Skipper Tom Cheeseman believes Esher must topple National Division One leaders Richmond on Saturday to put them in the title race.

Esher’s gripping 24-14 victory over Hartpury at Molesey Road last week saw them close the gap to their derby rivals to eight points and extended their winning run to three matches.

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Confident: Esher centre Tom Cheeseman

Tries from Spencer Sutherland, Ian Kench and 11 points from fly half Paul Roberts helped director of rugby Mike Schmid’s men stay fourth in the table ahead of tomorrow’s clash at Old Deer Park.

“Top four is always our main aim, but you get to a stage where you come down to the last 10 or 12 games and you’re thinking ‘hold on, we could push here’,” said Cheeseman.

“Richmond is a massive game and if we could come away with a result then we really are in the mix.

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He's off: Esher fly half Paul Roberts runs with the ball in hand

“It’s in our minds, but you have to go game by game. It’s going to be another huge physical and mental challenge.”

He added: “We beat them here, but they must have stepped up a gear or two from that game. The run of form they have been in is impressive.

“But then they probably look at us and say that’s been impressive too. So we are looking forward to another tight game. But we will go there full of confidence and hopefully we will come out on top.

“Richmond is a lovely place to play rugby. It’s got that history and it’s a big derby game and everybody loves playing derby games. It’s going to take a massive effort again but we must go there with a good mindset.”