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Cobham leave it late to get the better of Beaconsfield

Cobham's 1st XV returned home having secured an important away win against Windsor the previous week, which helped build momentum in the Regional 2 Thames league. Their opponents, Beaconsfield RFC were far tougher opposition than their league position suggested and played in front of a number of Cobham Ex-Players, following their annual lunch, the match unfolded into one of the most keenly contested and pulsating games played at the Memorial Grounds for some years.

The final result, which included so many fluctuating passages of play, could not have been anticipated based on the opening 15 minutes, which Cobham dominated by capitalising on the visitors' handling errors. The opening try saw lock Wesley Van Der Ploeg take advantage of a knock-on to feed winger Ollie Horton for a well taken try in the corner, which fly half Farrelly converted (7-0).

Within minutes the score line was extended thanks to prop Chris Lippiatt driving over and Farrelly converting once again (14-0). Beaconsfield prevented the hosts claiming a third try through centre Taylor Burnett, when he was bundled into touch. However, that only proved to be a short delay, before Cobham's trademark rolling maul enabled Doug Rodman to drive over. Farrelly added the extras and the hosts has a commanding three-score advantage (21-0). Cobham make these tries look easy but they don't happen without hours of practice; hooker Andrew Murphy's pin point accurate lineout throwing and secures from Van Der Ploeg, Porter and Rodman.

That score was to be the end of the first passage of play as Beaconsfield then showed that, with ball in hand, how dangerous they could be. Second row Sean Morgan drove over in the corner, which full back Aled Lewis converted from wide out (21-7), before winger Dan Lofthouse-Smith raced down the touch line to score, with Lewis adding the extras (21-14).

Farrelly added to Cobham's rally with a well taken penalty (24-14) but then lost hooker Murphy for the rest of the match to the Referee's decision for an adjudged concussion. Although that required Cobham to rebuild their pack, with substitute Richard Nunn coming on, it did not disrupt the home sides momentum as Lippiatt went over for his second try. Farrelly converted (31-14) and just before half-time, Penfold picked up on another handling error to race to the line for Cobham's fifth try of the half and a 38-14 lead at the halfway stage. 

The fourth passage of play that slowly developed in the second half belonged wholly to Beaconsfield. It started with a well taken drive over the line from back row Joe Harman, converted by Lewis (38-21) and was followed by another converted score from Harry Berriman that cut the deficit to ten points (38-28).

Max MacDonald came on for his first game of the season but was immediately wrong footed in a tackle and was red carded for going too high. This allowed Beaconsfield to continue to claw their way back into the contest, with full back Lewis selling a dummy to put Ryan Morgan over (38-35). Cobham were now being forced to make try saving tackles but the onslaught could not be withstood and former Cobham winger Tyson Evans-Peters went over to put the visitors in front (38-40). After ten consecutive successful conversions and one penalty by both kickers, the conversion attempt by Lewis went wide.

And so, after 26 unanswered points by the visitors we came to the fifth and final passage of play and perhaps the most exciting. Beaconsfield were penalised in front of the posts and lost a player with just 9 minutes left to play; Farrelly converted the penalty and Cobham were back in front (41-40).

A break by George Pickersgill, feeding Burnett and finally Farrelly looked as if it had put Cobham further ahead, but Beaconsfield defence held firm and Farrelly was tackled into touch. With the Ex-Players loudly encouraging their protégés from the touchlines Beaconsfield were looking to breach the defences and amidst some excellent defence, Burnett had to deliver his own try saving tackle on the wing.

Cobham regained possession and territory, before the combined efforts of Farrelly, James MacDonald, Bliss and Nunn sent Horton over for his second try in the corner and a final score of 46-40. Cobham are now in fifth place in the league having scored the second highest number of points both home (125) and away (113), reflecting their attacking style of play.

Director of Rugby Steve Pope said after the game: "Well, a very close encounter but it shouldn't have been. Well done to the visitors for making us fight for the win. Congratulations to Frosty on making his debut; a very strange game for him to start, with lots of peculiar decisions and events on the pitch."

"All's well that ends well and hopefully our injuries start to ease, and we have good availability for next week’s games against London Irish and Reeds Weybridge, which are two exciting fixtures to look forward to."

In Saturday's other senior fixture, a great result on the road as Cobham's 2nd XV beat Chobham 35-22.

Cobham 1st XV Squad:-

1. Chris Lippiatt

2. Andrew Murphy

3. Luke Bliss (Capt.)

4. Wesley Van Der Ploeg

5. Doug Rodman

6. Matt Frost*

7. Hugh Roberts

8. Louis Porter

9. George Pickersgill

10. Tom Farrelly

11. Ollie Horton

12. Taylor Burnett

13. James MacDonald

14. Rory Penfold

15. Will Stephen


16. Ryan Aujla

17. Richard Nunn

18. Max MacDonald

*1st XV Debut*


Tries: Horton (2), Lippiatt (2), Rodman, Penfold

Conversions: Farrelly (5)

Penalties: Farrelly (2)

Player of the Match: Matt Frost

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