Esher v Moseley,
at Molesey Road , Hersham , National League Division 1,
Saturday, March 7th 2009, k.o. 3.00 pm
Moseley players, officials and supporters both at Old Deer Park and those
elsewhere ‘in the ether’ avidly watching the updates on the message board
were rightly elated at around 4pm last Saturday. Reaching the semi-finals of
the EDF Energy National Trophy by way of a late victory over London Welsh
(27-21) was cause to celebrate.
The news, at 5pm, however, that Esher had had a superb away win in National
League One beating Rotherham 40-19 put things into perspective and gave an
early warning that focus had to immediately switch to the task this
There is no doubt that Esher’s triumph was one of the best results in
National League One this season. At the start of the game, Rotherham were
two places higher than Esher and not accustomed to losing any of their
League matches by a margin of twenty-one points.
It is clear that Esher are no longer the team that Moseley beat at home
early in November and who struggled in the lower reaches of League One for
the first half of the season. The prospect of not being included in the
proposed new Championship (they have been twelfth in the League for quite
some time now) has concentrated their minds wonderfully.
Also, their performances on the field have been enhanced by the players they
now have on loan from Premiership club Harlequins. The results of their last
three League matches tell the tale.
28th February: Rotherham 19 v Esher 40 W
31st January Manchester 28 v Esher 40 W
24th January Esher 49 v Newbury 18 W
Few league matches in recent years have been the subject of so much analysis
and conjecture at this stage of the season as Saturday’s match against
Moseley at Molesey Road in Hersham.
Many armchair pundits have been trying to predict the final positions in the
league table to determine which club will be in the all important eleventh
place that will deliver a place in the Championship.
The possible permutations are legion but one thing is thankfully certain -
if Moseley lose on Saturday it does not automatically mean that Esher will
finish in eleventh place. It would mean, however, that Moseley’s task to
gain a place in the Championship will be that much harder and nervier.
Conversely a win would put Moseley within striking distance of success.
‘Anorak’s Corner’ down below gives some guidance!
The relative positions of Moseley and Esher currently are:
P W D L
BP Pts Pos
Moseley 20 8 0 12 11 43 11th
Esher 22 7 1 14 9 39 12th
Esher entered National League 2 on promotion from London League 1 at the end
of season 1999/2000 and were promoted to National League 1 at the end of the
2006-2007 season. This is thus their second campaign at the higher level and
at the end of last season they were very pleased to have consolidated their
place by coming 12th. This was two positions below Moseley and even more
impressive when you consider their shaky start which saw them win just one
of their first eight games.
Esher R.F.C. was formed in 1923, disbanded during WW2 and reformed in 1946.
A few years later they bought a 27 acre ground in Hersham, the present value
(even in these straightened circumstances) of which makes the mind boggle.
They have a relatively new club house and four pitches. Esher and Hersham
form part of the Borough of Elmbridge.
Former Canadian international Mike Schmid, who led Esher to promotion and
was formerly at Rotherham , is the club’s coach and the high profile John
Inverdale is Director of Rugby.
Last season Moseley beat Esher 12-6 away in Dec 2007 and managed to put 50
points on the Surrey men in an end of season bonanza at Billesley.