Roberts inspires Esher to vital win
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.