On a bright October afternoon a battling Blaydon fought for a bonus point, whilst, Esher hit eleven try heaven.
After last week’s bonus point defeat away at Hull Ionians still fresh in the Esher teams minds they started the game as they finished the last on the attack. Within 2 minutes Esher scored the first try of the game through loosehead Karl Furey. Stephen Boatman in his first start of the season made a lovely inside break in midfield, he was tackled 5 metres out, the ball was recycled out wide were Karl Furey happily received the pass and ran in from 5 metres out, the conversion was successful by Stephen Boatman.
The Esher pressure was relentless after the restart, Andrew Garner was snipping at the breakdown and making good yards. After an attack of 8 phases the ball was passed out to Karl Furey in the midfield who ran a straight hard line, brought in two defenders and was still able to score next to the posts. Two tries for the loosehead within 5 minutes and two successful conversions, 14-0 to Esher.
Blaydon started to get into the game and after a brave decision to go for the lineout instead of a kickable penalty they registered their first try of the game. It came from a deflected grubber kick which popped up kindly to Tom Small who finished the move off nicely. The conversion was missed, 14-5 with 10 minutes gone.
Blaydon now with their gander up went back on the attack. After some enterprising work in the midfield they found themselves 5 metres from the Esher tryline, but Esher sprang from defence to attack to score the best try of the game. At the ruck the ball was stolen, the ball went through to the hands were the full of industry Charlie Gossington made a break out wide, the ball was passed infield where Gabriel Ibitoye hit the line at pace and ghosted through the Blaydon scrambling defence to score in the corner, the conversion was unsuccessful. 19-5 with 15 minutes gone.
Blaydon were already chasing the game and began to play a risky offload game which was capitalised on by Esher. Andrew Garner who was busy all game intercepted a loose off load he took the ball into tackle where it was recycled quickly, just inside the Blaydon half with their defence rushing up Tom Yellowlees floated a pace out wide to Spencer Sutherland who stormed in from 30 metres out to score Esher’s forth try of the game. The conversion from Stephen Boatman was successful, Esher had secured the bonus point within 19 minutes, 26-5.
Both teams exchanged further scores with Joe Brown scoring under the posts after finding a gap in the Blaydon midfield to run in from 20 metres out and Blaydon scoring from a driving lineout, to leave the score at 31-12 with 10 minutes left in the half.
Esher responded with their own well worked lineout try with Tom Yellowlees sprinting through a gap to score in the corner from 5 metres out, the conversion was successful, 38-12 to Esher.
Esher continued to attack and Joe Brown scored his second try of the game which was the last action of the first half. Esher led 45-12.
The second half was much the same to the first half, after a scrappy first 10 minutes. Esher’s set piece was a great platform to attack from and from a move at the back of the scrum to stretch the Blaydon defence wide the ball was passed back in field where Andrew Garner set the Blaydon fullback after another line break and Cameron Gentles scored underneath the posts. 52-12.
Blaydon responded with their third try of the game before another dominant scrum set piece saw Andrew Garner score under the posts. With the conversion from Stephen Boatman Esher led 59-17 with 20 minutes left in the game.
Both teams exchanged tries which saw Blaydon achieve the try bonus point.
It was a full 80 minute performance by Esher and in similar vain to the first half Joe Brown scored with the play of the game, a hatrick for the Esher centre. Callum Monks who replaced Tom Cheeseman was full of running and enterprise ran a great line and put Charlie Gossington through a gap, the ball was passed inside to Stephen Boatman who delayed his pass to set the Blaydon fullback and for Joe Brown to score the easiest of his three tries. The conversion was successful, and the fulltime score read 71-24.
Tries: Karl Furey (2) Ibitoye, Sutherland, Yellowlees, Brown (3), Gentles, Garner, James
Conversions: Boatman (8)
A massive thank you to volunteer photographer Sarah John at Flawless Photos Focus Ltd