By Simon Arnett
With matches coming thick and fast, we took on Esher in the next stage of the Waterfall Cup. After wading through a quagmire to get there, the pitch itself looked to have survived the ravages of the weather.
Fresh from the success in the National Cup, the lads were quickly into their stride. Finn Rennles was first to show with a clever chip over the advancing defence. He gathered his own kick to score and then convert himself. 0-7.
Our defence was also impressive as our press forced Esher into wayward passing and dropped balls. Such pressure allowed Rennles to intercept and again score and convert. Esher 0 Rennles 14.
We could easily have eased up given the early successes. However, our defence remained intense and more Esher errors followed. Ben MacKenzie was enjoying his start at scrum half, hacking ahead and showing tenacity to ensnare the defender over the line. A good catch and drive from the lineout saw George Sills dive over only to be held up over the line.
We weren't to be denied though, and the cracks were appearing in the Esher defence, as Rennles' cross field kick was inch-perfect and Paddy TennEnt gathered it superbly to score. 0-19.
TennEnt was a rampaging nuisance as he hassled Esher on the edge of their 22. Ben Parkinson swooped and scooped up the loose ball in one movement and sped over or score our 4th try. 0-24.
Esher's spirit was starting to fade and there was still no let up. Next up Matty Gwyther prospered from some Esher profligacy to put Alfie Wainscoat in to score. Gwyther added the extras. 0-31.
Gwyther again forced the error and this time broke clear to score himself. 0-38.
The final score of the half again came from intense pressure. Joe Stone retrieved the ball, carried and linked well with Hector Calder. Stone was on hand to collect again and burst through the flailing defence. He was cut down short but a classy back-of-the-hand offload put Wainscoat in again. Great support play all round. With Gwyther converting the half finished 0-45.
Given the score line, Esher could have decided to call it a day (maximum score in this competition is a 40 point difference). Fair play to them, they chose to play on. We made some changes, and Esher had a bit more possession and territory.
What was unusual in a game like this was that Calder had been quiet by his own standards. That changed in the second half. After a couple of half breaks from him signalling his intent, Esher kicked the ball to him in a little space deep in his own half. Big mistake! He set off on a length-of-the-field run evading all attempts to stop him to score a brilliantly mercurial try. 0-50.
The next try followed a powerful pick up and drive from Sills from the base of the scrum. He offloaded to Archie Coldicott who cut in to score. 0-55.
Not to be out-done TennEnt decided it was his turn for a lung-buster. He set off on a mazy run from his own half to outstrip the Esher defence. How he evaded his pursuers nobody knows! 0-60
The last try was finished off by Coldicott, benefitting from being on MacKenzie's shoulder as the scrum half burst through. 0-65
So a big cup win away from home in an 11-try extravaganza. It will show in the official record books as 40-0 but not in mine.
What was particularly pleasing was the desire to keep Esher to 0. Dougal Gray was again immovable in the centre when the big runners came at him. And in practically the last play, Jonnie Read chased down an escaping attacker, took him down with a last-ditch tackle and then got up and jackalled the ball back. Fabulous!!
Tries: Rennles 2, TennEnt 2, Parkinson B, Wainscoat 2, Gwyther, Calder, Coldicott 2
Cons: Rennles 2, Gwyther 3