The Cobham vs Chobham fixture is always an interesting affair, the local derby fixture stirs many an emotion, not least in Cobham stalwart Chris Melton. Placing this fixture as the first game of the season and combining it with a full 1s-3s series of matches was inspired.
Needless to say a very motivated Cooters team arrived at Fairmille ready for action.
Perhaps it was the deep squad combined with the success of the previous season, but the game started with a shock for the Cooters. The Chobham inside centre glided through the 10-12 channel eventually being stopped 5m from the line. This was a very fired up opposition, blending the energy of youth with the bulk of a monstrous number eight and a wealth of experience centred on the veteran hooker.
The period of Chobham pressure lasted for nearly 20 minutes with the Cooters delivering a great display of rush defence. The pressure was finally abated by a superb clearing kick by Mark Jones; this sparked the Cooters into action who now on the front foot closed on the Chobham line who conceded a penalty. Ever the poacher, TC took this quickly crashing through some poor tackling, Jones adding the extras.
The bit between their teeth the Cooters were straight back on the Chobham line with poor discipline leading to the Cooters receiving a Penalty Try. Cooters maintained this momentum with the forwards and backs showing some fine interplay before Ian the skipper crashed over from short range. Again Cooters returned with pace and a sublime grubber kick from our recently returned wing Elliot bounced up perfectly for his chase but it was not to be.
Chobham then counter attacked eventually being stopped on the Cooters 5m line with the home side being rewarded with a scrum. Chobham were clearly incensed by this and piled on the pressure forcing TC to pick and go from the base breaking the attempted tackles of the 10 and wing before passing to James Peacock who stampeded down the wing eventually being stopped deep in the Opposition half. Jones seized the opportunity to cross the line following a series of rucks close in. The fly half turned crash ball wizard using his face to smash through two tackles and score under the posts. A great try but it cost him as soon after adding the extras he was substituted due to a knock on the head (possibly linked to the 3 tackles he made on the aforementioned 8)
Sadly at this point instead of squeezing the strangle hold on Chobham the Cooters eased off the gas, allowing the resilient Chobham backs to score. This led to some hard running from the likes of Piers, Humber, Cliff and Seb to see the half out.
The depth of the squad allowed a full 7 of the forwards to switch Chris Melton refusing to leave the field until late into the second half, only after he felt he had disrupted the front row enough that they were forced to go unopposed in the scrums.
Clearly the off season had not allowed all players to prepare for the game, veteran wing Craig ran out wearing his work black socks having mislaid his game attire.
Replacement 8 and Cobham stalwart Hugh crashed over at close range eliminating the quick score Chobham seized straight off the half time whistle. Further highlights of this aggressive confrontation were Craig hurling his opposite number into touch in a hammer thrower like way. This young and vertically challenged number 11 returned the favour smashing the much larger Cooters centre cliff into touch.
Tom Lucas as the Cooters new outside centre cut everything that ran near him down and made great yardage every time he received the ball. The moment of the match belongs to the Skipper Kim Jong Ian who despite requesting to be substituted with 10 minutes dug deep and put in a huge tackle on the opposition wing which will long remembered.
The final score 47-12 a huge Cooters win.