1st XV

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.

 

 

TJs Enjoy Good Chi

TJs travelled to the windy south coast after two impressive wins against top 5 opposition. Their hosts were lying 5th at the start of the day after their own recent good form although their last game had seen them lose to Guernsey.

TJs played into the wind in the first half and perhaps suprisingly, after being stuck in their own 22 for long periods, they ended the half 8-10 up. An inteligent second half performance saw them run out 13-23 winners as they denied Chi many chances and used the wind to their own good effect. The result sees Chi slip to 7th whilst TJs stay 8th - another couple of wins and TJs will be right back in the mix as N3L&SE tightens up even more as anybody can beat anyone else at present.

Elsewhere in N3L&SE London Irish WG stay top despite losing 14-9 at Hertford who now climb to 5th on the back of some excellent recent form.  LIWG have now lost 4 times when in previous seasons the promotees have only squandered 3 and with plenty of game-time left anything could still happen.

Bury St E are level on points at the top now but 2nd after a 42-22 victory over Tring who looked like they might cause their hosts problems until the final quarter when BSE ran away with it. Combe were the biggest positional losers as they dropped from 3rd to 6th after they lost out 18-3 at East Grinstead who take over 4rd place again in this yo-yo season.

Guernsey stay near the bottom after losing 29-24 to TJ's next opponents, Barnes, who now find themselves 4th.   Westcliff moved out of the bottom three on the back of some good recent results although the 29-34 win over Amersham & Chiltern was tighter than they probably would have wanted. CS Rugby drop into the relegation zone after a 44-24 reverse at a resurgent Gravesend.

In National 1 Ealing remain top with Blackheath5th after they beat Old Albanians 33-8. In N2S Canterbury were boosted by the return of Charlie Harding who scored their opening try in a 19-16 win over Taunton who are several places above them. Canterbury remain in a battle at the bottom though although they moved out of the bottom three on the back of this result. Henley remain top despite losing again, this time a 18-17 reverse at Southend, with Dorking 2nd on points difference after a 14-38 victory at Lydney. Old Elthamians lost 14-26 at home to Bishops' Stortford.

Wimbledon edged out Guildford 26-30 to stay top in L1S and the visitors dropped to 3rd as Chobham beat Basingstoke 7-22 t climb to 2nd. Hove remain bottom after a 15-15 draw with Charlton Park. In L2SE leaders Maidstone had no game, T Wells' game at Colfeians was postponed and Crowborough had to play an Intermediate Cup game, which they won, so others could take advantage and close the gap on others. Sevenoaks took obvious advantage with an 83 nil home win over the struggling Aylesford Bulls whilst Medway saw off Deal & Betteshanger 24 nil to close the gap on Stones at the top to just 5 points.

Horsham remain top in L3SE after a 34-14 win over struggling Park House but Dartfordians remain in tight contention after they beat Gillingham Anchorians 25-12.  Bromley are 3rd after the tightest f home games, a 7-5 win over Uckfield. Bottom club Lewes beat Pulborough 15-7 but will need a number of more victories to turn a potential relegation season around.  

Cranbrook remain top of Kent 1 after a 10 all draw with 2nd placed Beccehamians, a result which allowed Vigo to close the gap with a 32 nil win over bottom side Bexley.  New Ash Green remain clear at the top in Kent 2 after a 12-43 win at Faversham with Brockleians probably their only challengers now as they beat Shooters Hill 3-31.

 

Cussed TJs Quell G Force

Not too many pundits would have forecast a TJ victory as they took on East Grinstead at home but a resolute and a tackle everything that moves approach saw them to victory by 23-22 in an exciting and tense game.

EG made all the running early on and TJs struggled to get hold of any ball for long periods. The 8need to tackle, tackle and tackle some more meant any territory had to be earned and to their credit when they did TJs muscled over for a brace of tries by Jamie Metcalfe (pictured) with Luke Giles converting one of them to give TJs a 12-10 lead after 39 minutes. EG forced a third try in the dying moments of the first half to go in 12-17 up but they had missed 2 conversions and a penalty in so doing.

Many would have expected EG to go on and dominate but with TJs showing no signs of tiring it was in fact EG who fell off the pace as they struggled to unlock the dogged TJ defence time and again. Two penalties by Giles edged TJs in front and then Will Ward struck wide on the left to make it 17-23 with 10 minutes to go.

