Rugby: Battling TJs denied by last kick of the game
17th October 2018
Tonbridge Juddians 20 Barnes 21
BARNES showed great determination to achieve a narrow victory in National Two South as Tonbridge Juddians were thwarted by a last-minute penalty.
The London side had come up as champions of the London and South East Premier last season and a victory in their first match had been followed by a series of tight losses so they were desperate for a win.
Will Robinson slotted an early penalty for TJs and then added a second after Barnes had responded with a kick of their own.
Then the visitors took the lead though with a quick tap, chip and run by their elusive scrum-half for an unconverted try, so Barnes went in 8-6 ahead at the break.
The second half started a little shakily for TJs with a dropped pass and loss of territory. But somewhat against the run of play, they stole the ball at the ruck and a long Robinson pass reached Murray Galbraith-Lowe on the right wing.
From the halfway line his strength took him through several tackles and he touched down under the posts. Robinson converted and TJs were back in the lead.
Barnes hit back and levelled the scores though with a try from a lineout drive but again they could not convert, so it was 13-13 and very much nip and tuck.
TJs then produced their best spell of play in the game. The home side were holding on to their passes and they found greater determination.
The reward for this improvement was a move from one side of the field to the other until, popping up this time on the left wing, Galbraith-Lowe crossed for his second try.
Even better was the fact that Robinson’s kick from the touchline hit the mark and the home side stretched their lead to seven points.
There were still 25 minutes to go and TJs would have to maintain that level of spirit and energy if they were to keep their noses in front.
They thwarted Barnes at every turn but could not break out of their own half. Eventually the dam burst, Truman Sullivan was yellow-carded and Barnes scored an unconverted try to make it 20-18 with seven minutes left.
The siege continued and TJs were penalised once again at the scrum. With the last kick of the match the Barnes No 9 converted a penalty to give the visitors a deserved win.
Fifth-placed TJs head to league leaders The Rams in Reading on Saturday [October 20, kick-off 3pm].
TJs’ Pink Ladies nearly upset the apple cart with a 38-31 loss at Canterbury. They led 17-12 at one point, slipped back to 17-31 and then rallied before just missing out.