Esher 24 - Darlington Mowden Park 25

November 7, 2018

Tries from Craggs and Asher-Wood help Mowden to narrow win at Molesey Road.


Since being promoted to National League One, DMPRFC have found away trip league points hard to come by and so yesterday’s heroics were worth their weight in gold.

Also vitally important in the bigger scheme of things was a halt to the 3-match losing streak, which was of some concern to connections. Having said all that, DMPRFC have not been very far away in their defeats, with maybe the result at Blackheath RFC (15 – 0) exception. However, with Blackheath RFC now at the top of the league, that away loss should be seen in perspective.

Recent games have seen DMPRFC quickly scoring points in a game, losing some focus and allowing teams to catch up and in the case of Sale RFC, overhauling them. DMPRFC used to find themselves behind in previous matches during past seasons, so to be down at half-time (17 – 3), then to be behind again to as much as they were in the 45th minute (24 – 3), although not advisable, is totally nail-biting but exhilarating for players, coaches and fans when the comeback is completed. (24 – 25)

DMPRFC were behind as early at the third minute, when a loose pass in midfield was thrown out, but unfortunately into the grateful hands of home centre Max COYLE, who scored unopposed (5 – 0), with fly half Paul ROBERTS easily converting (7 – 0) for the early lead.

ROBERTS added a penalty to the home tally (10 – 0), which was the score during that time, until the visitors registered with a penalty themselves via fly half Warren Seals. (10 – 3)

Just before the interval, visiting prop Ralph Appleby was sin-binned and in his absence, the home side took full advantage with lock Cameron GENTLES forcing his way over, (15 – 3), converted by ROBERTS, (17 – 3), giving his side a healthy lead at oranges.

As the clock on APPLEBY’s sin-bin carried on for a further six minutes on resumption of play, Esher RFC profited further when their other lock Graham LOGAN took advantage of some poor defence, crashing over to increase the home side’s comfortable lead, (22 – 3), again converted by ROBERTS (24 – 3).

However, Esher were not aware at that time (45 minutes), that this would be their last points on the board.

DMPRFC responded immediately to LOGAN’s try, when No. 8 Joe Craggs fought back, detaching from a driving maul to score (24 – 8), with SEALS adding the extras. (24 – 10)

Even at this stage, the extent of what was to follow was not evident, however Brandon Asher-Wood’s try (24 – 15) advanced the visitor’s cause in an upwardly direction.

Although SEALS failed to convert, DMPRFC began to exert some dominance not seen previously in the game. So much so, the visitors progressed to the home line and when the ball was held up over the line, the pressure was building. Again this coincided with the sin-binning of home replacement hooker Jack MUSK. As the pressure told, Esher RFC folded at scrum time and conceded a penalty try (24 – 22, with the conversion not required) with time well into the last quarter.

SEALS broke home hearts with the winning penalty 2-minutes from normal time (24 – 25) and although a late chance fell to Esher, the attack fizzled out and the referee’s whistle heralded the end of a nail-biting end for both sides, this time DMPRFC coming out on top in the capital.

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