TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS returned to The Slade still smarting from a poor performance at London Irish and returned to form in style against second-placed Henley.
TJs started brightly and dominated both ball and territory for the first 15 minutes, and Will Robinson opened the scoring with a penalty.
Then Matas Jurevicius spun out of a last-ditch tackle to stretch and score after some excellent phased approach play by TJs, Robinson converting.
An improved Henley turned down an easy penalty to go to the corner, and and they went over from a bouncing ball on the right.
Robinson added two more penalties to make it 16-5 at the break and restore some breathing space for the home side.
In the second half the Hawks again refused an easy three points and went for a try. It took time but eventually the TJ defence succumbed.
Toby May received the only yellow card of the game and Henley’s impressive outside centre wriggled through to score.
But then the hosts restored their ascendancy with one of the tries of the season. The ball was worked right from a TJ scrum to find Murray Galbraith-Lowe on the right just inside his own half.
He sat his opponent down and rounded him before accelerating down the wing. The full-back was flummoxed as Galbraith-Lowe stepped left then right and scored, Robinson converting.
Hawks huffed and puffed for the final 10 minutes but the TJ defence was rock solid and every attack was cut down with superb tackling.
A final TJ scrum saw them awarded a free kick which the tired Charlie Edwards, having played a full 80 minutes this week, hoofed into the crowd.
It was another fantastic game of rugby of the highest quality in National Two South and TJs closed in fifth place kept up the pressure on the teams above them.
The Tonbridge side now travel to Old Albanians for the first time on Saturday [January 19, kick-off 2.30pm].