We are grateful to Tim Hollidge for this match report of any important victory for the Under 17
3rd match into a cup run and it’s Easter - what do you do? Let the players decide. We train twice. No 'shoulda woulda coulda' from these boys. Forecast looks good, however we wake up to rain. No matter, off to Crawley we go. The clouds break. Crawley RFC sits on a bed of clay, sticky, soggy, wet. Warm up begins, dropped balls, a few nerves, we need to settle. Boys want hands on ball, we run another drill, perfect, almost too perfect. Team run for 5 minutes, again goes well. 12 minutes to kick off, boys back in for last minute prep, coaches edgy, have last 15 mins gone too well?
Game starts, Cobham clean catch, early pressure. Refs mic’ed up to touch judges, games are officiated brilliantly. Cobham lineout on Thurrock 5 metre line, quick reactions by Alex Taylor and we’re over 5-0. Thurrock kick off, again, clean catch. Cobham starting to move the ball, looking dangerous every time the ball goes wide. Further tries follow as our flying left winger, Joe Jelinek scoots in for a couple, ably abetted by outside centre Alec O’Connor. Half time 22-0, we’re in control. “Don’t give them a sniff”. We duly go flat. Thurrock finally put the ball in the hands of their most dangerous player and he scores. 22-7 and their tails are up.
Cobham wake up, Tom Eelman and Henry Mason continue to win turnover ball and the penalty count begins to tell. Thurrock lose a man to the sin bin and Cobham press their advantage. Further tries follow. Thurrock frustration sets in, players coming from the side of the pitch to join in the fisticuffs. 2 more players to the sin bin as Cobham don’t take a backward step.
Last play of the game and Cobham go the length of the field to score. I made it 48-7 but the official result is 41-7. Either way a great victory and a fantastic piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet. It was a great squad effort with many try scorers across the fifteen. We look forward to the next round at Henley in two week’s time following our intensive training camp in Bordeaux.