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Esher 26 Canterbury 0: National League 2 South match report


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By David Haigh

As the National League 2 South leaders extended their winning run to seven games the decisive 26-0 scoreline over Canterbury suggests that Esher had things pretty much own way.

But that was not the whole story of a match in which Canterbury had enough possession and territory to satisfy any side and must be kicking themselves for failing to turn it into points.

Canterbury are stopped in their tracks at Esher on Saturday. Picture: Phillipa Hilton (53667460)
Canterbury are stopped in their tracks at Esher on Saturday. Picture: Phillipa Hilton (53667460)

Esher, on the other hand, gave them a lesson in taking their chances efficiently and with no little flair. Their director of rugby, former England flanker Peter Winterbottom, reckoned his side were fortunate to be 14 points ahead at the end of a first half which Canterbury dominated for 80 per cent of the time and he had a point, even if Canterbury didn't.

Injury problems meant they took the field with a reshaped pack but for all their honest work they lacked the accuracy and invention to dent a strong defence. Wherever their persistent attacks led them, at close quarters or in the wider areas, they either lost control of were penalised.

When Esher finally broke out they showed how wasteful the city side had been by scoring twice in four minutes. Andy Hamilton finished off a driving maul and a Canterbury mistake in their own 22 area was punished by full back Tom Mitchell's try. Sam Morley converted both touchdowns.

Canterbury power forward against Esher in National League 2 South. Picture: Phillipa Hilton (53667458)
Canterbury power forward against Esher in National League 2 South. Picture: Phillipa Hilton (53667458)

There was much the same feel about the second half where Esher gave very little away and repeated the trick of claiming two tries only minutes apart. Harvey Scott's was the best as he burst through from a set piece move and curved outside the defence. That was in the 49th minute and three minutes later lock Hugh Sloan crashed over, and Morley converted, to wrap up a bonus point for his side.

A now over anxious Canterbury continued to probe and chase but could never discover a decisive finish or the efficiency their game badly needed.

Canterbury: A Moss, G Hilton (W Waddington), F Morgan (T Best), K Braithwaite, D Cocoran, F Reynolds, B Cooper (T Williams), B Young (A Cooper), W McColl (V Meredith), D Herriott, R Cadman, J De Vries, J Stephens, T King, T Oliver.

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