The need to tackle, tackle and tackle some more meant any territory had to be earned and to their credit when they did TJs muscled over for a brace of tries by Jamie Metcalfe (pictured) with Luke Giles converting one of them to give TJs a 12-10 lead after 39 minutes. EG forced a third try in the dying moments of the first half to go in 12-17 up but they had missed 2 conversions and a penalty in so doing.
Many would have expected EG to go on and dominate but with TJs showing no signs of tiring it was in fact EG who fell off the pace as they struggled to unlock the dogged TJ defence time and again. Two penalties by Giles edged TJs in front and then Will Ward struck wide on the left to make it 17-23 with 10 minutes to go.
EG threw everything at TJs, again, but this time TJs resisted their catch and drive from a lineout and forced them to go left and then right in search of a kickable try. In the end EG managed to cross the TJ line but crucially wide right and the conversion fell well short.
An impressive result for TJs and one which leaves them in mid-table 8th as results tended to go to form around them so very little movement up or down in N3L&SE although Chi, EG and Combe shuffled around again.
At the top London Irish WG stuttered again but came through 19-12 against Gravesend whilst Bury St Edmunds put their pre-Christmas misery at Hertford behind them with a 32-5 win over Amersham & Chiltern. Barnes won on the road at CS Rugby by 18-41 and Tring fought back, as always, before going down 24-29 to Combe.
The two surprise results for some were Westcliff's 16-9 win over Hertford and Guernsey's 22-15 defeat of Chichester, TJ's next opponents.
Elsewhere in National 1 Blackheath continue to climb the table and are now 5th after a 7-15 away win at Loughborough Students. Chinnor ambushed Dorking in N2S with a 5-6 victory at The Big Field in what by all accounts were tricky conditions - not like Dorking to lose at home in such circumstances but the loss leaves Henley now clear at the top after they beat Lydney 50-5. Canterbury remain in the mire at the bottom after another loss, this time a 12-20 home defeat to Worthing. Old Elthamians lost on the road 22-15 at Taunton and Bishops' Stortford beat Clifton 34-8
In L1S Wimbledon reign supreme still as they easily overcame Charlton Park 35-12 brushed aside visiting Charlton Pk with the 46-12 result. Guildford are second still after a 32-14 result against Dover, but Chobham and Sutton & Epsom swapped places after Chobham beat S&E 23-20.
Cup games dominated the lower divisions but Sevenoaks and O Colfeians did fight out the only L3SE game of the day with Oaks winning it 19-12 at The Paddock. The win moves Oaks into third above T Wells.
In the Cups, Crowborough's Intermediate Cup game against London Cornish was called off as the Sussex pitch was perhaps unsurprisingly unplayable. Maidstone saw off Medway's challenge 14-0. In the Senior Vase Dartfordians progressed as they beat Stevenage 13-22 and so too did Bromley after a 19-12 victory over Welwyn.