1st XV

BSE End TJ Run

A Sunny November day shone on TJs for 40 minutes on Saturday as they just edged it 10-11 at BSE but with the slope in the home side's favour and a vocal home crowd urging them on it was never going likely to be enough of a lead to cling on to.

As it was TJs competed well for much of the second half but an apparent try scoring opportunity was denied them and just a few minutes later a yellow card went against them and the game turned. Not pivotally as BSE were far more clinical in their execution and running but you need those decisions to go with you at this level when the game is evenly matched.

The end result and performance was perhaps a sobering one for TJs as they had probably played the best team in the league and, if they did not realise what was needed at this level already, then they do now. Fitness, teamwork and the desire to take a game by the scruff of the neck will get you 75% of the way to the result - no league action next Saturday so a chance to recover, ponder and regain fitness ahead of a run of tough games which will decide whether we are a top four side or not.

Elsewhere in National 3(SE) small margins again made the difference with Combe retaining top spot after a couple of tough weeks. A 20-33 away win at Amersham & Chiltern keep them just ahead of BSE with London Irish WG still third after edging CS Rugby 1863 40-34.

East Grinstead slipped up again this time going down 23-16 at a resurgent Hertford whilst Tring's poor season continues after a 33-9 loss at Barnes. Chichester got back to winning ways with a 18-22 win at Gravesend whilst TJ's next opponents, Westcliff, beat Guernsey 34-17. 

In N2S Canterbury are probably kicking themselves after they squandered a game long lead in the dying moments to lose 29-30 to league leaders Henley. Dorking remain second after a convincing 19-39 win over Old Elthamians.

Sidcup gave up top spot in L1S as they lost 18-17 to fourth placed Guildford to allow Wimbledon to climb above them after their 13-23 victory at Twickenham. Basingstoke continue to struggle after they lost 18-23 at home to fellow strugglers Hove. Dover lost 13-20 home to Charlton Park.

L2SE leaders T Wells were knocked off the top after they drew 29-29 with Deal & Betteshanger and Maidstone took advantage after running in 11 tries against Colfes to win 65-17. Aylesford's miserable season contnues after they lost 12-51 to fellow strugglers Ashford. Beckenham edged it at Crowborough 16-19 whilst Sevenoaks had no game and Medway routed Thanet 7-52.

Horsham and Bromley locked horns at the top of L3SE and Horsham went top after a 18-11 win with Dartfordians slipping into second after a 19-32 away win over Uckfield. Lewes lost yet again, this time 16-36 to Heathfield & Waldron whilst Folkestone beat Park HOuse 25-26. In Kent 1 Cranbrook remain top after a 48-7 win over Kings College and Beccehamians are second after a 29-35 victory at Southwark Lancers.  Kent 2 sees New Ash Green (no game) level at the top with Brockleians who beat Greenwich 31-14 and Footscray who beat Edenbridge 33-7. 


3TJs Blow Hot

As TJs strolled on to The Slade pitch you sensed that they might not quite be at boiling point for the start and the first visit of Amersham & Chiltern. In fact as A&C started strongly and TJs kept kicking what ball they had high and into the wind the smart money seemed ot be shifting in the visitor's favour.

The weird thing was though that the A&C back three kept running it back but TJs were hard in the tackle and managed to turn the ball over or splinter any attack; snaffle the ball; whip it through the hands; and score. Six times in fact as TJs scored 6 converted first half tries before ending the half with a single penalty to blow A&C away.

The visitors simply had no answer and what ever they tried failed and every bounce of the ball, intercept or offload seem to go TJ's way. Perhaps understandably this did not continue for the next 40 minutes as A&C kept hold of the ball for longer and won the second half 5-14 to regain some sense of achievement although ultimately they left with nil points and TJs had a bonus point win to lift them over A&C into 6th.

With other results in N3(SE) largely not going to form it has tightened everything up again with the next best result being Hertford's away 26-27 win at the previously unbeaten Combe who had the double whammy of a 5 point deduction as well this week.

Bury St Edmunds were the main benefactors as Combe's 9 point lead is now zero after BSE beat Guernsey 26-30 to merely trail Combe on points difference. TJs travel to BSE next Saturday.

London Irish WG are thurd after an expected 20-52 win over bototm Tring whilst East G had a scare at home to Gravesend as they sneaked it 27-24 in the end. Chichester are on a bad run still as they lost 25-28 at Barnes whilst down near the bottom CS Rugby moved up at the expense of Westcliff in a tight 26-24.

N1 saw Blackheath travel to Richmond for one of the game's historic fixtures, oldest recorded game, and lose 36-27. In N2S Canterbury must have been expecting a big win as they took on bottom club Dings but they ended up sharing the spoils in a 36-36 draw after leading for much of the game. Old Elthamians good start faltered perhaps expectedly as they lost 48-19 to league leaders Henley but Dorking press on victorious in second after a 49-34 win over Clifton.

Sidcup continue to rule the roost in L1S after a 32-5 win over Dover but Wimbledon remain in the hunt following their own 51-14 drubbing of Chobham. Tunbridge Wells piled on the agony for Aylesford in the top v bototm clash in L2SE as the town side won 50 nil. Second placed Maidstone travelled to third placed Sevenoaks and edged it 31-32 right at the death. Crowborough are making a better fist of their season now as they beat Colfeians 13-22 and Ashford recorded their first win of the season with a 48-25 win over Thanet.   

