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Cobham fall short at Cornish as winless run continues

Updated: Feb 20

Cobham travelled to the Richardson Evans Memorial playfields at Roehampton Vale on Saturday (17 February) for their return fixture of the season against London Cornish. Cobham had won at home back in November (34-26) as both teams went into this clash looking for their first game of 2024. The visitors welcomed back James MacDonald, Andrew Murphy and Dan Allchurch, while Ryan Saunders also returned to captain the side.


Cornish got on the scoreboard first with a Mike Edworthy penalty, but Cobham responded immediately with a great team effort. Flanker Max Hales made the first of numerous breaking runs to feed hooker Andrew Murphy, before centre James MacDonald linked with full back Joe Wagg to go over for the posts. Ben Littlefair rattled the uprights with the conversion kick but the visitors were ahead (3-5).


Another penalty for Cornish saw Edworthy restore the lead (6-5) as Cobham then withstood 12 consecutive phases as Cornish looked to break the line but without success. However, following the decision to take a scrum rather than a penalty in front of the posts, Cornish swung the ball wide and winger George Bromage touched down. Edworthy was unable to convert but the home side had extended their lead (11-5).


Hales collected the ball from the Cobham restart but another penalty infringement provided relief for Cornish, but it was apparent to the Cobham supporters that this was a revitalised side and another try was on the agenda. MacDonald and Allchurch were enjoying their return and creating space, but when a rare penalty for Cobham was awarded they took the safe option with Littlefair narrowing the lead (11-8).


The next score was against the run of play when Porter broke from the back of the scrum, fed Hales but what should have been a relieving kick from Littlefair was recovered by full back Robert Mackay. He ran into space and linked with Edworthy to go over for a try he would also convert and open up a ten-point lead (18-8).


Ollie Fielding came on for an injured Hugh Farmer and the visitors took the game into the Cornish twenty-two. A penalty provided Cobham with a lineout close to the try line and from a trademark Goddard collect at the set-piece, the drive over from Aujla was adjudged to have been held up. As the half-time whistle blew, Cobham could empathise with how Scotland felt last weekend.


Edworthy added another penalty shortly after the second half started (21-8) but the next twenty minutes belonged to Cobham. Aujla reprieved his drive over, but on this occasion succeeded claiming the try and, with Littlefair adding the extras, the lead was reduced to six points (21-15). Edworthy then took his points tally to 18 for the afternoon and the score to 24-15 with another penalty.


The next score came originally from a Porter charge down and, after another searing run from Wagg, eventually it was a kick ahead from Saunders that Hales picked up on to secure a well deserved try. The successful conversion meant the points difference was down to a single score (24-22). Edworthy provided Cornish with an increased cushion as he slotted over another penalty (27-22) but no one watching Cobham play felt the win was beyond them.


Sadly at this point, Cobham lost Joe Goddard to injury and despite maintaining pressure on Cornish the final score proved elusive as the final whistle blew. With Gravesend also losing, Cobham are three points adrift with four matches to play and this could easily go down to the wire. Cobham are on the road again after a weekend break with another away fixture against league leaders Battersea Ironsides.


Cobham 1st XV Squad:-

1. Ryan Aujla

2. Andrew Murphy

3. Richard Nunn

4. Hugh Farmer

5. Joe Goddard

6. Max Hales

7. Olly Fox

8. Louis Porter

9. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)

10. Ben Littlefair

11. Will Hebbes

12. Ben Harper

13. James MacDonald

14. Dan Allchurch

15. Joe Wagg

Substitutes:

16 Ben Joyce

17 Ollie Fielding

18 Michael Osner


Scorers:

Tries: Wagg, Aujla and Hales

Conversions: Littlefair (2)

Penalties : Littlefair


Match Gallery:




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