Esher 43 Bury St Edmunds 22

National Division Two South

Saturday, April 9

Esher head into their final three matches with the title in their sights.

Peter Winterbottom’s side may not have consistently hit their best form at Molesey Road on Saturday but they were still far too good for a bulky Bury St Edmunds side who were strong up front yet still found themselves being given the runaround in conceding six tries.

Half-back pair Pierre Thompson and Sam Morley were at the heart of Esher’s victory, ensuring that they derived maximum value from possession.

Stand-off Morley put the hosts in front through a penalty on three minutes but it was cancelled out by Cam Greenhall, wing Ciaran Leeson then stealing over on 19 minutes, his effort going unconverted to leave the visitors 8-3 up.

That stirred Es, hooker Charlie Crawley demonstrating his mobility to level the scores four minutes later and Morley’s conversion sending them ahead again.

It was the first of three tries in eight minutes, lock Hugo Sloan demonstrating that the home pack were meeting the challenge up front by forcing their way over by the left-hand corner flag and then scrum-half Thompson demonstrating his elusive qualities by breaking from midfield to cross under the posts before Morley added the extras.

Bury St Edmunds who had lost by only four points when the sides met in Suffolk, going down 40-36, demonstrated the resilience which saw them starting the day in seventh when they took advantage of Charlie Gossington’s yellow card – opting for a scrum within sight of the line – to send George Strainge over. Chris Bolton’s kick ensured it was 22-15 at the break.

Esher strengthened their hold on the match again six minutes into the restart, Thompson feeding Morley, who also converted, and then dashing over for his second just after the hour mark with the extras opening up a 19-point advantage.

The visitors were not done, Ruaraidh Williams’s excellent offload feeding Bolton and Charlie Reed converting, but Es finished on a high through a Joe Vajner score, Morley bisecting the posts to demonstrate his kicking excellence on a day when a gusty wind made it no easy task.

Esher lead Redruth by four points and are eight in front of Clifton, who drew 31-31 with fourth-placed Worthing. The Elmbridge side head to lowly Canterbury on Saturday before returning home to face Worthing and then finish with a trip to strugglers Rochford Hundred.

Fixtures – April 16: Canterbury (A); 23: Worthing (H); 30: Rochford (A).