On fire Sale add to Esher's woesSale FC 35 Esher 21
National League 1
Saturday October 22
Josh Brown's hat-trick condemned Esher to another defeat to maintain their disastrous start to life in National League One.
Two of the hooker's treble came in the first half, Sale reaching the break an unassailable 28 points clear and leaving their opponents to contemplate the long trip back home with the sombre record of seven reverses in as many outings, their only compensation a modest revival after the interval.
A lineout five metres out set up Brown to force his way over for the opener on 17 minutes, Kieran Wilkinson converting, and five minutes later the hosts struck again as wing Neville Edwards proved elusive before setting up Fergus Mulchrone. Wilkinson added the extras.
Brown's second came moments later – mauling powerfully from another close-range lineout and Wilkinson doing the honours once more – with Sale's try bonus secured by Ben Bamber on 34 minutes through another converted effort.
The hosts maintained their momentum at the start of the second half when Brown completed his hat-trick, Wilkinson maintaining his 100% record with the boot. But Esher came back into the game on 47 minutes as full-back Owen Waters raced from one end to the other for his side's first score.
With Sale having a man sent to the sinbin, back row Hugo Solway claimed the second to reward a period fierce pressure, a series of offences seeing the home side going down to 13 men on two occasions. Oran Murphy registered the third try with two minutes remaining, Sam Morley converting all three.
There was relief for Sale given they had lost their previous two outings but Esher, one place off the foot of the table, must now contemplate a home clash with fifth-placed Cinderford at Molesey Road on Saturday.
Games to come (home in bold) – Sat October 29: Cinderford;
Sat Nov 5: Cambridge; Sat 12: Chinnor: Sat 26: Hull;
Sat Dec 3: Bishop's Stortford; Sat 10: Darlington MP;
Fri 16: Rosslyn Park; Sat Jan 7: Birmingham Moseley;
Sat 14: Leeds Tykes; Sat 21: Plymouth Albion;
Sat 28: Taunton; Sat Feb 18: Sale FC;
Sat 25: Cinderford; Sat March 4: Cambridge; Sat 11: Chinnor;
Sat 25: Hull; Sat April 1: Bishop's Stortford;
Sat 15: Darlington MP; Sat 22: Rams