1st XV

TJs Back to Basics at Barking

Having not played since December 14th the 1st XV could perhaps have been excused a bit of rustiness and a loss of match fitness as they returned to league action. Perhaps somewhat fortunately their opponents were bottom club Barking who have struggled for much of the season and remain winless.

The return of Thomas Nabbs from down south was a welcome shot in the arm and a reshuffle of the backline saw Luke Makris move to centre with Dan Hawkes at 10 and Will Ward at 9. The water wings were thrown away and debutant Mark Higgins appeared at Hooker.

It took 15 minutes though for TJs to trouble the scoreboard with a penalty from Makris and they 20 nil at Half time befor epulling away for a 8 - 42 victory. Stats still awaited.

The win keeps TJs 4th 6 points ahead of Bury St Edmunds and 6 points behind East Grinstead who have both now played 2 games more than TJs. Leaders Dorking are 4 points clear of OEs despite their game at Basingstoke 13- 20 and Guernsey saw off the Thurrock 34 - 14 whilst East Grinstead edged past Hertford 26 - 35.

TJ's next oppoents, Tring, made it 6 wins from their last 7 with a 40 - 10 demolition of Barnes - let's hope The Slade dries out in time for next Saturday.

In L1S Chichester clung on in second with a 20 - 24 win at Dover and second placed Gravesend had a slightly easier affair with a 48 nil win at Staines. Brighton remain third but 14 points further back after they lost 40 - 3 at Sidcup.

In L2SE there were only three games as Medway edged out Crowborough 7 - 10, Deal & B squeezed past Sevenoaks 27 - 25 and T Wells saw off Lewes in convincing style 43 - 13.

Canterbury remain second in N2S after a 17 - 24 away win at Chinnor


Heavy overnight rain triggered a late postponement of the TJs v Combe game as the River Medway rose several feet during the morning to make the sportsground pitches unplayable. Others in N3L&SE managed to get theri games played but conditions were very difficult indeed judging by reports on Twitter.

Dorking saw off the gritty challenge of Basingstoke to remain top with a 23 - 11 victory whilst Old Elthamians remain second after a 34 - 7 defeat of Thurrock. East Grinstead lie third still but lost 3 - 19 to Guernsey in the surprise result of the day. TJs remain fourth, 2 points back but with a game in hand on G Force.

Barking remain rooted to the bottom after losing 72 nil at Bury St Edmunds whilst Tring continue their good form after a 17 - 12 defeat of Hertford.

In London 1 South Gravesend kept their title challenge on course with a 33 - 10 defeat of Dover. Chichester remain 4 points back after squeezing passed Havant 24 - 18 and Brighton are third after a 27 - 8 win over Hove.

No games from L2SE and below but in National 2 South Canterbury climbed to second after they beat Cambridge 8 - 3 to climb above Ampthill. Hartpury College continue as comfortable leaders though. 


TJs Sneak Past Basingstoke

Fourth v Tenth suggested an away win but TJs left it very very late to nick this result in a game far tougher than some may have expected.

Basingstoke had the benefit of a gale in the first half and made best use of it to leace 23 - 16 at HT out scoring TJs 3 tries to 2 in the process. Noot and Rankin scoring TJ's two on 36 and 38 minutes to surprise the hosts. Two early penalties from Luke Makris kept TJs in touch early on.

The second half started well for TJs as Tom Noot scored his second after good work by Chennells and McMahon., Makris converting to make it all square after 50 mins. A penalty and then a try for Basingstoke gave them a 31 - 23 lead and with 5 minutes on the clock all seemed lost as TJs needed two scores to win.

Cometh the hour (well 76th minute) cometh the man as wing Lee Campion decided all was not lost as he scampered over with Makris adding the extras. Two minutes later, after Lee had caught his breath, he went in again to steal the win and add a bonus point for a final result of 31 - 35 and another TJ victory. Phew.

Elsewhere leaders Dorking very nearly suffered their first loss of the season at OEs where they trailed 20 -10 with just 10 minutes to go. A red card for OEs reduced them to 14 men and Dorking stole in for a converted try and a penalty to draw level and share the spoils, thus remaining 8 points clear of OEs at the top.

East Grinstead drew within 3 points of OEs with a 23 - 40 win at Thurrock which leaves TJs just 3 points behind them still. TJ's next opponents Combe lost 22 - 34 to Tring who clearly turned up in the mood as they raced to a 5 - 20 leade after 35 minutes and then gave Combe few chances to come back at them. 

