Another tough game then, this time away at Barnes who on their patch are a match for most sides and not a happy hunting ground for TJs at the end of the Barnes Trail.
The omens were again not good as TJs trailed 11-3 at the break and whilst the slope was with them in the second half sides like Barnes understand their own ground and know how to change their style accordingly, invariably by going up a gear asap to get the opposition on the back foot. TJs though matched and bettered them in this regard and deservedly took advantage to walk/run in and kick 27 second half ponts to secure the win.
A leg injury to Bertie Boast and blood injury for Kieran Fitzgibbon did not disrupt the TJ effort too much and to be fair it was Barnes who seemed to be suffering te most as their 10 and 8 both had to leave the field.
TJs got the ball rolling with some sensible approach play and then penalty to the corner. A catch and drive walked the ball home and a realisation that nice and simple but well-worked was the order of the day. With Ryan Redman having one of his best games to date and Will Ward skipping round defenders the pressure kept coming and it was these two who combined on the end of soe good TJ approach work, for one of the tries of the season so far. An effort that had the Barnes Trail Trio purring with delight.
Will Ward danced round his oppoiste number on the left and whilst appearing to stumble after a nudge from another would-be defender he heard Redman's shout on the inside to flick a sublime back of the hand and all wrist pass inside to take out two more defenders and to send Redman scampering over. Barnes did manage a solitary try but this was TJ's game and whilst nerves were always jangling a final intercept, we do still get them, by Charlie Harding meant he could troy (with the slope) 60ms to dot down.
A great effort by TJs who many had counted out before a ball was kicked/passed and something they can build on with Gravesend at home and then Westcliff the following weekend.
Elsewhere in N3SE Combe beat Chichetser 14-25 to go clear at the top by 6 points and remain unbeaten. London Irish WG moved into second at Chi's expense with a 13-28 win over Amersham & Chiltern. Westcliff continue to struggle as they went down 39-14 at Bury St Edmunds and East Grinstead routed Tring, perhaps surprisingly, 55-3. CS Rugby lost 42-3 at Hertford whilst TJ's next opponents, Gravesend, beat Guernsey 27-24 when they might have expected a little more against the Islanders on the road.
In N2S Canterbury lost again, this time 10-22 to Bishops' Stortford whilst Old Elthamians stay in sixth after a one pont win over Redruth, 13-12. Dorking again impressed, this time with a 13-18 win over Southend to take them to third.
Sidcup kept their winning run in L1S going with a 31 nil win over Twickenham whilst Basingstoke are second after a 60-15 win over Gosport & Fareham. Havant and Charlton Park shared an interesting 31-31 draw in their game.
No league action eslewhere as the RFU Knockout Competitions whirred into action although far too many sides are forfeiting their games, presumably as league rugby dominates hearts and minds now?
In the Intermediate Cup Warlingham were due at Maidstone but cried off but Medway did as they beat Deal & Betteshanger (again) 20-6. Aylesford's poor start to the season continued with a 7-15 loss at home to Portsmouth with Thanet going down 18-23 to Old Alleynoans. Crowborough continued their recent improvement with a 19-10 win over Sevenoaks.