Nuneaton 20 Wharfedale 6
Nuneaton's win, clinched with seven points in the final minute of stoppage time from Lee Parry's try, lifted them to sixth in the table and deprived struggling Wharfedale of the losing bonus point seemingly just gained.
A desperately poor first half which ended 3-3 was littered with errors and whistle-strewn, the only glimses of class being the pace of Nuns' teenage left winger Parry and the guile of veteran Wharfedale flanker Hedley Verity.
There were far fewer handling mistakes in a much better second half but the whistle continued - thirty-four penalties in 80 minutes of actual time, sometimes at almost every breakdown, is a remarkable rate.
Only eight of them were aimed at goal, Andy Baggett succeeding with two from three - his first from 43 yards putting Wharfedale ahead after five minutes - and Gareth Cull two of five.
Nuns then laid siege in the visitors' half, opting for corner line-outs from their first three penalties. Cull put one dead, next their drive ended in a scrum to Wharfedale, and thirdly their line-out throw-in was crooked.
Given a fourth pernalty, Cull kicked for goal from 30 yards and missed but on the stroke of the interval he equalised with his third attempt and immediately after half time he converted full-back Jon Lowdon's try.
That score in the left corner came from right winger Ryan Owen's diagonal break and on the hour fly-half Cull landed his second goal after his own exchange of passes with Lowdon was stopped by a deliberate knock-on. Three minutes from proper time Nuns prop Phil Boulton was sin-binned for punching, Bagget goaled from 45 yards, but at the last gasp replacement scrum-half Huw Thomas broke 30 yards and offloaded for Parry to cut inside and score. Cull converted.
Esher 32 Stourbridge 22
Stourbridge matched unbeaten leaders Esher in tries at four apiece but succumbed because home full-back Neil Hallett kicked three conversions and two penalties from six attempts while Alistair Bressington had one success from five.
Bressington did convert the opening 12th-minute try by scrum-half Tom Richardson, who collected the favourable bounce of a high up and under, and his kicks were all from more difficult positions than Hallett.
Home prop Duncan Cormack replied with an unconverted try from a line-out catch and drive and Hallett added a penalty before Stour left winger Greg Summers scored two tries in five minutes. The first was set up by prop James Tideswell's surging run down the centre of the field and the second came from a feed by full-back Matt Williams, who carved through the defence from his own half.
Hallett's second penalty reduced Esher's interval deficit to 17-11 and the third quarter was poor for Stour, who were pummelled in the scrums ansd conceded three tries to fall 32-17 behind.
The Esher scorers were flanker Mike Blakeburn, bursting through tackles, left winger Richard Briggs, chasing a hack into the right corner, and Hallett, running on to a pass from drifting right winger Matt Moore.
Flanker Scott Witcombe at least earned Stour a deserved bonus point with a 72nd-minute try from a line-out drive.