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Cobham 18 Dover 33

Report: Saturday September 27th 2014, London South 1

Cobham entertained Dover who had made the long trip west following an unfruitful start to the 2014/15 season. Cobham were again forced into several changes as a result of an unprecedented spell of injuries. Despite this the pack had begun to take some shape and brought many positives from last weeks trip to Basingstoke.

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The Fairmile patrons would have been pleased with the opening phases as Cobham started brightly, perhaps exploited their well travelled opponents lethargy. Dover had brought a sizeable team that Mike Cudmore's young side would surely look to move around their immaculate pitch. Despite the momentum, Dover struck first and contained to build pressure from the boot, capitalising on Cobham penalties. Cobham opened their account midway through the second half via pacy wing Mcdonald who latched onto a well weighted kick through. Honours fairly even.

The middle phases of the game began to resemble the arm wrestle that Cobham had looked to avoid, as Dover used their direct and sizeable forwards to move the gainline consistently. As half time approached Dover led but the outcome of the game was very much in the balance.

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Following stern words during the interval Cobham looked to have eliminated some of the errors and penalties that had prevented their phase play. However as the clock ticked on the accuracy their style demands began to slip. Some wayward kicking and turnover ball proved decisive for a second consecutive week.

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Dover, now growing in confidence and sensing their first blood of the season, continued to soak up pressure and counter attack and scored 2 tries whilst Cobham were reduced to 14 men deep in the second stanza, which decided the outcome in favour of the visitors. Despite concerted efforts to reduce the arrears when back to full strength, Cobham were unable to capitalise late on.

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Undoubtedly the team will see this as one that got away. Clearly they will look to display a more composed and accurate performance away at Guildford, in what should be an exciting local derby.

- Pictures @ Chris Brown