Roberts in­spires Esher to vi­tal win

The Rugby Paper - - National League 1 - By MARK SLEIGHTHOLM

A LATE Sale fight­back was not enough to deny league strug­glers Esher a much-needed win in a high-scor­ing match at Hey­wood Road.

The 44-38 score­line dis­guised Esher’s com­fort­able per­for­mance for most of the match, with Sale scor­ing three tries in the fi­nal ten min­utes.

Their late ef­forts se­cured them two bonus points de­spite falling 29 points be­hind mid­way through the match.

More than half of Esher’s points came from Paul Roberts, the fly-half scor­ing their open­ing try, adding three penal­ties and a five-out-of-five record for con­ver­sions to his team’s tally.

De­spite an early Esher penalty kick­ing off the scor­ing, it was Sale who be­gan the stronger side, with Jonty Raw­cliffe set­ting up tries for Paolo Odogwu and El­liott Hodg­son amid a se­ries of sus­tained at­tacks.

Esher were more cau­tious on the ball but tight­ened con­trol as the first half pro­gressed, tak­ing ad­van­tage of Sale’s de­fen­sive mis­takes to lead 27-12 by the break – Roberts, Owen Waters and Basil Strang the scor­ers.

Joe Beck­ett and Tom James went over early in the sec­ond pe­riod for Esher, mean­ing four late tries for Sale piled on the pres­sure but couldn’t get the hosts over the line.

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