National Division Two South, Leicester Lions 27 Esher 21, Saturday September 25 2021
Written by Richard Spiller
A hat-trick of tries for Alex Wilcockson ensured Leicester Lions ended Esher's 100% start to the season.
Victories by wide margins over Rochford, Dings Crusaders and Barnstaple had established Es among the frontrunners but that was ended in the East Midlands on Saturday.
Playing down the slope, the visitors were hoping to maintain their free-scoring form so far but it was Lions who went in front on 22 minutes when Wilcockson went over for an unconverted try wide out.
Sam Morley narrowed the gap seven minutes later but Esher suffered a blow with a yellow card for a skipper Adam Bullett, following a technical offence, Ben Young slotting the resulting penalty and his side reaching half time 8-3 ahead.
Leicester were first to score after the interval as well, pressure up front seeing the ball fed out for Wilcockson to go over again.
That prompted an Esher reply, hooker Joseph Vajner forcing his way over and Morley converting to make it 13-10. But the deficit was soon increased to 10 points, Wilcockson pouncing on a clearance kick and going over for his hat-trick, Young adding the extras.
The visitors were by no means done, Dan Rowland scoring in the corner for a converted effort and Morley adding a penalty to leave just two points in the match.
Lions sealed success with 10 minutes remaining, a sustained drive enabling Oli Taylor to drive over for a pushover try, Young's conversion making it 27-18. Morley closed the gap as time ran out but it was too late