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Cobham 24 Gosport 26

Report: Saturday February 21st 2015, London South 1

On Saturday, Feb 21st, Cobham were hosts to visitors from Gosport and Fareham for this London 1 League match.  Prior to this match Cobham were seven points adrift and one place lower than their visitors. In the previous meeting of these two clubs in October 2014 Cobham were narrowly  defeated, the weather conditions being a deciding factor. This was a match of huge importance for both sides as a win for either would give a points advantage over a number of clubs in the relegation zone.

 

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Cobham started the match in fine bright conditions on a firm pitch. An early break by full back Jean Louis Gravier, who displayed his excellent skills throughout the match,  gained useful territory but it was Gosport that were quicker off the mark  and decisively dominant in the early stages of this half forcing play deep into the Cobham half.  Cobham fielded a side with a number of changes from both the previous matches against the top two sides  which produced periods of inconsistent play.

Once Gosport had a territorial advantage  they were able to threaten the Cobham try line on a number of occasions forcing a number of attacking lineouts which eventually led to the Gosport captain Tim Snowden crossing the try line unopposed for an unconverted try after 10 minutes.

 

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Gosport 5

From the kick off Gosport were able to return to the Cobham half and continued their assault on the Cobham try line. Cobham were  forced into desperate defence conceding a number of penalties which were quickly taken by the Gosport side but did not result in any scores. After 15 minutes Gosport kicked an easy penalty from in front of the posts.

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Gosport 8

 

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Following this penalty Gosport continued to attack the Cobham line and play for long periods of time was in the Cobham half. The error count from the Cobham side meant that any territory and possession gained was nullified by the resultant penalties allowing  Gosport  to make inroads into the Cobham half on many occasions. It was during this period of play that Jo Davis was yellow carded  following a maul. The inevitable penalty in a kickable position was conceded and converted by Gosport after 25 minutes.

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Gosport 11

 

This last score revitalised the Cobham side and they began to get consistency and drive into their patterns of play. There followed a period of forceful attacks from the whole team which led to good possession from a line out on the 22 metre line enabling Dave Flower at fly half to attack the Gosport fly half before giving a well timed inside pass to left wing James MacDonald who ran over unopposed to score an excellent try which was converted by Dave Flower after 35 minutes.

                                                                                                                Cobham 7 Gosport 11

 

Although Cobham were playing a more cohesive game Gosport attacked strongly for the remainder of this first half and play was again in the Cobham half. Following many attacks Gosport scrum half Wes Dugan scored halfway out the try being unconverted.

                                                                                                                Cobham 7 Gosport 16

 

The referees whistle blew to herald half time. In this half Cobham’s inconsistent play in attack and defence were a major factor. Scoring chances were missed and defensive errors were punished by a competent Gosport side.

 

Half time Cobham 7 Gosport 16

 

The second half began with Gosport immediately forcing play into the Cobham half creating scoring chances one of which was taken after 3 minutes which was not converted.

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                                                                                                                Cobham 7 Gosport 21.

At last Cobham were spurred into action playing good forceful rugby keeping well won possession and threatening the Gosport defence. The uncertainties and of the first half were replaced by good attacking spells and determined defence. Another decisive break by the excellent Jean Louis Gravier enabled him to give a scoring pass to the dependable   Joe McVey who following a determined run scored a try which was confidentially converted by Dave Flower.

                                                                                                                Cobham 14 Gosport 21

 

It was now Gosport’s turn to defend their line. Cobham played with great determination and urgency for long periods of time. This style of play stretched Gosport’s defence to the limit producing  two yellow cards in quick succession as they sought to deny Cobham’s skilful attacks. Eventually after a period of sustained pressure in the Gosport 25 the good possession was rewarded with a try by Kyle Ross which was confidentially converted by Dave Flower.

                                                                                                                Cobham 21 Gosport 21

It was now ‘game on’ with Cobham attacking from every position with great spirit and no less skill. Gosport responded with their own brand of team effort  producing exciting end to end rugby.  Both sides were searching for the score that would probably determine the winners of this close match between two evenly matched and amateur sides. However Cobham’s efforts to produce a winning score were not to be denied. A sustained period of dominance in the Gosport half resulted in  a penalty award to Cobham which was quickly taken  by Harry Mobbs and with Pierre Soucasse being halted a few metres from the try line, possession was secured from the resultant maul and with the referee apparently indicating advantage from a penalty infringement Dan Brown coolly dropped a goal from short range to put Cobham ahead for the first time in this encounter.

                                                                                                                Cobham 24 Gosport 21

 

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With about 5 minutes left of this absorbing and at times frustrating encounter between two committed sides Gosport fought back desperately forcing play deep into the Cobham 22. A series of forward drives by the rejuvenated Gosport pack saw Cobham’ try line severely threatened. These sustained  attacks caused errors in the Cobham defence and with only a minute left a Gosport driving maul in the corner was rewarded with an unconverted try. As the kick failed to reach the posts the referees whistle blew for full time to give the jubilant Gosport side their first away win for over 12 months.     

               

Full  time.  Cobham 24 Gosport 26

 

 

 

Match squad

 

Dan Walsh

Ben Joyce

Luke Charlton

Joe Goddard

Joe McVey

Richard Trepant

Jo Davies

Alex Stout

Harry Mobbs

Dave Flower

Max MacDonald

Dan Brown

Pierre Soucase

James MacDonald

Jean Louis Gravier

Kyle Ross

Doug Rodman

Tom Gwynne

 

  • Report @ Dick Blackman
  • Photos @ Chris Brown