Match Report: Esher 41-21 Old Albanian

By Steph Franklin

The Eees made it a fifth successive win at Molesey road on Saturday as they triumphed against a gutsy Old Albanian side.

It was Daniel Rowland who opened the scoring a mere four minutes into the game after a blistering attack sent the ball wide to Harri Lang on the the opposite wing, drawing in defenders and making space for Rowland to race over in his own corner. Another opportunity to score from a seemingly unstoppable maul was thwarted after the hosts conceded a penalty, granting an eleventh-hour reprieve to the visitors.

Undeterred by a yellow card in the twenty-first minute, Old Albanian were next to score thanks to some impressive pace from scrum half Elliott McPhun. The extras were added by Daniel Watt, handing the lead to the visitors.

This spurred the home side into action, however, and Esher went on the attack from the restart, with number 8 Harvey Scott forcing his way through the OAs' defences to score. The conversion missed its mark, but the hosts were back in the lead, where they were to remain until the final whistle.

Esher squeezed one more try into the first half, thanks to a dominant display from the forwards. It was lock Hugh Sloan who claimed the score as the pack launched a powerful maul over the line. Sam Morley was, this time, able to add the conversion, closing the first half with the visitors ten points behind their hosts.

Old Albanian came out fighting in the second half, with winger Alex Noot racing over the line in a matter of seconds and Watt once again adding the extras. This once again added fuel to Esher's fire as they mounted an aggressive attack from the subsequent restart, with centre Chris Davies carrying two defenders with him as he tumbled across to score and Morley slotting the conversion kick.

Another yellow card for Old Albanian in the ninth minute gave the hosts a second opportunity to capitalise on their man advantage, with a wonderful display of fast-paced play from the backs giving Harri Lang his scoring opportunity, duly converted by Morley, who also neatly slotted a penalty kick a few moments later.

OAs kept fighting, however, taking control from the restart as the backs put on an impressive display, running the length of the pitch as the Esher defence tried and failed to hold them back. It was Alessandro Ricci who sped across in the corner, narrowly avoiding the touchline, for the visitors' final try of the afternoon, and Watt had no trouble with the angle of his final kick.

It was up to Jack Lavin to provide the final try of the afternoon, expertly poaching the ball from the visitors in their own 22, and racing over the line at lightning speed to score under the posts, leaving an easy kick for Morley.

This resounding victory keeps us at second place in the table, as we look towards next weekend's home fixture against now-fourth-placed Guernsey. 

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