Welcome back to Fowler’s Wells for our 9th home game of the season and 19th game in total.
Again it’s been a very positive couple of weeks since I last reported. First up we had the combative men from the French border, Dover RFC. We knew that it was going to be a mighty scrap and it was just that. Down at the Crabble in October we had to work hard for a win and it was exactly the same at Fowlers Wells. Indeed had the Men from Mars landed at precisely 2.32pm, they might have looked at the scoreboard and seen Dover winning and been down to Ladbrokes pretty sharpish in their spaceships to check the odds. However, normal service was resumed as big Dom Sammut led our charge in the second half with a brace of tries which James Dunne’s boot augmented and in the end both the Martians and the Chobham faithful would have gone home happy with a bonus point win. But it goes to show that there are no easy games in this league and you underestimate your opposition at your peril.
So we have a week off for R&R and importantly to prepare for a critical derby against our rivals Guildford. Both Steve Keywood and Ellen Scott were busy. For Keyboard as well as becoming a father to a lovely new daughter he had time to beast the squad in the shack and on the training paddock. Ellen using her magic patched up the wounded and so we sent a determined and fit squad down to Broadwater Park to take on G’s. Both clubs needed to win. G’s had wobbled losing two and thus needed to keep in the leading pack whilst Chob were hot on the tails of league leaders Wimbledon. So the scene was set and what a riveting game it was. The grey sky and bitingly cold north wind set the scene for a rugged, raw game of rugby when no quarter was asked and none given. Chob were fast out of the blocks and G’s were rocked as 18 year old Aaran Mawson with a mixture of clever opportunism and good fortune notched two tries in the first 10 minutes. But reminiscent of our title winning victory on the same ground two years ago, back came G’s. Using their impressive set piece, they edged back into the contest but came up against the boot of Alex Seers who again showed pure class from the tee and punished the home team whenever they transgressed. In the end I thought we were deserved winners showing the threat from our all court game and managing the conditions superbly. For the spectators this was a terrific game, rugby in the raw and both clubs deserve credit for delivering an enthralling contest and long may these local derbies continue.
Before moving onto this week, I would like, on behalf of the senior squad to pay tribute to our supporters. On a bitterly cold day, the Chobham Army turned up in their droves at G’s (complete with all sorts of musical instruments) and made the place feel like home with their noise and encouragement. This has a massively beneficial impact on the boys and is hugely valued and please keep it going! On the subject of our great supporters I would like to pay specific tribute to Andy Murray, Chris Whiting, Gordon Hooper, Mick Cottage and Mat Burton. In the last few days these fine gentlemen have stepped up to the plate and offered to sponsor the match balls for the remaining 5 home games, thus facilitating an upgrade of our match balls to a level befitting London 1 rugby. Your generosity is really appreciated.
So to today and visitors Cobham and yet another derby. Our victory at Fairmile Lane came after an hour of tight rugby and with a recent win over G’s, Cobham cannot be underestimated. They are on a decent run of form but so are we with 8 victories on the bounce. Ryan and Tony will have the guys focussed and raring to go to keep the pressure on those around us in the table. The touchline will be really important and the players will as ever be grateful for your support in cheering us onto victory as our 16th man.
Come on CHOBHAAM!!
Chobham RFC Director of Rugby