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1sts maintain winning run

London Irish fall to Cobham victory...

London Division 3 South West
London Irish Wild Geese 15 Cobham 23
10 November 2007

Cobham attack in second half to give Wild Geese no chance

Cobham won an important League match against London Irish Wild Geese, with both sides being in the top three of the league prior to the game, and both looking for a win to maintain or improve their league position.

Cobham v Irish

Cobham were not at their strongest team, both skipper Billy Davison and former skipper Martin Green being unable to play due to broken limbs, Jack Davison was also unavailable. Consequently, there were a number of changes in the side from previous weeks that indicated that the game against Wild Geese was going to be very tough.

Cobham v Irish

The Wild Geese side appeared to be very strong when the match started ,being very fast in the threequarters and the back row, and providing good support to any players that broke through the Cobham defence. Wild Geese scored two tries in the first half as the powerful centres drove through and were well supported but Cobham stayed in the game responding with firstly a try from Steve Burton as the result of a brilliant pacey attack and then just before half time the forwards drove over, Mark Bennett levelling the score with Cobham's second try.

Cobham had been under pressure in the first half and had done exceptionally well to level the half time score at 12-12 but in the second half made some significant improvements. Cobham tightened up the defence and the only score Wild Geese managed in the second half was a penalty but Cobham also raised their game scoring two penalties and then in the final minutes scored a third try, J-P O'Reilly dashing over from a ruck close to the opposition line. A very impressive win by a good margin 15-23 and Cobham can be well pleased with an important victory.

Cobham v Irish

The match started in sensational style, Wild Geese scoring in the opening moments with a break in the threequarters from a missed tackle, allowing Sam McKinney to sprint through for a converted try. With the strength and speed of the attack it appeared that Cobham were going to be under pressure for the entire match but Cobham soon responded with an attack in the opposition half, Richie Blackmore having a good attacking run.

Cobham kept up the attack, Nick Sutton running strongly out of the Cobham half and after several exchanges between speedy attacking threequarters, Steve Burton scored a magnificent try which Dave MacCullum converted to level the scores. The play was then pretty even, both sides attacking well, wing forward Tristan Lee having a strong run for Cobham but Wild Geese then found a gap in midfield and Ben Kitching picked up the pass which allowed him to sprint over to set up a 12-5 lead. The game was tough and Matt Hahn was forced to leave the field through injury to be replaced by the experienced Matt Jarvis. Cobham defended well to prevent any more Wild Geese tries in the first half but then responded well , Nick Jones made a good break in the centre to gain some good ground and in the lineout following a penalty for Cobham, Ben Pickett made a good catch, the forwards drove well to the the line and Mark Bennett scored Cobham's second try to level the scores.

At the start of the second half Cobham went into the attack at pace forcing Wild Geese to infringe at a ruck and Dave MacCullum scored a penalty to give Cobham the lead for the first time in the match. Wild Geese responded well with a series of attacks that took play deep into the Cobham 22, but Cobham managed to gain possession and ran fifty metres back into the opposition half forcing an infringement at a ruck, and Dave MacCullum scored an excellent penalty to extend the Cobham lead to six points.

Both sides were playing well with good moves to gain ground on the pitch but then Wild Geese upped their game moving over the length of the field only being stopped from scoring a try by some magnificent defence in front of the Cobham posts. Cobham were however penalised at a ruck and Wild Geese were able reduce the lead to three points with a successfully scored penalty. With only three points required to level the match and a single try to win the game, Wild Geese started playing with tremendous vigour with a series of relentless attacks, being very keen to achieve the winning score. With only minutes to go there was every opportunity for the home side to win but good solid tackling by Cobham prevented such an advance.

In the final minutes Richie Blackmoore intercepted a pass and Cobham took play deep into the Wild Geese half. The Cobham forwards forced a ruck two metres from the Wild Geese line and when the ball was won, J-P O'Reilly took the ball and nipped in at the blind side to score a sensational try for Cobham, giving the home side no opportunity to win.

Cobham: N Sutton, M R Blackmore, S Burton, N Jones, H White; D MacCullum, C Perry; R Nunn, M Bennett, W Mealin, B Pickett, M Hahn(Capt.), B Creed, T Lee, R Haynes

Report by Tony Maddocks