Ruthless Hawks Run Riot Over Esher

Henley Hawks 46 Esher 20

Keen to put last weekend’s defeat at Clifton out of their minds, Henley produced one of their best displays of the season with a resounding 46-20 victory over Esher at Dry Leas on Saturday afternoon.

On a mild day, and with a dry pitch that suited their game, Henley started the game with real purpose and were well rewarded with a try from their trademark driving maul, finished well by Tom Emery after just 5 minutes on the board. Alex Burrage, still with kicking duties in place of the injured Ben Bolster, converted well.

However, it didn’t take the visitors long to get a foothold in the game, and they hit back soon afterwards with a well-struck Tristan Roberts penalty.  There was a real intensity to Henley’s play in the opening exchanges, and with a new half-back pairing of Will Crow at scurm half, and Ewan Fenley moving to outside half for the first time this season, were causing Esher’s defence all sorts of problems.

A wonderful break from halfway by winger, Reuben Norville on the 10-minute mark saw the Hawks stretch their lead further, the tricky touchline conversion attempt was narrowly wide. With Henley now scenting blood, a penalty from Burrage was quickly followed by a third try from the increasingly-dependable, Will Janes, who was well placed to finish a great team try.

This setback spurred Esher into life, and they soon responded with a Sam Druce try. With the visitors now in the ascendency, a loose pass in midfield was picked up by Hawks flanker, Marcus Lowe, and some lovely interplay saw Norville over in the corner for his second of the afternoon, and Henley’s bonus-point try. With Henley now running rampant, a fifth followed soon after with debutant, Will Crow finding Scotty White on his shoulder to cross the whitewash on the stroke of half time.

The second half started with the visitors keen to put the first forty behind them, and hit back with a try from replacement, Jack Walsh. With Hawks centre, Xav Andre in the sin-bin, it was Henley who were galvanised by being down to 14 men, and a try from co-captain, Sam Lunnon all but sealed the victory for the Hawks.

A highlight-reel try from Dave Hyde put the icing on the cake, but it was the visitors who finished the scoring in injury time with a consolation score from Joe Beckett.

It was an excellent win for Henley, but they know they will need other results to go their way if they are to make the top two from here.