Excellent performance under lights at Esher
Esher score 1st; Barnes take lead at end of 1st 1/2 then control the 2nd 1/2.
Esher dealt with the high kick-off and went wide and were straight away penalised. Barnes kicked for the post from 32 metres out in centre field but missed. Esher kicked for territory then Barnes kept ball in hand for 7 close phases to get back to where the penalty had been. The defence forced an error to get the first scrum put-in. They went blind from that then kicked ahead; they won a turnover at the next ruck and went wide and broke through to the opposition 22 where they got a penalty. They kicked for a line-out 11 metres out but had that stolen. Barnes steadied their possession then launched an up-and-under; this resulted in a scrum for the home team 17 metres out. After that they recycled 5 times while being forced back but were awarded a penalty at the 22. They chose to have a set scrum; after it they were forced back and got another penalty 32 metres out. They kicked for a line-out 19 metres out after which opposition pressure forced an error. The visitors' pack was under pressure at their first put-in 26 metres out. From the scrum they sent blind to get a penalty a few metres ahead. The kick still left them 14 metres from halfway; their forwards' attempted drive was penalised and Esher kicked for another line-out 15 metres from their opponents' line. This was stolen and Barnes' high kick went into touch off an opposition player 8 metres inside the visitors' half. Esher got a free-kick at the line-out and ran it; Barnes forced a turnover in their 22. Kicks were exchanged leading to an Esher put-in 5 metres out. The ball was not kept in and Esher recycled once tight then once wide before an error gave Barnes the next scrum 9 metres out. From that their no.8 made ground but only to an opposition scrum 20 metres out. From that Esher moved up 2 metres to another put-in; this time they kept the ball in to get a penalty that they ran. Five metres out they recycled 3 times, 2 of which they went blind to get over at the corner at 22 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Esher dealt with the restart and launched an up-and-under after recycling twice. This resulted in a Barnes' scrum 6 metres inside their half. After it they kicked to touch 28 metres from their opponents' line. From the line-out Esher launched an up-and-under that they regained after Barnes allowed the ball to bounce. They advanced strongly before being penalised close to Barnes' try line. The visitors cleared to touch just inside their 22 then an error at the line-out gave Esher a scrum there. An error gave possession back to the opposition who just cleared to touch 24 metres out. This line-out was stolen but resulted in another for Esher 4 metres ahead. From that after 3 phases Barnes got a put-in 21 metres out from which they kicked for territory. Esher ran the ball back to another Barnes' scrum 33 metres out. The home team were penalised at that scrum and the kick got the visitors out of their half. From the resulting line-out Barnes recycled close 3 times, the last at the blind side then a very good break was made by a close pass slipped to fullback Hudson coming up at pace near the ruck. This resulted in an Esher line-out 17 metres from their line. From that the home pack kept the ball in but were soon turned over; Barnes advanced at the blind side before they too were turned over. After one recycle Esher were penalised 6 metres from their line. Barnes' forwards ran the ball to 2 metres out then recycled tight 9 times to get another penalty. This was given at 5 metres out and the pack kicked for a line-out from which they drove over with hooker Garrett on the ball but the Ref. had already gone to the posts to award a penalty try. This at 38 minutes and fly-half Coles added for the lead.
After the restart kicks were exchanged; a better one from Esher into touch 5 metres from Barnes' line before the halftime whistle.
The visitors soon kicked back the second half restart; Esher ran the ball well then after a couple of phases they were turned over. This was followed by a Barnes' scrum at halfway. From that they put together 4 varied phases to get a penalty 5 metres ahead. The kick took them to 26 metres out where the line-out resulted in a scrum for Esher. From that the home team released to their backs them recycled twice before kicking ahead. They regained from the kick and then put together a very good sequence of 10 mostly close phases before kicking through the defence. Barnes kicked back; Esher ran again and after 3 recycles got a scrum put-in at the next breakdown 14 metres into their opponents' half. They were penalised at that and Barnes kicked to touch 27 metres ahead. From the line-out they released to centre then recycled to Hudson at the blind side and his break sent wing Bevan to the corner at 11 minutes.
The visitors secured the restart and kept the ball for 3 close phases before the opposition forced an error to get a scrum 8 metres into the visitors' half. They were awarded a penalty at that and ran it well with 5 phases to get a penalty and another 10 metres for opposition chat to the Ref. This took them to 10 metres out and they again ran the ball. They were forced into touch; from the 5 metre line-out, Barnes' pack kept the ball to get a penalty 8 metres out and kicked to touch 28 metres out. From the next line-out the pack again kept the ball in and advanced before recycling close twice then kicking. This resulted in their scrum 30 metres from their opponents' line. After that they went wide and were forced back about 10 metres to another scrum for them. Again they went wide but dropped the ball at centre. Esher's scrum 5 metres inside their half; this was followed by another for them 4 metres back. This time Esher first released to centre then put together a set of 9 mostly close phases without much advance but did get a penalty 6 metres from halfway. The kick gained them 13 metres and from the line-out they kept the ball for 5 phases, again with little advance, to get another penalty 4 metres into the visitors' half. This one they ran but the advance wasn't supported and they were turned over. Barnes then broke out with 8 phases and advanced strongly to 6 metres from Esher's line and their put-in. From the scrum they released to centre then recycled 3 times, first blind, then close, next wide then two more phases created a gap that lock Cody-Owen went through at 32 minutes not far from the posts. Coles added.
The visitors replied to the high restart with another high kick; Esher ran the ball for 6 phases trying to wider. They were turned over and Barnes sent replacement Morgan to the corner 2 minutes after the previous try. The conversion was wide.
A couple of errors after the restart preceded a scrum for the visitors just outside their 22. From that they broke blind then recycled 4 times to get a penalty 6 metres from halfway. Their kick didn't find touch and the ball was kicked back; the final move was Barnes running the ball wide until the opposition forced an error.
Damp with occasional light rain in the first half, some wind, the pitch good.