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Cobham's best all-round performance secures victory against Old Priorian

Cobham lost the away fixture against Old Priorian back in September but now welcomed them for the first time to the Memorial Grounds on Saturday (3 December). Old Priorian are an Old Boys club deriving from St Benedicts School in Ealing and they have enjoyed a successful season in the league, currently placed second in the table and playing a similar running style of game. Indeed, some of their offloads throughout this contest suggested a Pacific Island influence in their training.

This would be a challenging match for Cobham in the run-up to Christmas, but following a highly focused training session their all-round display, featuring expansive running, tight defence and fine goal kicking, ensured a very well-earned victory.

Cobham were testing the visitors' defence from the start, with Captain Ryan Saunders moving the ball along the backline, but it was apparent why Old Priorian had conceded the second lowest number of points in the league this season as they resisted an early break through.

The first score for Cobham came from a trademark Saunders sidestep, feint and dummy in quick succession as he broke the line, which Farrelly converted (7-0). However, Old Priorian responded strongly and we began to see just how far Cobham have progressed in their defence this season. MacDonald, Radford and Porter were prominent but there were no gaps in any of the defence for the visitors to exploit. Old Priorian came close with a highly effective rolling maul but were brought down and lost possession short of the line.

Cobham took the game back into the visitors' half and after prop Chris Lippiatt was held-up, Old Priorian were penalised with a yellow card infringement. The hosts took advantage of their extra man and a surging run from hooker Andrew Murphy eventually set-up Rory Penfold for a try under the posts, which Farrelly once again converted (14-0).

As the first half drew to a close it was apparent that Old Priorian were stung by the prospect of not scoring a point in the opening 40 minutes. They laid siege to the Cobham line, but they could not break through an indefeasible defence and when they finally lost possession, Farrelly provided a relieving kick swiftly followed by the half-time whistle.

Although Old Priorian selection had been hampered by injury and they only had two substitutes available for this game, they increased the tempo of their play and achieved a higher percentage of possession and territory. However, Farrelly kicked a penalty to stretch Cobham’s advantage (17-0) but for the next ten minutes Old Priorian spun the ball from corner to corner as they looked for their elusive first points. When Cobham were able to get back into the visitors half an infringement gave Farrelly a long range penalty, which he took to take the score to 20-0.

Deep into the second half and it was looking as if Cobham were going to avoid any points being scored against them, but Old Priorian finally broke through with a converted try from hooker Ben Ridley (20-7). Although Farrelly kicked his third penalty of the game (23-7) the momentum was firmly with the visitors, as Lippiatt received a yellow card and soon after prop Guy Djedje touched down for the visitors second try (23-12). Cobham were probably relieved to hear the final whistle but this is, without doubt, a much-improved side who will travel to league leaders Hammersmith & Fulham this Saturday (10 December).

Cobham 1st XV Squad:-

1. Chris Lippiatt

2. Andrew Murphy

3. Luke Bliss

4. Wesley Van Der Ploeg

5. Joe Goddard

6. John Radford

7. Olly Fox

8. Louis Porter

9. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)

10. Tom Farrelly

11. Max MacDonald

12. Taylor Burnett

13. James MacDonald

14. Rory Penfold

15. Dan AllChurch


16. Mario Zakakiotis

17. Luke Westgarth-Taylor

18. Will Stephens


Tries: Saunders, Penfold

Conversions: Farelly (2)

Penalties: Farrelly (3)

Match Action Gallery:-

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