HAVING faced third-placed Redingensians Rams and second-placed Chinnor in their last two games the encounter with table-topping Cinderford was always going to be a tough task for Tonbridge Juddians.
Though they were unable to get on the scoreboard, the visitors mounted a valiant full 80-minute effort against a home side of some size, speed and dexterity.
Cinderford are yearning for a return to National One, and now boast a 10-point lead with eight games remaining.
They were the first side to shut TJs out completely since their own promotion to National Two South.
Cinderford dominated possession and only allowed Tonbridge Juddians to cross the home 22m line once all game.
Cinderford were 19-0 up at the break and the bonus point try came early in the second half.
TJs had hit everything that moved for much of the game but Cinderford always seemed to be on the front foot and able to create in close quarters.
Their scrum had a definite edge and too many scrum penalties had TJs on the back foot with two tries coming from penalties to the corner followed by lineout catch and drives.
The fact that TJs kept going for the full 80 minutes without taking a backward step was impressive.
Ryan Jackson continued to do the hard yards alongside captain Mike O’Sullivan in the front row and defence.
Scrum-halves Jack Mutch and Charlie Edwards enjoyed the close quarter work and Hugo Watson carried well alongside Finlay Coxon-Smith, who is starting to put himself about.
TJs’ best run of the game was a defensive gather by Ryan Redman to set up two attackers and race 40 metres into Cinderford’s half.
After their tricky run, TJs move on to a home game against a resurgent Worthing on Saturday (February 17, kick-off 2.30pm)