Cambridge 28 - 20 Esher
By Adrian Fraser
CRUFC get an important bonus point win
The match was played in grey conditions with a swirling wind. We started brightly, immediately putting Esher under pressure and won a penalty. Normally Ben would have gone for the posts, but he spotted Esher had relaxed, tapped and two quick phases and the ball was in James Ayrton's hands. He cut through the defences, offloading to Jake McCloud who dotted down. Ben slotted the extras.
Esher soon had a chance to reduce the gap, but their kicker could not master the wind. However, relief was short lived. Cambridge lost the ball and Esher put some phases together and their winger scored in the corner. Again the kick went wide.
Cambridge were playing pretty rugby, but errors blunted our attacks. A penalty gave Esher a line-out close to our line. A catch and drive gave them a second try and Cambridge faced a 7 - 10 deficit at half time.
There had been no additions to the score in the first ten minutes when Matt Hema came on for Kwaku. Tracy Baxter in the dugout told Kwaku to keep warm as he would be going back on. Little did he know how soon. A freak accident led to a clash of heads between Matt and James Ayrton. Both had to go off. While the Doctor could glue James scalp and he was able to return to play, Matt Hema's injury was more serious. He had to go to Addenbrookes who discovered a skull fracture. Obviously, he has all our best wishes while he recovers.
Esher opened the scoring in the second half with a penalty. However, Cambridge struck back with a catch and drive of their own, converted by captain Ean Griffiths, reducing the deficit to a single point. Ben's kick meant we took the lead.
Minutes later we were on the attack again. Ben's floating long pass looked like it might be intercepted, but was too high for the Esher player and fell perfectly for Kwaku who broke two tackles to score. Another conversion from Ben took us eight points clear.
We were pressing for a bonus point score when we did give away an interception and Esher were able to go the length of the pitch to score. One point in it again.
With time almost up, Cambridge pressure led to a five-metre scrum. The ball went out to the backs and then back to Matt Meek who crashed over for the bonus point. Ben's conversion denied Esher a point.
Match highlights can be viewed here.
Cambridge 28 - 20 Esher
Tries: McCloud, Griffiths, Asiedu, Meek
Conversions: Penfold (4)