Esher 14 Bury St Edmunds 21
National Division Two South
Saturday January 11
Giving away two tries in the first dozen minutes set Esher on the way to a second defeat as Bury St Edmunds completed the double over them.
Keen to avenge their reverse in Suffolk back in September, the hosts made that task all the harder when a stray pass from fly-half Tristan Roberts was intercepted by Greg White in the second minute, allowing him to score unchallenged between the posts.
And the Elmbridge side's plight grew even worse on 12 minutes as they proved unable to stop Rob Gardner forcing his way through for the second. Having picked out his jumper with the throw, the hooker took advantage of a rolling maul driving over the line to touch down as his side made the most of having a stiff breeze behind them for a 14-point lead.
Esher consistently found themselves bettered up front and, despite frequently forcing their way upfield, were frustrated by an inability to convert territory into points.
A double substitution – Sam Bullock and Dan Lamb replacing Callum Monks and Tom Lloyd – and persistence finally paid off moments from the interval when hooker Andy Hamilton touched down, rewarding the hosts for driving ferociously following a lineout. Roberts converted despite the difficult angle.
That prompted hopes that Esher's habit of hitting top gear in the second half would see them to victory – not least with the wind now behind them – and although a penalty flew wide, a break from Matt Lowes prompted the second. Centre Lennox Anyanwu looked set to score before being held up and Lowes was on hand to finish off, the extras making it 14-14.
Bury St Edmunds had other ideas, though, a flowing move seeing fly-half Kodie Drury-Hawkins go over for their third try, putting them well on the way to victory.
Once more Esher fought ferociously but were frustrated again by their own errors and inability to cash in on lineouts deep in the visitors' territory, consistently being bettered at the set-pieces.
They head to Leicester Lions on Saturday bidding for a first win since December 14, having beaten the East Midlands side – who are three places and nine points in front – when they met back in October.