Caldy Rugby Club have defied the odds and achieved National One status for another year in yet another difficult away visit to the capital.
They scored four tries to earn a bonus point in a 42-28 defeat to Esher, earning them a status never before achieved by the club for a second year running.
Rhys Hayes and Mark Dickson scored in the first half with Caldy securing a 14-13 half time lead in the blazing sun.
An Esher onslaught in the second looked to have buried Caldy and sap them of all their energy, but it was thatmentality we have all become so accustomed to this season that brought Caldy back into the game.
JJ Dickinson led the charge scoring Caldy’s 3rdand his 12thof the season before Jack Parker, in the 78thminute, fought his way over the line in front of a proud Caldy supporting contingent.
The away support have every right to be emotional. They have travelled far and wide, via coach, train and sometimes plane to support the little club from the wooden shack. And the players have repaid this support
Of course supporters, players and coaches all believed that survival was achievable this season, but Caldy have gone further than that.
As well as making a strong impression on the clubs they have played both home and away, they have played a level of rugby that has surprised and sometimes shocked Nat One regulars.
Teams like Darlington Mowden Park left Caldy red-faced after they crawled to a 10-8 win with a last minute penalty at Paton Field.
The wooden shack on the hill became a fortress over the season with the pinnacle arguably coming in a 21-20 victory against Birmingham Moseley.
Yet over the course of the season the players and coaches have truly given every ounce of energy to ensure they compete, fight and quite often shock their opponents with rugby that any side in the country would be proud of.
It has been about raising their game to this level by learning on a weekly basis this season. Caldy have done this and so much more, and for that they are now in the top 34 clubs in the country.