Blaydon put their recent roller-coaster form behind them with a well deserved win over 3rd placed Esher, taking a 4th minute lead which they never relinquished. But for conceding a string of penalties and failing to convert a number of chances it could and should have been a bigger winning margin.
A “chuffed to bits” director of rugby Micky Ward said ” We ripped them to bits in the first 5 minutes and should probably have scored 3 times in the first half. I was really pleased with the way they got stuck into a top team in the second half”.
Blaydon were almost over the visitors line in the first minute only to be penalised for crossing. Three minutes later however Tom Bramwell ran a clearance straight back at them, second row Shaun English punched a massive hole in the defensive wall, the ball was moved wide and full-back Rhodri Adamson stormed over in the corner.
Brett Connon failed with the conversion but in another 3 minutes landed a penalty to make it 8-0.
Thus far nothing had been seen of the visitors but when they finally got going kicked a penalty to the corner. Blaydon offended again at the line-out and lively Esher scrum-half Calum Waters took a quick tap to set the three-quarters away and for lock Peter Synnott to finish off in the corner.
Connon and then Paul Robert exchanged penalties and at the break it was 11-8 to Blaydon, a meagre return on the balance of play.
The second half was then much ado about nothing until the 64th minute when Andrew Baggott and Nathan Bailey combined in a swift attack.
Bailey went down injured and had to carried off, an Esher prop was yellow-carded and Connon put over his 3rd penalty to make it a 6 points advantage. The unfortunate outcome was that uncontested scrums resulted for a while and Blaydon’s strength was neutered.
Esher with lots of possession probed and probed but could make nothing of a resolute home defence and Blaydon went on to record a first ever and well earned win over the visitors.
Match report by John Brennan