EG threw everything at TJs, again, but this time TJs resisted their catch and drive from a lineout and forced them to go left and then right in search of a kickable try. In the end EG managed to cross the TJ line but crucially wide right and the conversion fell well short.

An impressive result for TJs and one which leaves them in mid-table 8th as results tended to go to form around them so very little movement up or down in N3L&SE although Chi, EG and Combe shuffled around again.

At the top London Irish WG stuttered again but came through 19-12 against Gravesend whilst Bury St Edmunds put their pre-Christmas misery at Hertford behind them with a 32-5 win over Amersham & Chiltern. Barnes won on the road at CS Rugby by 18-41 and Tring fought back, as always, before going down 24-29 to Combe.

The two surprise results for some were Westcliff's 16-9 win over Hertford and Guernsey's 22-15 defeat of Chichester, TJ's next opponents.

Elsewhere in National 1 Blackheath continue to climb the table and are now 5th after a 7-15 away win at Loughborough Students. Chinnor ambushed Dorking in N2S with a 5-6 victory at The Big Field in what by all accounts were tricky conditions - not like Dorking to lose at home in such circumstances but the loss leaves Henley now clear at the top after they beat Lydney 50-5. Canterbury remain in the mire at the bottom after another loss, this time a 12-20 home defeat to Worthing. Old Elthamians lost on the road 22-15 at Taunton and Bishops' Stortford beat Clifton 34-8

In L1S Wimbledon reign supreme still as they easily overcame Charlton Park 35-12 brushed aside visiting Charlton Pk with the 46-12 result. Guildford are second still after a 32-14 result against Dover,  but Chobham and Sutton & Epsom swapped places after Chobham beat S&E 23-20. 

Cup games dominated the lower divisions but Sevenoaks and O Colfeians did fight out the only L3SE game of the day with Oaks winning it 19-12 at The Paddock. The win moves Oaks into third above T Wells.

In the Cups, Crowborough's Intermediate Cup game against London Cornish was called off as the Sussex pitch was perhaps unsurprisingly unplayable. Maidstone saw off Medway's challenge 14-0. In the Senior Vase Dartfordians progressed as they beat Stevenage 13-22 and so too did Bromley after a 19-12 victory over Welwyn.

 

TJs Have Combe Over

N3L&SE continues to throw up surprise after surprise and the Saturday before Christmas was yet another although no sign of Santa yet.

TJs travelled to Combe searching for a performance after a very indifferent one away at bottom club Guernsey the weekend before. Combe started the season unbeaten and top for much of Sept/Oct but things have started to unravel a little after a run of losses. Odds were on a home win but TJs had a glimmer of hope as they always seem to raise their game at Combe.

TJs started brightly with an early penalty but Combe hit back with a try. TJs were not rattled though and they added a cobverted try and penalty to go 5-13 in front as the game ebbed and flowed. In the second half Combe managed to get back to 17-19 before a further TJ try gave them a 17-24 victory.

The result leaves TJs in 8th but with a 10 point lead over 9th as the division few up a few surprises. London Irish WG remain top despite crashing to a 30-8 defeat at Barnes. Bury St Edmunds were rolled over by the in form Hertford 31-30 with the last kick of the game, one which involved 4 red cards, with 3 for the visitors, which suggests the game was not so full of Christmas cheer.

Chichester took most advantage as they climbed to 2nd with a 30-17 win over CS Rugby whilst East G, TJ's next opponents on 3rd Jan, ground out a 23-16 win over Guernsey to go 3rd. Elsewhere Gravesend trounced Westcliff 40-14 and Tring lost again, this time a 24-15 defeat at Amersham & Chiltern.

In National 1 ChangesBlackheath sprung their own surprise on Rosslyn Park with a 37-21 result.  In N2S Canterbury struggled again on the road as they lost 18-8 at Old Elthamians whilst top club Henley lost again, this time a 28-21 defeat by Chinnor. Dorking could have gone top but a red card for scrum half Crow meant Worthing were able to overcome the 14 man Dorking to take the spoils 32-27 but they share top spot anyway. Bishops' Stortford lost 33-32 to Cambridge

Wimbledon remain supreme in L1S a they beat Dover 5-32. Hove are bottom after a 7-47 loss to nearish neighbours Brighton. Charlton Park ambushed Sidcup's title hopes with a 29-16 victory.

