Redruth 26 Esher 34

National Division Two South

Saturday October 23

Fly-half Sam Morley spearheaded Esher’s charge to victory in Cornwall as they ended Redruth’s 23-month unbeaten run.

The hosts had not tasted defeat in 20 matches over that time and started the day in second place but found themselves 27-7 down by half time, which meant even a sterling fightback after the interval could not avert defeat.

Esher, having squeaked past Hinckley a week earlier on the back of Morley’s last-ditch conversion, made the most of having a stiff breeze behind them and took advantage of a lineout for flanker Harvey Scott to go over on six minutes, converted by Morley.

It was soon level, full-back Joel Matavesi claiming the try after another set-piece and Fraser Honey adding the extras.

But the visitors were determined that their long trip would be worthwhile and their relative lack of punch up front was well camouflaged by stand-off Morley taking charge and being expertly supported by his back row. Given sufficient ball, Esher’s backs are a match for any in the competition and they showed just why as Dan Rowland struck twice and fellow wing Harri Lang went over too, a penalty driving them up to 27-7 by the break.

It got even better for them early in the second half, Morley capping his performance by scoring the fifth try and converting.

Redruth came back into the match strongly, the breeze now in their favour, Matavesi going over for a second time – again off the back of a lineout – followed by lock Shaun Buzza, on as a replacement forcing through to the line. Honey converted both.

Suddenly Esher were coming under pressure, which grew even greater when prop Bailey Williams marked his first appearance at the Recreation Ground by scoring in the corner to notch a try-scoring bonus point. Honey could not pull off a difficult kick, which meant the home side were still more than a converted try behind and ultimately cost them a losing bonus point.

That win pushed Esher into fourth place and left them just three points off the promotion zone – two teams will go up automatically this season – but they face another tough challenge on Saturday when Clifton, one place below, visit Molesey Road, kicking off at 3pm.