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