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1sts stay top of the league

Second half control sinks Effingham...

London Division 3 South West
Effingham 14 Cobham 39
20 October 2007

Total second half control by Cobham gives victory

In their match against against local rivals Effingham, Cobham fielded a much changed side compared with a couple of weeks ago, missing player-coach Billy Davison and several other top players. However after a fairly even first half where Effingham scored a couple of tries and Cobham only managed one, the second half was totally different with the performance of the Cobham side demonstrating that they were much fitter and faster than the opposition.

Cobham v Effingham

Cobham scored four excellent tries in the second half in addition to a couple of penalties whereas the Cobham defence was as solid as it has been this season and Effingham added no more score after halftime. The Cobham support play was exceptional in the second half with Martin Green setting up fly half Nick James and centres David MacCallum and Kevin Jarvis with opportunity to run the ball at pace with excellent support from many of the the Cobham pack, Ben Picket being man of the match.

Cobham v Effingham

With a break in midfield by Nick Sutton or the centres, Cobham moved the ball time and again out to their speedy wingers Richard Blackmore and Laurence Bendall and all tries in the second half were scored by the threequarters with excellent support from the pack. Effingham did attack strongly towards the end of the second half but a fine defence by Cobham prevented any further Effingham score; as a result Cobham came away with another excellent win for the season to retain their position at top of the league

Cobham v Effingham

Cobham kicked off at the start of the match but soon found themselves under attack by the home side. Effingham attacked in the Cobham half, stretching the defence but after the initial attack had been stopped adequately with some solid defence, a tackle was missed and Effingham prop Mike Byrne made a sprint to the line to score a try with Johnathan Grooley converting to give Effingham a seven point lead. Effingham were playing very well at this time and it looked as if they scored again right away there would be no stopping a solid victory.

But Cobham responded quickly with a good break and sprint by Kevin Jarvis to take play deep into the Effingham half, Laurence Bendall scoring a good converted try to level the score. The match then became fairly even with both sides attacking and causing good solid defence, but just before half time Effingham retained their early lead with a second try. Effingham had kicked ahead into the Cobham half but the Cobham defence found it difficult to control the ball and the additional Effingham support players in attendance allowed the home side to gather possession, Nick Wooster scoring a try to give Effingham a 14-7 lead. Towards the end of the half Cobham took more control, working at pace to stretch the Effingham defence, failed to score but nevertheless were looking stronger.

Cobham v Effingham

At the start of the second half Cobham managed to reduce the points deficit with a fine penalty from David MacCallum and moments later Cobham attacked with vigour with both Tristan Lee and Laurence Bendall in the move which was finished off by fly half Nick James who scored a good try close to the posts. This gave Cobham a three point lead and from that point onwards the Cobham pace and support play was too fast for Effingham. Cobham set up a further attack and moved the ball along the line where winger Richie Blackmore beat the defence for Cobham's third try to extend the lead, David MacCallum converting.

The result was put beyond doubt a few moments later when another fast threequarter move gave speedy Nick Sutton a chance to sprint to the line and the fullback clinched it for Cobham with a try. Effingham managed a few attacks getting into the Cobham 22 on a few occasions but were unable to score as Cobham defended well. Cobham then attacked with a good run by Richie Blackmore taking play 50 metres closer to the Effingham line, the home team went offside and David MacCallum scored his second penalty to extend the Cobham lead. At the end of the match in the final Cobham attack , good ground was made at pace, David MacCallum with a good break being well supported by Richie Blackmore, and Laurence Bendall scored the final try at speed to take the visitors up to 39 points.

Cobham's performance in the second half was vastly superior to that of the first half, with Effingham unable to match the pace and fitness, and it is clear that with the number of team changes made for this match Cobham now have tremendous strength in depth that should see them well organised for the rest of the season.

Cobham: N Sutton, R Blackmore, K Jarvis, D MacCallum, L Bendall ; N Jones, M Green; T Lee, W Holland, A Darroch-Warren, B Pickett, M Lockwood, S Mills, J Green, R Haynes

Report by Tony Maddocks