Guernsey Raiders 12 Esher 57

National Division Two South

Saturday, April 2

SAM Morley’s 25-point haul blasted Esher another step closer to the league title.

The fly-half’s brace of tries was augmented by six conversions plus a penalty as Es handed Guernsey a 12-point start yet still went on to claim their sixth straight victory. If they emulate the run of 10 straight victories earlier in the season by winning the last four matches, it will guarantee the title and promotion to National Division One.

Yet their start against the Channel Islanders was anything but impressive, spilling the kick-off to concede a scrum from which the hosts set up full-back Callum Roberts for the opening try on two minutes.

The conversion was missed but within five minutes Raiders were over again, a wayward kick putting the visitors under pressure and Joseph Andresen scoring, the extras making it 12-0.

Former England U20 and Exeter stand-off Morley began the fightback by scoring under the posts on 17 minutes, adding the conversion and then a penalty to make the gap just two points.

Prolific wing Dan Rowland sent Es ahead with the second try, Morley supplying the extras to put his side 17-12 up by half time, and the second half was decidedly one-sided as they made most of possession to display their attractive brand of running rugby.

Centre Miles Rawstron-Rudd set the tone with the third try, scrum-half Sam Bullock securing the fourth which ensured a bonus point. Jack Lavin struck on 56 minutes and although Guernsey stemmed the flow for 15 minutes, Pierre Thompson climbed off the bench to break that deadlock at the start of a busy final nine minutes.

Morley’s second and then another score for full-back Lavin completed another impressive day for Esher, who have won 21 of their 26 outings so far this season in a race for top spot which still sees the leading three sides only separated by six points.

After three successive away trips, Esher will relish the opportunity to return to home turf on Saturday when they entertain Bury St Edmunds but the Suffolk side are seventh and ran Es mighty close in their first meeting, back in December, when they went down 40-36. After that comes trips to lowly Canterbury and Rochford, split by an appetising home date with fourth-placed Worthing.

Fixtures – April 9: Bury St Edmunds (H); 16: Canterbury (A); 23: Worthing (H); 30: Rochford (A)