A waterproof writing pad was needed to record this game as the Memorial grounds were hit by atrocious weather for the return fixture against Chobham in the ongoing ' battle of the H'
The last three matches have all been tight knit affairs with only two points separating the teams but Cobham were still smarting from losing 29-27 to the final kick of the match at Fowlers Wells in September.
At the Cobham Xmas lunch Captain Olly Fox had introduced wing James MacDonald who was celebrating his 100th appearance ( -thanks as always to Thomas 'Stato' Schofield but for many players this was their first derby encounter
It was apparent from the whistle that Cobham wanted this win to finish the first half of a mixed season as they took the game to Chobham. Initially it was to no effect as the visitors, who obviously value the rivalry as well, took their opportunities to counter attack
The wet conditions resulted in dropped balls from both sides but after five minutes play stand off Luke Flower kicked ahead winger Will Sanders picked up darted cross field to feed centre Tom Farrelly who in turn kicked to the Chobham try line for Max MacDonald to collect and score 5-0
Chobham responded strongly but could not turn possession or territory into points and the next score came when Cobham secured a penalty and Tom Farrelly converted 8-0
It should have been expected that Chobham would not want that scoreline extended and when Cobham conceded a five metre scrum they converted the possession into points when hooker Robbie Brown powered over with the conversion bringing the score back to 8-7.
Having let Chobham back into the game Cobham responded when Farrelly intercepted and released Sanders to take the home side up to the line. Chobham prevented the score but from a resulting maul Tom Davison executed what is fast becoming a trade mark pick and go from a maul and broke the line 13-7 Farrelly converting 15-7.
Penalties were exchanged so at half time the score was 18-10.
With the weather deteriorating it might have been expected for the play to become literally bogged down but both sides moved the ball wide and it stayed in hand. Chobham infringed and Farrelly extended the lead with a well struck penalty 21-10 but a yellow card for Max MacDonald for an adjudged high tackle took Cobham down to 14. Chobham took advantage when they converted line out ball into a rolling maul and crossed the line and kicked the extras 21-17 and it appeared as if we were on track for a trademark close finish. However there was nothing nebulous about Cobham's response,relentless driving, mauling and rucking saw scrum Tiernan White pick up and dive over the line under the posts 28-17 and we were into the final ten minutes.
As if to emphasise the dominance of the second half Cobham wanted the bonus point try and Sam Matcham scored it just before the whistle. Final score 33-17
Director of rugby Steve Pope said '"Well that's set us all up for a nice Christmas break, the battle of the H is as any derby should be, always a well contested affair.
7.Olly Fox ( Captain)
16 Ryan Aujila
17 Theo Buffini
Tries Max MacDonald, Tiernan White,Sam Matcham,T Davison
Penalties Tom Farrelly ( 3 )
Conversions Tom Farrelly (2)