It was disappointing that Cobham could not maintain the momentum they had shown since Christmas in this away fixture against league leaders Camberley. In many ways, the match played out very similarly to the previous fixture earlier in the season at the Memorial Grounds, where Cobham saw their first half lead overturned.
With debuts for past mini/youth players Henry Mason and Gresham Lynn, Director of Rugby Steve Pope will have been pleased with the attacking rugby Cobham played in the first 15 minutes and confining Camberley to their half. The interaction between the back line and pack was impressive and no doubt reflects many hours of training, but it was Camberley who achieved the opening score when hooker Connor Diplock touched down that Liam Prescott converted (7-0).
The home side looked to extend their lead for the remainder of the half but final passes went astray and penalties provided Cobham with opportunities to get back into the match. Farrelly just fell short from the halfway line but a further opportunity was converted (7-3).
Saunders, Farrelly and Max MacDonald combined to break the Camberley defence and although the resulting ruck was held-up, Cobham were finishing the first half strongly and with only a few minutes left a spiralling kick from Farrelly with a wicked final bounce evaded the Camberley cover and was pounced on by winger Tiernan White to give the visitors the lead (7-8).
The second half was played out to a different script altogether with Camberley showing why they are league leaders. Collecting a clearing kick close to the touch line, the ball was moved wide to the other side of the pitch where winger George Owen showed electric pace and broke several tackles to score from over 60 yards (12-8).
This provided Camberley with the momentum they had been looking for all afternoon and for the first time this season the Cobham pack came under pressure. Alex Hughes scored next for the home side, with Prescott converting (19-8).
Cobham put together their best period of the half with hooker Murphy displaying soft hands to shift the ball down the line, but the home side defence held firm and only a penalty from Farrelly could be achieved (19-11).
Into the final quarter, tempers frayed on both sides but Camberley took advantage and Nick Barry charged over the line for the bonus point try, with Prescott again adding the extras (27-11). Despite Camberley dropping the ball over the line, a final try followed in the last minute as centre Jaid Wiltshire collected a bouncing ball to touch down that Prescott converted (33-11).
Director of Rugby, Pope said: “Very pleased for the lads on debut today; Henry and Gresham both made a great impact and it is very pleasing to see we are currently in a position to move players across senior teams. Very proud of the boys today.”
“It was always going to be a tough challenge coming here to one of the form sides in the league. We did well in the first half but were unable to match them in the second. They were more clinical and took all the points available from their opportunities.”
“We have a lot to build on and have a number of exciting games ahead still to play. We look forward to those and in particular an opportunity to play Medway, another top of the table side.”
Cobham 1st XV Squad:
1. Chris Lippiatt
2. Andrew Murphy
3. Luke Bliss
4. Wesley Van Der Ploeg
5. Joe Goddard
6. Nathan Spratt
7. Henry Mason
8. Louis Porter
9. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)
10. Tom Farrelly
11. Max Macdonald
12. Jonny Holmes
13. Ant Braithwaite
14. Tiernan White
15. Dan Allchurch
16. Ben Joyce
17. Ryan Aujla
18. Gresham Lynn
Penalties: Farrelly (2)