In a game that ebbed and flowed Hull came within seconds of their first win of the season and fell to a late penalty by Esher’s off half Sam Morley to seal a dramatic 27-26 win.
Hull’s pack, bolstered by the return of Charlie Beech and second row man Liam Regardsoe, were able to secure all their own fist phase ball and consequently looked every bit a National League one side losing nothing in comparison to Esher.
The backs thrived on good ball, but the offloads from all players saw a high quality performance from the whole team and one that should have seen them get that illusive victory.
Hull started well and after a couple of penalties saw them well into Esher’s half. Good hands saw Hull’s winger Timoci Waqadau race in for a try to get Hull off the mark. Reece Dean’s conversion just sailed narrowly wide. Esher leveled in the 13th minute with an unconverted Sam Bullock try.
In the 16th minute, a dominant Hull scrum yielded good ball, and the home side sliced through Esher’s defence for Dean to score another unconverted try to edge Hull into a 10-5 lead.
Hull were causing Esher plenty of problems but a dropped ball by Hull in the 26th minute saw Esher winger Hari Lang race 50 yards for a try converted by Morley.
Trailing 12-10 towards the end of the first half, Hull scrum dominance kept them in the ascendancy, and two late first half penalties from Dean see his side lead 16-12 at half-time.
The second half saw Esher get an early penalty and from the resulting line out Hull were unable to stop the visitors number eight Ben Atkins from charging over from 15 yards out for an unconverted try to see his side take a slender 17-16 lead after 44 minutes.
Hull then had moments of pressure and then a great move from a lineout 45 yards out, saw a well-timed pass from Dean put centre Steve Johnson away and winger Mike Adlard backed up to score a great try near the posts with Dean adding the conversion to give the home side a 23-17 lead after 52 minutes.
Esher were not long in responding and after a spell of forward pressure their substitute forward Afo Fasogbon drove over on the hour mark and with Morley adding the extras Esher were leading once again by a point 24-23. The game was still well and truly in the balance.
Hull still kept trying to move the ball and Esher were caught offside trying to give Hull slow ball, and from the resulting penalty taken by Dean, Hull took a 26-24 lead with just 15 minutes remaining. Two minutes later, a try scoring opportunity for Hull went begging when good Esher cover just managed to halt Hull’s Adlard as he went for the line after 75 minutes.
Esher then fought their way back upfield and were awarded two penalties. Morley landed the first to move them into a 27-26 lead which remained the score after his last minute kick missed the target in what was a highly competitive and entertaining game at Chants Ave.