With only four weeks to go until the start of the rugby calendar, pre-season games offer a great opportunity to try out different combinations, changes in playing positions and structure within the team.
Esher did just that, showing real intent to run with the ball, play from set piece and keep ball in hand.
Having travelled from Wales to Molesey Road, Cross Keys played a strong starting side, bringing a match day squad of 23 players and enforcing a much more attritional style of rugby.
Keys put all of their 10 points past Esher in the first half, scoring a try, adding the conversion and knocking over a penalty for good.
Esher's extended match day squad of 29 included many new faces, bolstered by returning players and new signings for the year ahead. The men in Black and Amber refused to kick for points, not once pointing towards the sticks.
Instead it was through keeping possession and playing with ball in hand that centre Ollie Richards crossed to score a try for Esher.
However the response was not enough and Esher had to settle for a 10 - 5 loss, albeit just one try a piece.
Esher's 1st XV squad were:
1. Colm McMahon
2. Ben Edwards
3. Alex Mount
4. Jack Tredrea
5. Ian Kench (captain)
6. Joe Garner
7. Charlie Gossington
8. Harrison Collins
9. Stuart Cummins / Joe McManus
10. Ian Cross
11. Spencer Sutherland
12. Tom Bedford
13. Ollie Richards
14. Paul O’Lima
15. Micky Wilson
David Millard, Neil Sweeney / Charlie Burman, Ben Featherstone, Peter Daly, Robbie Richardson / Peter Synnott, Brandon Walker, Jack Cooke, Will Hopkins, Joe Brown, Tom Chalcraft, Andy Jones