TJs hang on tight after Conlon opens up gap

TJs hang on tight after Conlon opens up gap

Tonbridge Juddians 17

Esher 11

TJs soon produced a spell of close-quarter pick-and-drives from which they breached Esher’s defence for No 8 Ben Ashmore to bust through for a try, Will Robinson converting,

The Surrey side responded with a penalty and closed down TJs’ short-range assaults. Instead the ball was spun out to the right wing for Murray Galbraith-Lowe to squeeze over in the corner for an unconverted try.

TJs conceded another three-pointer and found that Esher were quick to counter-attack. One such break set up winger Joe Booth for a try, though the conversion fell short to give TJs a narrow 12-11 lead at half-time.

After the break Galbraith-Lowe seemed to have touched down for a try from a chip ahead but the referee spotted a knock-on in the grounding.

The pattern continued as TJs attacked and Esher defended. After a series of penalties the hosts managed to drive a line-out maul over the line for replacement prop Reece Conlon to dot down for an unconverted try.

Facing only a six-point deficit, Esher were still very much in the contest with 15 minutes left and they put relentless pressure on the Tonbridge line as nerves jangled.

Esher changed tactics from trying to blast their way through and a long, floated pass reached the winger just before his opposite number tackled him into touch to bring the final whistle.

It had been a pulsating game in difficult, muddy conditions with defences largely dominating.

TJs remain in second place in National Two South ahead of their trip to Barnes on Saturday (November 30, kick-off 2.30pm).



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