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1sts win top of table clash

Defeat of Guernsey extends lead...

London Division 3 South West
Cobham 12 Guernsey 8
24 November 2007

Cobham gain victory in top of the league clash

This was another tough win for league leaders Cobham as Guernsey were second in the league having lost only one game previously and were only three points behind.

Guernsey proved to be a good side and both teams gave quality performances in the match despite the almost freezing temperatures, occasional horizontal wind, and the occasional almost freezing rain. The visitors were very keen to perform well against Cobham and were very heavy and strong in the pack and speedy in the threequarters, giving good support to each other on every move.

Cobham v Guernsey

But Cobham proved to be quicker in the front five and by winning all their own lineout ball from Ben Pickett and Jamie Durward due to the accurate throwing in of Mark Bennett, actually achieved a good advantage in the forwards with excellent pace. The first half was very even with the only score coming from a penalty from Guernsey, but in the second half Cobham surged into the lead with two tries, the first from match skipper J P O'Reilly and the second a penalty try when the pack drove Mark Bennett over the line for a score which was converted by David MacCullum. The visitors responded well with some more adventurous play late in the second half, a good speedy backs' move from their own 22 that was the only move to breach the solid Cobham threequarter defence but that was their only score and was a bit late in the game. The final score of 12-8 gave Cobham victory which was a fair result and meant that they have been unbeaten in the league so far this season.

Cobham v Guernsey

At the start of the match Cobham were penalised in the opening minutes for pulling down the scrum and Guernsey immediately went into a three point lead. Cobham then went quickly into their normal style of play with J P O'Reilly having a good run and Tristan Lee almost scoring but Cobham were penalised at the scrum which prevented a score. Cobham continued to attack, Steve Burton chipping ahead accurately and Matt Johnson supporting well, but again Cobham were penalised and were unable score.

In the next move Mark Bennett was unbelievably yellow carded by the referee and Guernsey were awarded a penalty from some distance but were unable to extend their lead. Cobham continued with some good play, Nick Jones kicking a good distance to take play into the Guernsey half with J P O'Reilly having a good break from the scrum. Cobham defended well as Guernsey raised the pace of their game and attacked in midfield with good support from the back row but the visitors could not add to their score.

Cobham v Guernsey

With no further points from the visitors Cobham went on total attack at the end of the first half, Steve Burton making a good break being well supported by Mark Bennett and a Guernsey prop was yellow carded to keep out the Cobham surge. Cobham won a scrum only five metres out from the visitors line, with J P O'Reilly making a break and getting close to scoring, and Cobham continued the attack on the Guernsey line from a scrum five metres out. The visitors were again penalised and a second player yellow carded but all Cobham managed was a penalty just outside the 22, but this was was missed and Guernsey went into half time with the three nil lead.

Guernsey began well at the start of the second half, forcing play to the Cobham 22 and attempting a dropped goal to extend the lead but failed to score. Cobham responded well forcing a lineout in the Guernsey half with Dave MacCullum having a sharp run but he just failed to score, being tackled a metre short. Cobham kept up the pressure, winning a lineout close to the opposition line and when a clean catch was taken the forwards drove for the line and J P O'Reilly dashed around the base of the ruck to score Cobham's first try in the corner, establishing a 5-3 lead.

With the score fairly even, both sides attacked strongly, Guernsey winning a penalty after after a good drive but fortunately for Cobham the well struck kick hit a post and Cobham retained the lead. Cobham responded with a good lineout and drive close to the Guernsey line and with Mark Bennett almost over the line for a try the referee considered that Cobham would have scored but for a foul by Guernsey and Cobham were awarded a penalty try, Dave MacCullum converting to give Cobham a 12-3 lead. Guernsey attacked again initially being forced back by a 60 metre touch find by Nick Sutton, but shortly afterwards Guernsey attacked again at pace. Centre D Chatterton made a startling break for Guernsey out of their own 22 and after sprinting 50 metres passed to skipper A Bailey for him to score in the corner despite the strong Cobham defence, and the score was reduced to a 12-8 lead for Cobham.

Both sides attacked strongly in the final minutes of the match but there was no additional score, only some good play to entertain the appreciative spectators and Cobham retain their top of the league position.

Cobham: N Sutton,A Flower, S Burton, T Green, N Jones; D MacCullum, J P O'Reilly (Capt); R Nunn, M Bennett, W Mealin, B Pickett, J Durward, M Johnson, T Lee, R Haynes

Report by Tony Maddocks