1st XV

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.

 

 

 

Ouch

After last Saturday's set back against East Grinstead TJs were looking to bounce back against the league leaders Dorking, mindful that they had also lost the previous weekend. The Big Field has rarely been a happy hunting ground for TJs but the carnage of a 93 - 14 defeat was painful to watch and even harder to play in.

Luckily the Invicta Warriors impressed with a 10 - 52 victory at Blackheath whilst the Premiership 2 squad dinsmantled T Wells 3s 30 - 19 at home.

Back at Dorking the loss leaves TJs still fourth but just one point ahead of Bury St Edmunds albeit with a game in hand. BSE defeated East G 13 - 8 whilst Thurrock lost 8 - 29 to Tring to leave them firmly in the relegation places.

Barnes failed to back up the win over Dorking as they slumped to a 66 - 10 defeat at the title-chasing OEs. Basingstoke hurt bottom club Barking 64 - 12, Guernsey beat TJ's next opponents (Sat 22nd) Hertford 27 - 24 and Westcombe Park went down 23 - 37 at home to CS Rugby 1863.

TJs were not the only onse to suffer a 90 point massacre as Gravesend shut out Beckenham 99 nil to leave them in the box seat re L1S as they are just one point behind Chichester with a game in hand. Chi beat Sutton & Epsom 48 - 8. Staines and Haywards Heath remain rooted to the bottom after further defeats with Staines going down 62 - 15 to Sidcup and HH 94 nil at home to Wimbledon. Ouch

T Wells continued their good form with a 21 - 13 defeat of Crowborough to move into fourth in L2SE after Sevenoaks drew 13 all with leaders Charlton Park. CP remain 11 points clear of Medway, with a game in hand as well, althoug it was so very nearly more as Medway only just squeezed past Warlingham 27 - 28. Maidstone's promotion push faltered again this time with a 16 - 11 reverse ate Deal & B.

Thanet topped the points list though in L3SE with a 104 nil win over Beccehamians to leave them 6 points clear of Ashford who beat Gillingham 43 - 15. Ashford though have a game in hand still so this one could go down to the wire.

Judging by some of the scores yesterday there must have been something in the flood waters!!

 

G Force The Win

TJs did well to get this game on after more recent rain although in the end the playing surface was in pretty good condition. The journey to the pitch though was a little bit hairy with so much mud and water around.

Everything was set up for a tight match and so it proved. 26 points at East G last time out and the same again this time but instead of a 13 all draw EG won the game 12 - 14 to consolidate their 3rd place in N3L&SE

TJs appeared to 'want it more' in the first half and deserved their 7 point lead at half time after Richie Bent scored from excellent pressing in the EG 22 as he charged down the attempted clearance kick to score under the posts.

EG though appeared to have the weight advantage up front whilst the TJ backs showed the better speed and at times, handling. Both sides though struggled at times with poor handling in direct contracts to the exemplary performance by both sides in much wetter conditions way back when at EG.

The second half started with EG striking back on the wide right with a try from their winger. 6 minutes later though TJs enjoyed the bounce of the ball to take it deep into EG territory and just as it seemed the chance may disappear up popped the rampaging Brad Tobbits to take a scoring pass and crash over. 12 - 5.

Two penalties from EG though brought them back to within 1 point at 12 - 11 before the inevitable happened and TJs were penalised as they tried to stem the flow and EG stroked over the winning kick to take the spoils 12 - 14.

The result leaves TJs fourth now 8 points behind EG albeit with a game in hand. Things get even tougher though with an away trip to leaders Dorking although they surprisingly lost 24 - 17 at struggling Barnes whilst Old Elthamians are just one point behind Dorking after they saw off (just) Tring 20 -29.

In the remaining games CS Rugby came unstuck 13 - 50 to Guernsey and Hertford beat Basingstoke 29 - 14. Combe came up trumps with a 30 - 29 defeat of Bury St Edmunds.

In L1S Chichester very nearly let Gravesend open up a much bigger gap as they just held off Sidcup 17-20 whilst Gravesend beat Cobham 16 - 56 to go 4 points clear at the top. Brighton lost ground after they slipped to a 19-12 defeat at Chobham.

Charlton Park look to have L2SE all to themselves now as they beat Deal & B 25-11 to go 13 points clear at the top whilst Maidstone lost ground after losing 33-37 to T Wells. Medway took advantage to go second after they beat Lewes 36-19. Sevenoaks beat Old Colfeians 16-22.

Thanet lead L3SE after a 25-34 win at Bromley with Ashford still second after a 19-44 win at Beccehamians. Looks like a two horse race here.

Canterbury edged past Shelford 25-20 to stay second in N2S but 7 points behind the leaders Hartpury College who only just edged past Dings Crusaders 29-22. The two meet at the end of March.

 

 


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