Disappointng Return From Barnes
TJs headed into this game with renewed confidence after despatching Combe, East G and Chichester in their last 3 games and knowing that they had already beaten Barnes this season. The visitors though were also on the up after a poor start to their season and were now 4th and above TJs.
The reserve pitch was in good nick so did not hamper play too much but both defences were miserly and to some extent the two sides cancelled each other out. As a result the whistle came into play and whilst Barnes took their two real chances, a penalty and a late try wide right TJs did not. A first half try was ruled out for a double movement, DJ missed a tricky penalty on the wide right and the two second half try chances for TJs were scuppered by a dropped final pass and Barnes offending to deny a score with the last play.
A bonus point for TJs was something and in light of losing JJ Murray to a silly red card probably more than they might have expected but they remain 8th whilst in a tigght league Barnes dropped to 5th as Hertford beat CS Rugby 18-30 with their own bonus point to go above them - it's a funny old game at times.
Elsewhere in N3L&SE there were few surprises and little change in league position as a result. London Irish WG beat Amersham & Chiltern 40-23, Bury St E edged out Westcliff 17-25 and East Grinstead beat Tring 14-19 a result that lifted Tring off the bottom as a result of the BP earned. Combe lost again and dropped to 6th after a 15-21 home defeat to Chichester. Gravesend continue to impress after a 10-18 on the road/air to Guernsey where few sides get a result.
In National 1 the leaders Ealings surprisingly lost 27-22 at the previously struggling Cinderfood whilst Blackheath won 31-38 at Blaydon. Esher went down 8-36 at Hartpury College. In N2S Canterbury posted back to back wins with a shock, to some, 12-19 away win at Bishops' Stortford. At the top Henley squeezed past Launceston 29-28 and OEs lost 22-10 to Redruth. Dorking's game against Southend as The BIg Field became the Big Puddle and Worthing lost out 30-17 to Taunton.
Hobe predictably beat bottom club Hove 61-12 to stay top in L1S whilst Chobham hang in their in second after a 38-17 defeat of Dover. Sidcup beat Twickenham 30-0 and Charlton Park lost 8-25 to Havant.
Maidstone ride on in L2SE as they beat Thanet and Sevenoaks won 11-21 at Deal & B. Aylesford managed a 0-24 loss to Colfeians to see them 13 points adrift at the bottom. T Wells v Beckenham was called off as St Marks was unplayable whilst Crowborough v Medway was also an onbvious postponement. TJs travel to Medway next Saturday for their Kent Cup tie.
Top side Horsham took on second placed Dartfordians in L3SE and the hosts won 20-15 to go 5 points clear at the top. The battle for top spot seems to be between these two still though as third placed Bromley won 15-21 at Hastings & Bexhill but find themselves 23 points behind Horsham. In Kent 1 Cranbrook went 2 points clear of Vigo with a 30-7 win over the visitors. Kent 2 leaders New Ash Green had a HWO awarded as bottom club Orpington pulled out of the contest. Brockleians remain second after a 51-3 win over Dartford Valley with Foots Cray third after a 41-0 win over Faversham.