Vice captain insists the promotion dream is still alive
Tom Cheeseman insists Esher have not given up on their promotion dream.
Head coach Ollie Smith’s side slipped to their fourth defeat of the season at table-topping Rosslyn Park a fortnight ago, but they roared back to form with a comfortable win over Macclesfield last weekend.
They remain fourth in the National Division One table but are eight points adrift of the top spot after 13 games as they bid to make a swift return to the Championship.
Vice-captain Cheeseman, below right, believes the best is yet to come from an Esher side in transition following relegation and the former Bath and Harlequins ace reckons Smith’s men take inspiration from last season’s champs Jersey.
He said: “We’ve lost a few games, but we’ve still got Ealing and Rosslyn Park to come to our place so our ambition stays the same.
“I still think we will be right there at the end of the season. It won’t be the games we’ve lost at Rosslyn Park and Ealing that cost us, but the results at Fylde and Wharfedale, where we let ourselves down.
“We are hard to beat at home, but we’re a brand new team.
“We lost a lot of players last year and it does take time to gel. We’ve shown glimpses of brilliance but a couple of unforced errors have cost us.
“All successful teams have been together for a long time. Sides that are consistently in the hunt for trophies, like Leicester Tigers, have the majority of the same squad season-to-season.
“That team camaraderie and spirit takes a while to build but, come the end of the season, I think we will finish very strongly.”
And Cheeseman knows Esher cannot afford any complacency at Tynedale this weekend.
He said: “When we play teams lower down in the table we have to get bonus points.
“If we pick up any losing bonus points away against the top teams and four-try bonus points at home, then I think we will be in the running.
“It’s still very much in our hands. It is not impossible.
“Our captain, Ian Kench, said after the defeat by Park that at this stage last year Jersey were eighth and they still went up.
“But we can’t be complacent against Tynedale. The first thing is to win the game. When we think we’ve secured the win we can push for the four tries, but Corbridge is a tough place to go and we will go there to win first.”