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Beckenham (17th Jan)

Good post New Year run out...

Cobham 45 Beckenham 7

London League Two South

After a four week gap between League fixtures, extended when the original Beckenham fixture was frozen off last week, Cobham got their 2009 league campaign off to a flying start by demolishing a spirited if limited Beckenham side by five tries to one, to leave them back on top of London League Two South.

A 30 point haul for winger Tim Green, comprising two tries, four penalties and four conversions might suggest this was something of a one man show, but this was far from the case. Cobham dominated their opposition in most phases of the game from the start. Their heavier and more experienced forwards bullied the hard working Beckenham eight in the scrums and in general loose play, turning balls over regularly and denying the visitors any time on the ball, or decent possession to play with.

Cobham opened the score after only 3 minutes, when a searing break by winger Nick Sutton from some way back in his own half carved a huge hole in the Beckenham defence, before putting lock Bill Davison in for a try. This was followed six minutes later by the first of Tim Green’s tries, when a fluffed clearance kick by centre Joe MacLatchie was picked up by centre Dave McCallum, who duly dotted down near the posts.

Two further Tim Green penalties extended the lead before quick ruck ball and quick hands found lock Bill Davison adding the extra man in midfield, which left hard running Tim Green in a little space, and the cover defence was no match for the flying Welshman as he crashed through for a try in the corner for a 27 point lead after only half an hour. A further Green penalty almost on the half time whistle saw Cobham with a commanding 30 point lead at the break.

To be fair to Beckenham, they could never have been accused of just rolling over. Dan Airey, Beckenham’s dreadlocked open side flanker beavered away manfully all game and was always a nuisance, and it was his pressure on the Cobham defence that saw an attempted hacked clearance rebound off a Beckenham leg for centre Alex Jones to pick up and race 30 metres to score.

Cobham’s response was immediate. Pressure from the Cobham  back row of  Campbell, Creed and Cook, replacing skipper Jack Davison shortly after the break, saw Beckenham concede another penalty for Tim Green to add to his tally; and a few minutes later scrum half Franks made a sharp break down the short side off a ruck, and put Green in for his second.

With a few minutes left, Cobham completed their scoring when replacement prop took a quick ball off the top from a lineout, and charging up upfield, sucked in Beckenham’s midfield defence. Replacement winger Gregory, coming off his wing, spotted a gap and having breached the line, put centre Fisher in for the final score.

With rivals Dorking involved in a cup tie this week, Cobham are once again top of the league, although current 4th placed Dorking do have a game in hand. With the current 2nd and 3rd placed sides Basingstoke and Gravesend both winning this week, and providing the opposition for Cobham’s next two games, much will be decided by the end of January in relation to who has realistic title ambitions. On this performance, and with wins against both these sides already under their belt, Cobham will surely fancy their chances.