Bury St Edmonds 13 Tonbridge Juddians 17
BSE had not lost at home in this campaign and they dominated both ball and territory throughout the first half.
TJs lost the ball too often, both in open play and at the lineout, while the scrum was being pinned a few times too, and they were fortunate to trail by only 10-0 at half-time.
Things got worse at the start of the second half as BSE worked the play well to slot a surprise drop goal and edge fuerther ahead.
TJs had to do something, and quickly. Their accuracy returned, the lineout and scrums started to work and a change in pace put BSE under pressure.
That pressure led to mistakes and a speculative kick was half charged down just inside the home side’s half. Duncan Tout retrieved the ball and battled his way upfield.
Eventually the ball found Josh Grewcock and he crashed over to score. Will Robinson added the extras and TJs were finally on the board at 13-7.
BSE were starting to pick up injuries and looked to be tiring. TJs again made ground and went all the way to the line only to be held up.
The resulting scrum was solid and as BSE offended, the ball was tapped and fed left for Hugo Watson to walk it in.
Will Robinson slotted the goal and TJs were suddenly in front by a point. When Robinson added a penalty shortly afterwards to make it 13-17, that left BSE needing a try.
A tense final 10 minutes saw BSE plough downfield and look to put the pressure on again at scrum time in front of their home stand.
TJs held up well but penalties kept coming and the pressure could not be relieved, but BSE then went for a lineout instead of the scrum. Dave Irvine rose to snaffle the ball and TJs hoofed it out to secure the win.
Elsewhere, Henley and Taunton kept up the pressure on TJs with wins of their own to remain two points behind the leaders.
Tonbridge now face Sutton & Epsom at home on Saturday (December 21, kick-off 2.30pm).