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Late drop goal drama sees Cobham finish the season on a high

Cobham welcomed Farnham to the Memorial Ground for their final match of the season on Saturday (23 April). Cobham had opened the season away at Farnham with a 14-19 win and so were looking to complete the double over the visitors. That looked unlikely as Farnham shot out of the blocks and were 0-19 up after just 15 minutes.

Once the hosts finally got possession, Tom Farrelly opened Cobham’s account with a penalty (3-19). The deficit was reduced further after Farrelly broke through a gap in the Farnham twenty-two before going over under the posts for Cobham’s opening try, which Farrelly converted (10-19).

Just before half-time, the visitors registered their bonus point try meaning Cobham were truly up against it and needing a reset at the interval, as they trailed 10-26. The second half was going to have to be very different if the hosts were to find a way back into the match.

Wing Max MacDonald started the fightback, by getting the ball off his wing and cutting a line down the middle of the pitch to send full back Rory Penfold in at the corner. Farrelly converted from wide out and the deficit was back to nine points (17-26).

After being awarded a penalty just outside the twenty-two, Captain Ryan Saunders pointed to the posts; Farrelly converted, making the score 20-26 and ensuring the Cobham come back was well and truly on. The next score was going to be decisive. The home sides defence withstood the Farnham attack before turning the ball over and winning a penalty, which centre Jonny Holmes put in the corner with his left boot.

From the resultant lineout, Cobham moved the ball a couple of phases that allowed number eight Jake McQuade to get over the line with the conversion to come; the kick went agonisingly wide, meaning just a single point separated the sides (25-26).

There was still time on the clock and from the restart Cobham worked their way up the pitch. A penalty to Cobham went into touch for another lineout, with time up on the clock. From the set-piece, play was taken through a couple of phases in field that set-up Farrelly who took his opportunity to seal victory with a drop goal, as Cobham hit back to win by scoring 18 unanswered points. Final score, 28-26.

After winning 178 caps, it was a fitting way for prop Ben Joyce to hang up his boots; well done Joycey! Congratulations also to back row Louis Porter who after the match was awarded Players Player of season.

A huge thanks to all our supporters, sponsors, coaches and volunteers. We look forward to seeing you all back at the Memorial Ground for the 2022/23 season.

Director of Rugby Steve Pope said: “Well that was indeed the most Cobham performance of the season, both awful and brilliant in the same game! Thank you Farnham for another tough fixture. For those that have watched over the season, I hope you have seen as I have huge improvement in lots of areas.”

“There’s been a much better approach and application to our rugby across the teams - young and old coming together and pleasingly everyone, by pulling in the same direction. We are enjoying consist high numbers at training and regularly fielding two or three teams on a Saturday. I really feel if we can continue to build on the current mood and vibe around the club we are moving in a very positive direction.”

“We have some very talented players and I only hope they are enjoying their rugby as much as those who are watching it; open and exciting games, although maybe a little too much for my liking. That said we are becoming a very special club and I feel the people on and off the field all have a good feeling for what we want to be. A great place to play and socialise, we want to be competitive across all the teams we field. This season has shown what a great group of people we have involved and looking ahead at a pre-season tour is a great feeling.”

“I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone – players, coaches, supporters, volunteers and committee members. We have had a decent season and I really believe we can improve on our league standings next term. We look forward to welcoming new and old opponent's and challenging ourselves to improve on this season’s league position.”

“Well done to everyone, especially those hanging up their boots, or moving on - we thank you. We also very much look forward to welcoming any new players wishing to join our club. Enjoy your summer, as pre-season will soon come around.”

Cobham 1st XV Squad:

1. Ben Joyce

2. Andrew Murphy

3. Luke Bliss

4. Wesley Van Der Ploeg

5. Joe Goddard

6. Doug Rodman

7. Louis Porter

8. Jake McQuade

9. Ryan Saunders (C)

10. Tom Farrelly

11. Max MacDonald

12. Jonny Holmes

13. James MacDonald

14. Tiernan White

15. Rory Penfold


16. Ryan Aujla

17. Olly Fox

18. Luke Flower


Tries: Farrelly, Penfold, McQuade

Conversions: Farrelly x 2

Penalties: Farrelly x 2

Drop Goal: Farrelly

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