Esher and Harrogate record welcome wins as teams at the bottom start to stir
Hull also end their losing streak in National One, Sheffield Tigers stun Rotherham Titans in National Two North and Old Redcliffians and Bournville receive boosts. Photo Credit: (David Howlett)
Esher secured their first victory of the campaign as they picked up a crucial 41-33 win over Chinnor at Kingsey Road.
James Botterill, Ben Fitzgerald and Jack Walsh put the EEEs 24-14 ahead at the break, with Nick Smith and Jason Worrall going over for Chinnor.
Will Feeney grabbed a third try for the hosts after the interval before Botterill and Josh McNulty swapped scores.
The pulsating nature of this contest continued as a Sam Morley penalty was backed up by a try from Myles Rawstron-Rudd to stretch Esher’s lead to 15 points.
Will Ryan’s try 10 minutes from time set up a fitting finale but Esher held on and are now just four points from safety while Chinnor remain in the thick of the fight towards the bottom of the division.
FT @ChinnorRFCThame 33 – 41 Esher
Our first win of the season, and we did it in style with a bonus point win.
— Esher Rugby (@esherrugby) November 12, 2022
Like Esher, Hull managed to arrest their run of nine consecutive losses but had to settle for a 30-30 draw against Cinderford. Gary Pearce’s troops looked on course for their first-ever victory in National One but George Boulton’s unconverted try meant the spoils were shared in Yorkshire.
With the two aforementioned results in mind, Birmingham Moseley’s dramatic 29-26 triumph over promotion-chasing Cambridge could be a massive victory for Adam Balding’s charges. A late penalty try won it for them at Billesley Common and the Midlands club are seven points clear of the relegation zone.
The defeat for second-placed Cambridge means they are now seven points behind table-toppers Rams RFC who extended their 100 per cent record in Round 10.
Seb Reynolds’ men clinched a 26-14 win against Plymouth Albion – who had Harry Wilkinson sent off – and their latest success means it is now 10 successive bonus-point victories for the Berkshire outfit.
Charlie Walker was once again amongst the tries for Rosslyn Park as his double helped Kieran Power’s charges claim a 40-12 victory over Leeds Tykes while Sale FC (4th) survived three late yellow cards to record a 29-22 triumph against Bishop’s Stortford.
Elsewhere, Darlington Mowden Park ran in six tries to defeat Taunton Titans 40-13.
National Two North
Two second-half penalties from Harrogate fly-half Tom Steene were enough to give his side their first home win of the season as they beat Preston Grasshoppers 23-17.
Director of Rugby Martyn Wood had labelled this clash as a “must-win” for Harrogate in their fight to remain in National Two North and they went into the break level thanks to scores from Will Yates, Will Rawlinson and Sam Fenn.
Three tries in 11 minutes via Harry Thompson, Will Riley and Jacob Browne had sparked Hoppers into life, but they were unable to add to their tally after the interval as the boot of Steene guided Harrogate to a vital victory.
The Yorkshire outfit are now five points from safety while Sheffield Tigers have created some daylight between themselves and the drop zone after a superb 19-14 win away at Rotherham Titans.
Two teams in the bottom three – Huddersfield and Blaydon – couldn’t follow suit as both fell to defeats in Round 10. Tom Carleton ran in a hat-trick as title-chasing Fylde beat Field 57-14 at Woodlands while Gavin Stead’s brace helped Otley get the better of Blaydon 28-12.
Also across National Two North, league leaders Sedgley Park maintained their position at the summit as they survived a late revival from Tynedale to secure a 33-28 triumph and their 10th win on the spin while Ben Stephenson scored twice in Hull Ionians’ 26-10 success against Chester and Matt Speres’ late score snatched a 26-22 victory for Wharfdale over Sheffield.
National Two East
Dorking came from 10 points down to beat Henley Hawks 28-24 and move top of National Two East.
Tries from Louis Flynn and Will Crow helped Henley build a 17-7 half-time lead, with Tobermory McRae scoring for Dorking.
Austin Emens and James Davies exchanged scores but the final quarter of this contest at Dry Leas belonged to the Red and Whites.
Fraser Mosley and Emens both touched down to seal the win for Dorking as their stunning return to level four continues.
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— National League Rugby (@Natleague_rugby) November 14, 2022
Second-placed Barnes are level on points with the new league leaders after they comfortably beat Westcliff 53-14 while Blackheath have dropped to third after losing 21-20 to Tonbridge Juddians.
TJs began the day in fourth place but have dropped to fifth despite maintaining their recent good form, highlighting just how tight National Two East is this term.
Nathan Michelow scored twice as Old Albanian (4th) beat Rochford Hundred 54-20 while Bury St Edmunds recorded their fourth victory on the bounce after defeating Canterbury 31-17.
National Two West
Leicester Lions sent out a statement to the rest of National Two West as the league leaders defeated in-form Redruth 31-15 at TMDP Park.
The table-toppers scored five tries through Jamel Hamilton, James Stubbs (2) and Zachary Bean with Ben Young and Luke Bouchier kicking the extras.
Redruth did hold the lead on two occasions during the opening 40 following tries from Dan Rutter and Dean Bonds, but couldn’t add to their tally in the second period as the Lions went on to secure a ninth win of the campaign.
Gareth Collins’ men are six points clear at the summit after second-placed Clifton beat Barnstaple 29-3 on the road while Dings Crusaders sit third but suffered their second loss of the term as Exeter University battled back from 12 points down to claim a 19-12 triumph in Bristol.
Hinckley (4th) returned to winning ways at the first time of asking as they held out to beat Newport (Salop) 33-29 and Luctonians took full advantage of a red card shown to Hornets’ Kieran Ward as they raced to a 40-15 victory against the Weston-super-Mare outfit.
It was a significant afternoon at the wrong end of the division as Rhys Cottrell’s brace helped Old Redcliffians to an excellent 50-27 win over Stourbridge. The victory leaves Old Reds 11 points clear of the relegation places while bottom-of-the-table Bournville are now just five points from safety after drawing 38-38 with Loughborough Students.
The Chocos are one of three sides across National League Rugby who are still searching for their first triumph of the campaign but remarkably they are still in touch with the teams above them.