Tonbridge Juddians 17
Tonbridge Juddians, comfortably mid-table, travelled to Wimbledon knowing the hosts were desperately seeking points in their bid to stay up in National Two South with three games to go.
The visitors started slowly and Wimbledon advanced through successive penalties. But with three points on offer in front they opted to kick for the corner.
TJs turned it over and made ground, Mike O’Sullivan finishing off a series of forward drives with a trademark burrow to score an unconverted try from inches out.
The penalty count and errors continued in what was proving to be a stop-start affair and Tom Nicoll was carded for a high tackle.
Skill down the right short side by Wimbledon saw them grubber through, regather and score from 60 metres out to level the scores 5-5 at half-time.
In the second half the attritional action and referee’s intervention continued and fluid play was restricted to the touchline.
Wimbledon edged in front 12-5 with a disputed try but TJs levelled as Charlie Edwards spotted a gap and scampered through from 30 metres.
Wimbledon hit back with a quick drop goal but this heralded TJs’ only purple patch of the game.
Good control enabled Nicoll to force his way through and offload to Finlay Coxon-Smith to crash over and give the visitors the lead by just 17-15.
TJs had further chances but twice they were held up over the line and Wimbledon used a penalty to the corner to set up a drive and go 22-17 in front, then held out for the victory.
They are still at least 12 points from safety but TJs are sitting comfortably in eighth place as they welcome Redruth to The Slade next Saturday (April 14, kick-off 2pm).