Taunton and Chinnor survive scares
Bury St Edmunds and Tonbridge Juddians gave the top two in National Two South a fright before finally being edged out in their respective Round Seven clashes.
League leaders Taunton Titans bounced back from letting Bury take a 14 point lead while Chinnor had to work extremely hard to maintain their superb home record against new boys Tonbridge Juddians.
Third placed Cinderford also clinched a narrow win on the weekend as they left it late to beat Worthing Raiders while Canterbury edged out Redruth to continue their excellent start to the season.
Elsewhere in the top-half, Redingensians are up to fifth after a victory over Broadstreet while Barnstaple lost out to Henley Hawks.
At the wrong end of the table, Wimbledon secured two bonus points in defeat against Clifton and London Irish Wild Geese sealed a crucial win over Old Redcliffians.
Bury St Edmunds 20-26 Taunton Titans
Taunton Titans recovered from a 14 point half-time deficit to secure a victory against a strong Bury St Edmunds side.
Chris Lord and Sean Stapleton crossed for Bury’s tries in the first period while Fraser Honey landed a drop-goal to give them a 17-3 lead.
Gary Kingdom slotted over Taunton’s three points late in the first half, but two more penalties from the fly-half and a converted Sam Prior try was the perfect start to the second 40 for Tony Yapp’s men.
Dan Frost was on hand to extend Taunton’s lead to six points, but Bury weren’t about to roll over.
Honey and Kingdom exchanged penalties, but despite a late surge of pressure from the hosts, Taunton held out for their seventh straight win of the campaign.
Chinnor 24-20 Tonbridge Juddians
Chinnor held on for a nervy victory over Tonbridge Juddians at Kingsey Road to stretch their winning run to six matches.
The main bulk of the action came in the second half with Ben Manning and Tom Ranaboldo crossing as Chinnor twice came from behind against a stubborn Tonbridge side.
Manning had edged Chinnor in front at the break with his first try of the afternoon, but TJs set the tone for the afternoon when Mike O’Sullivan dotted down.
Richie Bent then put the newly promoted side ahead after half-time, but the ebb and flow nature of this game continued.
Manning’s second was cancelled out by Murray Galbrith-Lowe, but a Jonny Bentley penalty and Ranaboldo’s debut score gave Matt Williams’ men the advantage again.
But, the visitors weren’t going to leave Chinnor empty handed and fully deserved their bonus-point score through Hugo Watson.
Worthing Raiders 27-29 Cinderford
Carwyn Penny’s late try ensured Cinderford bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a victory in an enthralling game against Worthing Raiders.
Johnathan Dawe and Jack Maslen both scored twice to put Worthing in control at break, with Matt Lane grabbing a brace for Cinderford.
However, the Raiders could not hold onto their advantage. Rob Winchle crossed for the away side in the second period before Penny’s late converted score secured Cinderford’s sixth win of the season.
Canterbury 18-16 Redruth
Two excellent Aiden Moss tries secured victory for Canterbury over Redruth as the hosts extended their winning run to six matches.
The score was 15-13 to the City Men at half-time, courtesy of both Moss tries and an Ollie Best penalty while Nielson Webber and Connor Gilbert crossed either side of Ashley Hosking’s three pointer.
When Sam Matavesi was sent to the sin-bin just six minutes after half-time, Canterbury failed to take advantage and it was the Reds that went ahead through another Hosking penalty.
However, the home side responded and a second penalty from Best on 68 minutes ultimately clinched the win for Canterbury.
Redingensians 47-19 Broadstreet
Redingensians beat Broadstreet to secure a bonus-point win which lifts them to fifth in the National Two South table.
Ben Henderson and Matt Weller crossed for the hosts in the first half, with Andy Murray going for Broadstreet.
The game continued to be nip and tuck in the second period as a penalty try and a score from Greg Illingworth were cancelled out by tries from Ian Thatcher and Connor Eastgate.
However, three scores from Henderson, Illingworth and Ollie Foxley took the game away from ‘Street as the Rams notched up 47 points for the second time in as many weeks.
Henley Hawks 29-22 Barnstaple
Henley Hawks claimed their third win of the season in a tightly contested match against Barnstaple.
Dan Southworth put Barnstaple 7-0 ahead before a penalty from George Jackson and a Brad Cook converted try gave the hosts a three point lead.
Jordan Petherbridge tied the game up with a penalty just before the break, but Dave Clements’ try followed to put the Hawks in front at half-time.
Liam O’Neil then added his name to the scoresheet and Sam Portland also went over as Henley took control of this encounter.
However, Will Topps and Gareth Evans both crossed the whitewash to set-up a nervy finish, but Henley held on to stretch their unbeaten run to three matches.
Clifton 25-20 Wimbledon
Clifton battled to victory over a spirited Wimbledon side to clinch their third from their last four matches.
Tries from Charlie Hubert and Callum Roberts, either side of Dan Cheers’ try, gave the Lavender and Blacks a half-time lead.
After Roberts had crossed for his second to increase Clifton’s advantage, the visitors responded, with Sam Waltier going over.
Both sides then exchanged penalties before Wimbledon’s James Doe landed another three points right at the death to secure the Dons a well-deserved bonus-point.
London Irish Wild Geese 53-22 Old Redcliffians
London Irish Wild Geese moved out of the National Two South relegation places with a comfortable win over newly promoted Old Redcliffians at Hazlewood.
The home side scored nine tries overall and they led 36-8 at half-time which put them on course for just their second win of the campaign.
Old Redcliffians, who are still yet to taste victory at this level, replied strongly after the break, but the Wild Geese were able to see the game out.
The result leaves the hosts five points clear of the bottom three while ORs now sit 10 points adrift of safety at this embryonic stage of the season.