by Owen Jones
Streatham-Croydon’s two-year unbeaten home league record came to a disappointing end on Saturday thanks to a 18-25 defeat at the hands of Old Tonbridgians.
Both sides had been promoted from Surrey 3 last year and have wildly divergent beginnings to their new season.
Streatham have won both their early fixtures, while Tonbridgians had most recently lost by 50 points to the league's pace-setters Battersea Ironsides.
The early exchanges were suitably disjointed with both sides trading penalties and forays into opposition territory.
The home side were dealt a particularly cruel blow even before the game commenced with fly-half Chris Geary having to bow out because of injury.
Into the void stepped Danny Markevics who played admirably and was the one bright mark on an otherwise grey day.
Defensive indecision by the home side and a number of missed tackles saw Tonbridgians score the game's opening try into the corner.
From a missed Tonbridgians penalty on 28 minutes Streatham suddenly and for all too brief a period decided to adhere to their game plan and benefited as a result.
Excellent carries from the home side’s forwards and adept handling and distribution from Chris Tipton gave winger Kai Casemiss the merest hint of space on the wing.
Needing little more he managed to touch down when it would have appeared for all the world that Tonbridgians had shepherded him safely out to touch.
A second try from full-back Charlie Crewe, in the opposite corner drew the first half to a close with Streatham 15-11 to the good.
A penalty at the beginning of the second half allowed Streatham a foundation from which they should have built skyward, this was not to materialise.
Streatham’s greatest nemesis on the day was not the opposition but instead their wilful inability to prevent a stream of penalties.
Tonbridgians who were particularly impressive at the breakdown instigated indiscretions at the ruck which gave them simple scoring opportunities.
Streatham continued to seek a try which would bring about parity in the final throws of the game but instead had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Streatham will be sure to re-double their efforts and turn to a cup fixture against Old Catherhamians this coming Saturday.