14-man Esher stun Cam­bridge

The Rugby Paper - - Championship | National League 1 - By STEVE JACK­SON

CAM­BRIDGE con­trived to put them­selves un­der pres­sure by fail­ing to beat a 14-man Esher side who de­served their win.

Esher went into this one with 15 try bonus points and came away with an­other. And all that af­ter the Blood & Sand took an early lead off the tee via Ben Pen­fold.

Pen­fold’s penalty il­lus­trated Cam­bridge’s fail­ure to cross the vis­i­tors’ line – re­buffed four times when they could have touched down, then hav­ing to set­tle for just the three points.

Esher, by con­trast, scored with their first at­tack of note, Wil­liam Hard­ing cross­ing for their opener. Daniel Row­land added a sec­ond.

And they looked to be cruis­ing into half-time, de­spite Matt Hema fi­nally get­ting one over for the hosts.

A red card for prop Oliver Mines for foul play just be­fore the break, though, ap­peared to have handed the ini­tia­tive back. Hard­ing’s sec­ond made a non­sense of any as­sump­tion the sec­ond half would be easy.

Rob Con­quest pulled one back, but Niall Saun­ders stretched the lead then Chris Arnold made it five. Joe Green’s 80th minute third for Cam­bridge didn’t even bring up a bonus point. Basil Strang had a poor af­ter­noon, hit­ting the post twice and miss­ing two more of his kicks.

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