VIDEO: Doncaster Knights 19 Esher 11: Knights triumph in top-of-table clash

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The injury curse may have not been lifted but the Knights are back on top of National One after a battling win over promotion rivals Esher.

Clive Griffiths is now just one victim away from being able to name a full XV of injured players after Dougie Flockhart and Brad Field entered the treatment room during the game.

Knights' Adam Kettle scoes a try in the top-of-the-table clash against Esher.

Knights' Adam Kettle scoes a try in the top-of-the-table clash against Esher.

But while Griffiths may be ready to call upon the services of an exorcist to rid the club of its injury demons, he will have renewed confidence in his side’s battling abilities.

The one thing he asked of his patched up side before top side Esher came to town was to dig deep.

And the director of rugby got exactly what he wanted in a tight-as-you-like clash of the division’s elite.

It was exactly what was required against a huge and powerful Esher outfit.

Defensively, the Knights were superb, scrambling superbly to keep Esher from making their first half territory pay further.

And they controlled matters in the second half, denying the visitors chance to even threaten the line.

The stakes of the match were clear to see as tempers flared regularly, particularly at half-time following a horrendous and cynical challenge on Bevon Armitage.

Cameron Gentles failed to live up to his surname as he wiped out the centre from behind after the centre had kicked the ball dead.

A huge melee was sparked and it took some time to calm, as it did for a groggy Armitage to rise to his feet.

Gentles was merely sinbinned, riling the Castle Park crowd who were further incensed when Tyson Lewis was given the same treatment for his part in the melee.

Armitage may have preferred not to be smashed, but the challenge firmly tipped the balance in the Knights’ favour.

The crowd roared them on through the second half, as loud as they have been for some time, while the players were clearly even more determined to get the result.

They had to battle against some bizarre officiating which probably denied a bonus point-sealing try for the hosts.

The Knights got off to the best possible start when the scored on the break after five minutes. Powerhouse Darren Morris broke the line and played in Adam Kettle who raced in from with Flockhart converting.

Esher got off the mark on 21 minutes when Luke Daniels slotted over the most simple of penalties.

Another penalty conceded was punished on 29 minutes with Daniels again successful.

The pressure continued from the Surrey outfit but their opening try came on the break from Tom Whelan, sparking a set capped with close range drive from David Millard.

After the controversial incident on the half time whistle, the Knights started the second half as they did the first to edge their way back in front.

Powering forward after a scrum, Michael Walker-Fitton stretched over for the try just three minutes in.

Frustration moved up another notch when replacement Paul Roberts was taken out with a high tackle by Marfarlane who was given only a brief talking to from the official.

But the just desserts came just after the hour when the Knights put daylight between themselves and Esher.

A grinding catch and drive maul slowly made its way to the Esher line and skipper Matt Challinor broke free to dive over with Roberts slamming over the kick.