The Esher forwards produce a dominant display to muscle their way past a spirited Worthing side and put the EEE’s on the right track
After 3 consecutive losses and a disappointing result away to local rivals Blackheath last time out Esher was keen to put that to bed with the visit of struggling Worthing.
Worthing showed their intent from the off applying constant pressure on the Esher defence forcing the errors from the home side. Their pressure was rewarded after 5 minutes with a penalty which fly-half Kieran Leeming duly converted for a 5-0 lead.
But the response from the home side was swift. After Worthing was reduced to 14 men a powerful drive from a 5m scrum created a platform and simple opportunity for Mike Macfarlane to dot the ball down. Tom Whelan converted and Esher took the lead at 7-3 after 10 minutes.
The visitors began to string some phases together but lacked the cutting edge to finish off any opportunities.
Both teams were then reduced to 14 men as Worthing second row Scott Barlow and Esher second row Kris Chesney were both shown yellow for their part in a scrap off the ball.
Worthing soon reduced the gap to 1 point with another Kieran Leeming penalty on 26 minutes.
A great scything run from Esher fly-half Tom Whelan brought the EEE’s back within the Worthing half but his pass to winger Spencer Sutherland failed to go to hand. However play was brought back by the referee and Whelan converted the penalty to put Esher 10-6 up on 36 minutes.
But Worthing then took the lead through a well taken try for former Esher boy Ollie Richards who spotted a gap in the Esher defence to glide through for the score. Leeming converted for a 13-10 lead with minutes remaining of the first half.
However Esher had the final say of the half to take a half-time lead as Tom Cheeseman went over for the try. Whelan converted to give Esher a 17-13 lead at the break.
Half-time: Esher 17-13 Worthing
Worthing began the 2nd half the better team. Good early pressure resulted in Esher being given a 2nd yellow card with prop Jake Caulfield sent to the bin. Kieran Leeming kicked the resultant penalty to close the gap to 1 point once more at 17-16 after 47 minutes.
Esher responded immediately as prop Stewart Maguire crashed over. Tom Whelan conversion was missed but Esher’s lead had been extended back to 6 points at 22-16 after 50 minutes.
Both teams showed endeavour in attack and a willingness to run the ball down the wider channels.
Esher then scored their 3rd try through a penalty try after a powerful drive at scrum time. Whelan converted once more to take the lead out to 29-19.
Esher ended the game on a high as they secured the bonus point try through replacement centre Freddie Strange who went over the whitewash unchallenged. Whelan converted and brought an end to the game.
It was a much improved performance from Esher. Boys will have gained some confidence after getting back to winning ways. The 2nd half was improved on the 1st. Some defensive lapses need to be sorted out as next up is a tough away trip to Fylde.
FULL-TIME: Esher 36-19 Worthing