Sevenoaks and T Wells locked horns at Skinners School in L2SE as St Mark's was unplayable and Oaks won it with a try in the last play of the game 27-26. League leaders Maidstone ran in 10 tries in their 62-5 defeat of Ashford and look odds on favourites for the title now. Medway remain second after inflicting yet another heavy 5-53 defeat on Aylesford  whilst Deal & B slugged it out with Thanet in a 25-20 home win.   

Horsham sit at the top of the L3SE tree after a 20-40 win over Pulborough and Dartfordians are just a point back after their 5-43 defeat of Park House. Dunstonians are third after a 29-26 win over Bromley after leading 24-0 at one stage. Delight for Lewes though as they won their first game of the season, a 19-26 win at Hastings & Bexhill, a result which remakably lifts then off the bottom.

Cranbrook clung on to top spot in Kent 1 after a 10-8 win over Sheppey. Beccs remain in second after a 5-20 win at bottom club Bexley. NAG lead Kent 2 still after a 67-5 home win over Dartford Valley and Brockleians stay second after their own victory, a 46-22 defeat of Askeans.

 

TJ Disappointment At Island Life

TJs travelled to their bogey island hoping to put their indifferent form behind them against a home side who were 9 points adrift at the bottom at the start of the day.

Unfortunately they could not build on a 12-15 half time lead as Guernsey levelled at 20 all before 3 late penalties eased them to victory. They remain bottom whilst TJs are stuck in 8th. The last game of 2014 now beckons with an away game at Comve on Saturday KO 2pm.

PICTURES FROM GUERNSEY V TJS

Combe had lost three on the bounce to slip to 4th in N3L&SE but a 15-38 win over CS Rugby 1863 lifts them back to 3rd. At the top London Irish consolidated top spot by beating East Grinstead 21-6 whilst Bury St Edmunds eased back into 2nd spot with a 32-11 defeat of Barnes.

At the bottom Tring lost 51-7 to the in form Hertford whilst Gravesend added to Amersham & Chiltern's woes with a 8-15 victory whilst Westcliff went down 13-22 at home to Chichester who seem to be back to winning ways again. 

Rosslyn Park could have closed the gap on leaders Ealing in National 1 but a 16-17 win keeps Ealing's title challenge very much on track. Blackheath lost out to 3rd placed Coventry 12-36.

Canterbury lost again in N2S, this time a 5-36 defeat at home to Cambridge. Dorking might have hoped for a bigger win than their 19-32 defeat of bottom club Dings Crusaders but 4th placed Bishops' Stortford will be pleased with their 40-11 win over Southend. Henley are 1 point clear at the top despite losing heavily to Worthing by 30-7.  Old Elthamians remain in mid-table following their own 39-12 win at home to Clifton.

Wimbledon stay top in L1S after a 20-23 away win at Basingstoke. 2nd placed Sutton & Epsom had a similarly tight result at Dover as they nicked the win in a 14-15 encounter. As with so many divisions the bottom is very tight as proven by Cobham who beat Havant 28-17 to climb 4 places, overtaking Hove who lost out to Chobham in the weirdest scoreline of the day, a 69-38 result.

Maidstone eased to a 9 point lead in L2SE with a strong second half display agaunst Deal & Betteshanger that saw them run out 43-3 victors.  Medway remain 2nd after a 48-14 success over Beckenham and T Wells are 3rd despite losing to Thanet 22-19..  Sevenoaks’ home ground woes continue as their game with Colfeians was postponed due to a water-logged pitch (no flood barrier see!). Crowborough beat Ashford 21-10.

L3SE saw little change at the top where Horsham beat Uckfield 47-15 and Dartfordians overcame Pulborough 7-31. Lewes lost yet again and remain rock bottom after a 38-26 home loss to Dunstonians whilst Park House beat Hastings & Bexhill 22-11.

Cranbrook are top of Kent 1 after a 3-35 win at Southwark Lancers. Beccehamians are 2nd after swithing places with Vigo as they beat them 13-11. In Kent 2 New Ash Green march on after a 14-61 win at Askeans.

 


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