L3SE sees  Bromley and Horsham as joint leaders with Bromley beating very near rivals Park House 21-6 whilst Horsham whacked Heathfield & Waldron 5-56. Lewes' terrible season though continues as they went down 92-7 to Dartfordians. Cranbrook are having a better season in Kent 1 as they lead with Beccs who beat Sittingbourne 51 nil whilst the Cranes saw off Bexley 12-29. In Kent 2 New Ah Green are top and unbeaten as they beat Edenbridge 7-32


TJs Win Big at Hertford

An exciting game at the ever-friendly Hertford on Saturday ebbed and flowed as you would perhaps expect form two squads who have been blowing hot and cold to date.

TJs were edging it 3-17 at one point but Hertford rallied and the game was in the balance at 26-27 when Hugo Watson turned on the gas and power to score a brilliant individual try with JJ Murray then adding another soon after. Those two scores took the wind out of the home side's sails and the game was over with TJs climbing to 7th from 10th as other results went their way.

Wwstcombe Par remain the only unbeaten side still and top as they beat Gravesend 15-31 and they welcome Hertford at home next Saturday. Bury St E remain second after a big 52-5 win over CS Tugby whilst London Irisg WG remain third after a 11-29 win at now bottom side Westcliff. 

East Grinstead only managed a 18-23 win at Barnes whilst fifth placed Chi met Tring for the first time and both sides shared the spoils in a 37 all draw. TJs play Amersham & Chiltern next and A&C perhaps surprisingly went down 15-17 to Guernsey in the final game from N3L&SE. 

In N1 Blackheath continue to climb the table after a 38-29 win against Cinderford but Ealing are still sitting pretty at the top after a one-sided 73-13 defeat of bottom club Macclesfied.

Canterbury finally got themselves moving in the right direction again as they beat Shelford 37-22 with Dorking continue to impress in third after a 14-28 win at Cambridge. Old Elthamians beat bottom placed Dings Crusaders 38-29 to go fourth whilst Bishops' Stortford slipped up 24-22 at Worthing. 

Sidcup remain clear at the top of L1S as they saw off Basingstoke 10-25 whilst Wimbledon lost ground after a 29 all draw with Havant. Dover won at last with a 21-13 win over Brighton but Charlton Park lost 17-5 at Sutton & Epsom.

L2SE continues to hot up as T Wells remain top after a narrow 27-22 defeat of Ashford whilst Maidstone moved into second after a 38-22 defeat of Medway. Sevenoaks are third after a 6-17 win over Crowborough whilst Aylesford's woes at the bottom continued after a 16-33 loss to Beckenham.

Bromley lead L3SE after a narrow 9-14 win over Pulborough but only on win v losses over Horsham who beat Lewes 36--10. 


Gs Force TJs To Share

Neither side will be happy with an 18 all draw when Gs probably should have put this one to bed well before TJs rallied to nearly snatch it at the end.

G's pack were their only real attacking threat for much of the game and when they got field position they were able to roll over or pressurise TJ's into mistakes which resulted in tries. Luckily for TJs though the Gs kicker had an off day and the missed penalties and conversions meant that the home side were never really out of touch.

TJs impressed only occassionally as they got into the open spaces which allowed them to run good 6lines and find support from the majority with JJ Murray and Will Ward again looking slippery with ball in hand.

The result did little to change league positions but as we look up Combe extended their lead at the top of N3L&SE to 9 points with a 38-10 win over Barnes. Chi slipped to fifth after losing again, this time 27-5 at East Grinstead. Bury St Edmunds took advantage to go second with an impressive 17-37 win over London Irish WG.

Tring remain bottom as they lost 25-41 to local rivals Westcliff whilst CS Rugby caught Amersham & Chiltern by surprise with a 25-23 win. TJ's next opponents Hertford came from behind in the evening KO away at Guernsey to secure a 15-20 win on the road. TJs travel to Hertford for a 3pm KO next Saturday.

In N2S Dorking are an impressive third after a narrown 20-17 win over Launceston. OEs are sixth after they sneaked past Shelford 28-33. Canterbury remain just off the bottom still as they lost again, this time a 38-15 at Redruth

L1S leader's Sidcup remained top despite losing out 16-23 to the visitors Sutton & Epsom. Wimbledon closed the gap with a 43-10 win over Cobham as they leapfrogged Basingstoke who lost 29-24 at Brighton. Dover remain rooted to the bottom after a 33-10 loss to Gosport & Fareham.

T Wells beat Beckenham 18-27 to stay top in L2SE London 2(SE) whilst Medway continued in winning fashion with a 21-13 over in form Crowborough. Maidstone beat Thanet 10-36 whilst Sevenoaks beat Deal & Betteshanger 38-8. Aylesford remain bottom after a 57-6 loss at Coldeians.

Broley replaced Horsham at the top of L3SE after a 55-5 win over Hastings & Bexhill as Horsham lost out 32-30 at Dartfordians. Uckfield impressed with a 23-39 win at Folkestone as Lewes remain bottom after another defeat, this time 17-27 at home to Park House.


Barnes Bridged

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.


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