Doncaster Knights 45 Esher 42

Matthew Williams scores Doncaster's first try against Esher. Picture: Liz Mockler D8378LM
Matthew Williams scores Doncaster's first try against Esher. Picture: Liz Mockler D8378LM

SLOPPY Doncaster held on for a narrow victory over Esher to seal sixth spot in the Championship.

The Knights burst out of the blocks and scored three tries in the opening 14 minutes - and later led 42-21 with half an hour to play.

But the hosts’ inability to hold on to possession - and concede silly penalties - almost left Lynn Howells’ men red-faced at the final whistle.

Winger Matty Williams caught the eye in the first half with tries in the opening minute and in stoppage time, while Steve Boden and PJ Gidlow also touched down to put the home side in the box seat.

Tries from stand-out performer Steve McColl and Neil Cochrane helped increase the deficit to 21 points.

But Doncaster almost contrived to throw away the game as a string of errors allowed Esher to score three converted tries in the final 20 minutes and set up a thrilling climax at Castle Park.

Knights conclude their regular Championship season on Saturday at home to Cornish Pirates knowing they can’t finish any lower than sixth going into the promotion play-offs.

* See this week’s Free Press for the latest news and views from Castle Park.