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Match Report Esher v Leeds Tykes

Match report by Steph Franklin

Despite four impressive tries, two missed conversions came between Esher and a much-needed first win, as Leeds Tykes left Molesey Road with the victory.

Neither of the two newly-promoted sides had yet managed to secure a win this season, leaving both teams with a point to prove going into the match. Esher came out firing from kickoff, with a first try coming a mere three minutes in, thanks to winger Will Foster who beat three Leeds defenders to sneak over in the corner, though the conversion missed its mark.

A yellow card for Esher in the tenth minute gave the visitors an advantage which they used to full effect, with an impressive score from Seremaia Turagabeci, duly converted by Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley.

Despite being a man down, the home side managed another try in the 17th minute, this time thanks to scrum half Pierre Thompson, who seized an opportunity to slip through a gap in the visitors' defences to score, again, in the corner. The conversion, from the same tricky angle as before, missed its mark, which was to prove costly as the game continued.

One more try for the Tykes - from Grayson Maguire - closed out the half with the teams separated by a mere two points.

The second half opened with a penalty try for the home side, and a yellow card for Leeds - though neither side managed another score in the sin bin period. Esher's Sam Morley was next to score, dodging the Tykes' defences to race round under the posts, leaving himself a straightforward task for the conversion, Esher's only successful kick of the afternoon.

Leeds followed up almost immediately with another try, this time from John Okafor, and another successful conversion for Maxwell-Whiteley. The final try of the afternoon, from Leeds' Junior Nu'u, took the visitors into the lead once again, setting the stage for a tense final five minutes.

The game's drama peaked in the final moments, as, with only two points separating them, Esher had an opportunity for a penalty which would have once again handed them the lead. With the kick, once again, missing the mark and the ball still in play, the home side mounted an attack on the Leeds line, before a loose pass gave the visitors an opportunity to intercept, though they were judged to be offside. Esher went for the corner as the clock ticked over to full time, hoping to score at the death and secure victory, but it wasn't to be, leaving the Tykes celebrating as they drove the maul into touch  

Report credit Steph Franklin


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