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Dover

Man of the match from debutant Jones-Davies...

11th October 2008

Cobham 39 Dover 18

A beautiful autumn afternoon, two tries in each half, a 19 point haul for full back Arran Cowell and an accomplished and mature man of the match performance by 18 year old debutant fly half Ross Jones-Davies made for a very satisfactory afternoon for Cobham in this London League Two South encounter.

After last week’s somewhat disappointing performance against Maidstone, it was good to see Cobham returning to the form they have shown in earlier matches this season. Despite missing several first choice players through injury or non-availibility, Cobham have some considerable strength in depth in most positions this season, and the introduction of the youthful Jones-Davies for the injured Dan Taylor caused little, if any, disruption.

The match opened up at a furious pace; Cobham keen to attack at every opportunity, and Dover willing to counter attack. Cobham’s back row of Creed, Davison and Cook foraged and pressurised from the kick off, forcing a penalty which Cowell converted for an early lead after only 5 minutes. Cobham continued to press, when Dover, somewhat against the run of play, ran from deep in their own half, wrong footed the Cobham defence for the outside centre to run in from 55 metres for an unconverted try. Cobham regained the lead on about 20 metres. Debutant Ross Jones-Davies was held up over the line after a prolonged attack, but the referee was playing a lengthy advantage, and Cowell kicked the penalty.

Cobham never really looked back from that moment on. Skipper and No. 8 Jack Davison drove over from a try on 30 minutes, and after a terrific break from winger Nick Sutton, a clean take from Hahn in the lineout saw flanker Alex Cook burrow over to extend the lead at half time to 21 – 8.

The second half was more fractured, and featured a string of penalties by referee Mr. Nicholas against an increasingly desperate Dover defence. Dover could never really break Cobham’s stranglehold on the game. In the pack, Andy Alexander, back in the side after injury, had an excellent game in loose and tight, and the back row dominated proceedings. To illustrate Cobham’s strength in depth, Coach Bill Davison kept himself and flying winger Blackmore on the bench until the last quarter, and when Dover saw the considerable form of Darroch-Warren leave the pitch only to be replaced by the comparably sized Raikes, it was apparent it was not going to be their day.

Further tries from winger Kevin Jarvis, and a tremendous pirouetting, dummying break from centre Botten completed the try-scoring for Cobham; Cowell, who enjoyed another excellent afternoon at full-back, added two penalties and a conversion for Cobham, whilst a minor lapse in concentration saw the Dover flyhalf and captain Boardman add a consolation try right on full time. 

Colfeians unexpected win over Chobham now puts Cobham up to third; behind Basingstoke and local rivals Dorking: and with all the top four sides yet to play each other, the next month or so to the half-way point should prove to be fascinating. Next week Cobham entertain Ruislip from London two North in the EDF cup competition at Fairmile Lane, before travelling the following week to mid-table Gravesend in the league.