Blaydon 17, Esher 7


The conditions might have been atrocious, driving rain and deep mud, but what a result for Blaydon, the 4 points gained reducing the gap between them and 5th bottom Esher to 10, and they have a game in hand. With other results at the bottom also going their way the Crow Trees side had much to celebrate, Micky Ward calling it “A massive result”, and it may well prove crucial by the end of the season.
On their first excursion over half-way Blaydon kicked a penalty to the 22 metre line and proceeded to march Esher back to the try line whereupon the visitors promptly pulled down the maul. Their hooker Neil Sweeney was sent to the sin-bin and at the short scrum Blaydon simply repeated the marching process for No8 Jason to pick up and score.
It only took Esher 5 minutes to wipe out the advantage however after Blaydon had run into difficulties in clearing their lines. When they lost possession Esher came right back at them for winger Spencer Sutherland to nip over in the corner and Stephan Boatman add a terrific conversion in the awful conditions.
The visitors then held a 2 point lead to the break and soon after the restart worked their way into the home 22 and drove on to cross the line only to fatally knock-on in the process. Blaydon swept up-field led by Frazer Wilson chasing a high kick, and from another up and under skipper Keith Laughlin hounded the Esher defence into an error on their own line.
The pack got the push on at the 5 metre scrum where the ball was whipped out to Tom Bramwell to score under the posts and Brett Connon to add the extras and make it 12-7.
Going into the last 10 minutes Blaydon were on the back foot defending their precious lead when Andrew Davidson was harshly , as is the case nowadays, yellow carded for a high tackle and the visitors pressed on. On a day of numerous knock-ons however they again forfeited possession, allowing Blaydon to clear and then benefit from another infringement.
Predictably it went to the corner and the home pack simply drove it over the line for Jack Beckwith to put the icing on the cake and end a perfect day.

John Brennan