1ST XV MATCH REPORT by Steph Franklin

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Against some very stiff opposition

Barnstaple RFC 14-27 Esher 1st XV

Esher Cardinals 7-55 Ram Titans (2nd XV)

Esher Abbots 11-33 Dorking A

Battersea Ironsides Vets 54-14 Esher Expendables


1ST XV MATCH REPORT by Steph Franklin

Esher overcame a tough Barnstaple defence to make it nine wins in a row after a fierce battle at Pottington Road.

Our hosts went on the attack from the start with the lion's share of possession until a corner kick missed touch in the tenth minute, handing possession to the EEEs and giving us our first opportunity of the afternoon. Moments later Dan Rowland was racing for the line, but was stopped short by the Barum defence. Undeterred, we sent the ball out to the opposite wing where it found the hands of Fin McBrearty, who crashed over in the corner before Sam Morley slotted the conversion.

Barnstaple stepped up their attack once again, with a driving maul coming dangerously close to getting them on the scoreboard, but we managed to steal the ball as Jack Lavin raced almost the length of the pitch before a fumbled pass caused us to knock on over the line.

Esher were gathering momentum now, launching another attack on the Barnstaple line, though we were prevented from scoring by some solid defensive work from the hosts. It was a further ten minutes before we made it onto the scoreboard again, this time driving over the line, with Lorcan Dow claiming the score, and Morley once again adding the extras.

The final five minutes of the first half brought more action and two more tries. The first came courtesy of some beautiful work from Jack Lavin and Dan Rowland - both of whom stood out in this game - with Rowland dotting the ball down, but this time the conversion attempt missed its mark.

At this point our luck changed, with a yellow card taking us down to fourteen men and Barnstaple making the most of the man advantage with a successfully converted try on the stroke of half time.

The second half began with a successful penalty kick from Sam Morley in the 47th minute, though neither team managed a try until the final ten minutes of the game, though Barnstaple had stepped up their attacks on our line. Hugh Sloan gave us our bonus point try as we approached the end of the game, though the conversion was again unsuccessful.

It was left to Barnstaple to score the final try of the game in the final moments - with an impressive cross-field kick as the hosts attacked the Esher line proving too much for our defence. A successful conversion brought the score to 14 - 27, where it was to stay for the remainder of the match.


In Summary

The Cardinals faced reportedly Rams strongest ever 2nd XV including Cameron Zeiss who had over 100 caps for Esher's 1st XV as a tighthead.

Esher Abbots faced a very strong Dorking 2nd XV with Dorking 1st XV top of London & South East Premier Division (immediately below National 2 South) at half time the score was at 11 all.

Esher Expendables faced a large and young Battersea Ironsides squad and were only 5 points adrift with 15 minutes to go.

Everyone had a very tough day at the office! 

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