The match started with both teams cautiously feeling out each other’s defensive capabilities and with both sets of forwards not giving an inch at the scrum; neither team was giving away needless penalties.
It took 10 minutes before the deadlock was broken by a Coventry try which was created by a missed Esher lineout in the Coventry 22. The ball was passed through their backline quickly to the wing, the Esher defence were struggling to get across and a simple inside pass set their centre away to score. The try was converted and the score read 7-0.
Esher’s response was great, after a penalty for "not releasing" Paul Roberts kicked Esher deep into the Coventry half. The lineout was won and the driving maul was formed, this sucked in the Coventry defenders. Calum Waters quickly released Paul Roberts who scored out wide. The conversion was missed, the score was 7-5 with 15 minutes gone.
Esher continued to attack and would have led if it hadn’t been for some poor handling, although the same could have been said for Coventry. It took a penalty for collapsing the scrum for the score board to change, and Coventry led 10-5 halfway through the half.
Esher again responded well with their second try of the game (one for the England Rugby highlight wheel). The try was conceived in the Esher half, the ball became loose at the ruck and Tom Cheeseman mopped up, it was then recycled through to Paul Roberts who passed to Tom Cheeseman, outside to Joe Beckett who stepped his man and passed inside to Spencer Sutherland who raced into the Coventry 22 where he unleashed Calum Waters to storm into the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful but the score was tied at 10-10 with 5 minutes left in the half.
Esher then led for the first time with a try from Neil Sweeney who was playing a brief cameo on the wing. It started with a quick tap from Calum Waters who passed to Cameron Zeiss, the ball was taken into contact, it was recycled well and Paul Roberts released Lloyd Davies who wriggled his way into the Coventry 22 before passing outside to a grateful Neil Sweeney who ran in to score in the corner. The conversion was again unsuccessful, Esher led 10-15 at half time.
Esher started the second half as they finished the first and scored their fourth try of the game within 4 minutes of the restart. This came from a great break by Joe Brown which saw him take the ball deep into the Coventry half, Lloyd Davies was on hand to assist and release Ollie Marriott to score. This time the conversion was successful and Esher led 10-22.
The game then became an arm wrestle with both sides showing flashes of brilliance but it was Coventry who gained the upper hand and Esher saw their lead disappear and found themselves 32-22 behind with Coventry scoring three quick tries and a penalty.
With both teams making replacements the game continued to be played at a high intensity. Esher continued to attack and were rewarded with their fifth try of the game. Spencer Sutherland at his old club was a man on fire and made a break through the Coventry defence, he was tackled in the Coventry 22, Esher’s forwards attacked round the fringes of the breakdown and Andrew Garner stole in from a yard out. The score was 32-27 with just a few minutes left.
Esher continued to attack as they chased the win however a penalty conceded at the breakdown meant that Coventry extended their lead to 35-27. The score remained at that and Esher left with just a point to show for their efforts.
Tries: Paul Roberts, Calum Waters, Neil Sweeney, Oliver Marriott and Andrew Garner
Conversion: Paul Roberts