TJs Open With a Win Against Islanders
A new coach, newish look squad and a new season rarely leads to a sparkling on field performance and whilst there were glimpses of what might be to come TJs had to dig very deep indeed to take the win and 4 league points.
A first half try by Charlie Gregory was added to by Brad Tibbits and Mike O'Sullivan in the second half with Luke Maktis adding the extras to the last two. The final kick from just inside the right touchline crept over to win the game much to TJ's relief.
Guernsey arrived with a large pack and some very solid play based on putting the phases together at close range rather than moving it too wide too often. TJs for their part had a few purple patches, most notably immediately after half time when they upped the pace and went close but managing just the one try from Brad with the aid of a nice 'on the head' moment from the scorer to breach the G defence.
Toby Martin (pictured) was deemed the Heineken Man of the Match for TJs - seen here getting the ball away
Elsewhere relegated Barking succumbed 29 - 34 to Hertford whilst TJ's next opponents Combe won a tight one at Barnes 27 - 30 to signal their intentions this season. Bury St Edmunds who many expect to challenge lost 30 - 36 to Old Elthamians whilst last season's runners up Dorking opened up in impressive style with a 44 - 15 defeat of Thurrock.
East Grinstead enjoyed the most impressive start with a 73 - 5 defeat of Basingstoke whilst Tring came from way behind to overhaul CS Rugby 25 - 23 at home - those Tring boys never know when to stop still it seems.
In N2S Canterbury lost with the last play of the game with a 30 - 32 defeat at home to Clifton. Ex TJ Charlie Harding started whilst a B Collins was in the back row. Past N3 favourites and recent promotees LIA and Ampthill faced each other on opening day with Ampthill taking the spoils with a 10 - 37 result.
Westcliff, relegated from N3 last season started their season in fine style in London 1 N with a 73 nil mauling of the once lofty North Walsham
In London 1 S Beckenham enjoyed a 10 nil defeat of Haywards Heath, Chichester saw off Brighton 24 - 11, Chobham beat N3 relegated Staines 29 - 3, Cobham lost 3 - 32 to Sidcup. Gravesend are looking to remove all thoughts of last season's final day relegation from N3 and a 51 - 7 defeat of Hove is an impressive start whilst Havant lost 12 - 28 to Wimbledon and Sutton & Epsom beat Dover 17 - 12.
The lower leagues kick off next weekend.