Bury St Edmunds beat Hertford 37 - 9 whilst CS Rugby beat bottom and winless Barking 39 - 13 whilst Guernsey trounced Barnes 58 - 5. 

In London 1 South went top after they beat third placed Brighton 10 - 17 and Chichester lost 22 - 24 to Wimbledon to slip to second.

Charlton Park lead L2SE after beating Old Colfeians 17 - 26 whilst Maidstone slipped from the top after going down 19 - 12 to Medway who climbed to third as a result. Tunbridge Wells climbed a few places with a 20 - 27 win at local rivals Sevenoaks.

In L3SE Ashford remain top after a 8 - 22 win at Folkestone with Thanet just back in second after they beat Sheppey 10 - 31


TJs Tame Thurrock

Not the best or most exciting of performances but TJs won't care about that after recent setbacks, a win is a win and 47 - 10 and a bonus point will do nicely, thank you. Last season TJs and Thurrock shared the spoils with an away win apiece and both games won by just 2 points. This one looked like being another close affair until TJs went through the gears and the Thurrock defence finally cracked.

First half tries by Logan and Davey along with 3 penalties from Makris gave TJs a 19 - 3 HT lead. Further tries by Campion and McNamara, both converted by Makris, in the first 6 minutes of the second half took TJs away from the visitors. Martin and Davey again added further tries in the 77th and 79th minutes with Makris again adding the extras.

At the top Dorking shared a 108 point game with Bury St Edmunds with Dorking winning 73 - 35 to go 8 points clear at the top as second placed Old Elthamians lost 20 - 14 to third placed East Grinstead. A result which leaves EG 6 points back from OEs with TJs still 4th and 2 points further back.

TJ's next opponents, Basingstoke lost 31 - 17 at Barnes and their Christmas opponents Westcombe Park beat Barking 9 - 37. Hertford beat CS Rugby 18 - 13 whilst Tring's recent good form came to an end as they lost out 23 - 33 to Guernsey.

In London 1 South Gravesend moved to the top after beating Chichester 24 - 23 to leave Chi second by just one point. Chobham remain thrird after a 62 - 3 defeat of Haywards Heath but Brighton are level with them on points after they beat Sutton & Epsom 23 - 35.

Maidstone got back on track at the top of L2SE after last weekend's loss to Sevenoaks, by taking it out on Lewes 58 - 14. Charlton Park though are just one point behind after thrashing Warlingham 79 - 5. The rest are 10 points adrift with Sevenoaks pressing hard after a 7 - 24 win at Crowborough. T Wells eased recent concerns with a 14 - 24 win at Aylesford Bulls.

Ashford went to the top of L3SE with a 38 - 34 defeat of Old Dunstonians as Thanet lost 29 - 19 at Gillingham Anchorians. Only 6 points separate the top 5 sides in the division now.

In N2S Canterbury beat Ampthill 33 - 30 to drag the As back to third and just 2 points ahead of Canterbiry who remain fourth.


Second Defeat in Two Weeks Hurts TJs

A second defeat of the season leaves TJs 12 points off a play off berth and 16 points adrift of the leaders Dorking but all is not lost as they pushed OEs all the way on Saturday before succumbing 35 - 18.

Tries from Chris McNamara and Brad Tibbits plus a DG from Dan Hawkes and a penalty + conversion from Luke Makris were not enough in cold conditions.

Elsewhere Dorking failed to secure a bonus point for the first time in their 25 - 13 defeat of third placed East Grinstead. Bury St Edmunds remain fifth after seeing off CS Rugby, just, 36 - 32. TJ's next opponents Thurrock had an even closer result after beating Barnes 34 - 33 whilst Tring won on the road, 7 - 28, at Basigstoke. Combe lost 32 - 36 to Hertford and Barking are rooted to the bottom after they lost 45 - 7 at Guernsey.

No change in London 1 South where Chichester saw off Staines 57 - 14 to hold on to top spot. Gravesend stay second after they beat Sutton & E 41 - 5 and Chobham are third still despite losing 17 - 15 to Dover.

L2SE leaders Maidstone surprisingly went down 23 - 22 at Sevenoaks andCharlton Park closed the gap with a 17 - 37 win at Lewes. Deal & B beat Crowborough 23 - 12 whilst T Wells put their recent poor form behind them with a 32 - 10 defeat of Heathfield & waldron.

Thanet remain top of L3SE after they shared a 15 all draw with second placed Ashford. Folkestone benefitted from that result to close the gap in third after they beat Burgess Hill 93 nil

In N2S Canterbury nearly toppled leaders Hartpury College but finally went down 39 - 36 but remian fourth.


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