Old Redcliffians 25 Esher 25
National Division 2 South
Saturday February 1 2020
Lorcan Dow snatched a draw for Esher in the dying moments as they staged yet another fighting comeback at Old Redcliffians.
The Elmbridge side would have had even more to cheer had the resulting conversion not been charged down, which ensured ORs were above Sutton & Epsom on points difference in the desperate scramble to avoid relegation.
Wing Luke Rapson put the hosts in front, Tristan Roberts responding with a penalty but a second score from Scott Coster on 14 minutes – again converted – ensured Redcliffians were in control. With Esher down to 14 after Cameron Wilkins was dispatched to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, Rapson struck for a second time after intercepting a loose pass, making it 19-3.
An action-packed first half saw full-back Callum Monks go over at the other end – the conversion attempt hitting a post – and skipper Charlie Gossington lightened the mood further with a bulldozing charge over line. The extras escaped once more but the deficit was just six points going into the second half, although Es now faced battling uphill and into a stiff wind.
Dominic Sprague was on target with a penalty for the hosts after the interval but Esher hopes were kept alive by hooker Andy Hamilton on 61 minutes, capitalising on his side driving over from a lineout – an area of the game which has seen them struggle of late.
Sam Druce, having taken over kicking duties, added the extras only for Sprague to strike with another penalty at the other end, putting Reds five points in front.
Sent on as a replacement for flanker Ben Davies, Dow ensured Es took advantage of the hosts suffering a yellow card when a scrum two minutes from time set up his scoring chance but the victory got away in a thrilling final passage of play.
Having pushed back into the top half of the table on the back of two victories and a draw, seventh-placed Esher host basement side Bournemouth at Molesey Road on Saturday (3pm).