ESHER EDGE BREATHLESS ENCOUNTER AT CROW TREES
John Brennan at Crow Trees
BLAYDON (13) 25
Tries: Bramwell, Banks, Bell
Convs: Baggett (2)
Pens: Baggett (2)
ESHER RUGBY (10) 35
Convs: Daniels (2)
Pen: Daniels (2)
The second and third place finishers last season fought out an epic struggle at Crow Trees, with Esher, who had the advantage in the backs, just about deserving their third win in a row.
A Luke Daniels penalty got Esher onto the scoreboard, but Andrew Baggett responded with an impressive brace, just before the opening try of the game on the half hour mark.
Having weathered the early storm, Blaydon hit back to grab the lead going to the interval.
Scrum-half Jonny Burn almost went over from a short scrum only to be penalised but from the clearance, replacement Tom Bramwell latched onto a loose ball and raced clear.
Baggett’s conversion made it 13-10 at the end of a pulsating half.
Daniels levelled things up early in the second period, only for Blaydon to swiftly regain the lead when the visitors had difficulty in clearing their own line-out ball. Baggett put in Tom Banks for a well-worked score, with the host team’s play-maker scoring the conversion.
Disappointing for the home side, they immediately handed back the initiative to Esher, conceding three tries in quick succession to an increasingly confident group from Molesey Road.
Despite Brandon Walker, on his first start for the club, being held up after embarking on a barraging run, Luke Daniels benefitted by scoring in the corner. Tries from the in-form duo of Spencer Sutherland and Neil Sweeney duly followed, effectively putting the game out of the northerners’ reach.
Blaydon lock Robert Bell looked to have earned his side a bonus point with a late effort, but it was Esher who were to have the final say, as Andy Wright added a fifth and final try to wrap up all five points and leave Blaydon with nothing to show for their efforts.
Blaydon: Bailey; Barber, Penny, Banks, Brown; Baggett, Burn; Kalbraier, Entressengle, Ward; Wearmouth (c), Archibald; Laughlin, Bell, Smithson.
Replacements: Hallam for Kalbraier (blood, 34-36) & Ward (40), Nyemba for Smithson (69), Bate for Archibald (47), Bramwell for Penny (17), Grimes for Brown (52), Ward for Kalbraier (66).
Sin bin: Bailey (3)
Sin bin: Synnott (74)
Ref: Mr. Andrew Jackson