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Chobham in 14 try thriller

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Chobham and Hove played out a 14 try thriller to bring to an end a tough season for both sides.

 

 

Chobham started brightly with early tries from both second rows James Buchanan and then Ryan Gregory, and both were converted superbly by fly half Josh Clark to secure a 14-0 lead.   Exactly the start that the bumper crowd at Fowlers Wells had been hoping for.   It felt at this stage that the home side might run away with it but their Sussex visitors kicked into gear and were soon troubling the score board themselves.   Chobham’s concentration in defence began to let them down on several occasions (as it has all season sadly) and Hove were all too happy to take advantage of the Chobham lapses.   Before half time arrived, Hove had managed to secure two of their own tries as a result but thankfully Chobham’s attacking game continued to challenge their visitor’s defences and this brought two more 7 pointers for the hosts through centre Oli Guy and fly half Clark.   Both were again converted by Clark and the home side took a strong lead in to the break, 28-12.

 

 

However, yet again Chobham failed to come out firing for the second half as they have on so many occasions this season and Hove came out with far greater intensity and out-scored Chobham by 5 tries to 3.   Chobham continually let the visitors in for cheap scores to the annoyance of the coaches but also consistently threatened with ball in hand, when they kept hold of it for long enough.   With tries for young Steven Ball playing out of position on the wing, his first for Chobham 1st XV, full back Lawrence Elliott who has been on fine try scoring form of late and lastly from centre Jayde Cruickshank who crashed over after an outstanding first phase set move from the home side.   Ultimately, the final result was decided by the boots of the two fly halves.   With 5 out of 7 successfully slotted by Clark compared to just 3 from 7 by the Hove goal kicker, Chobham were able to scramble and hold on to their 4 point lead.

 

 

As coaches Tony Paul and Ryan Gregory depart the club it was great to finish the season with a win after such an incredibly tough and challenging campaign.   Chobham will sadly be playing their rugby in London 2 South West next season but will be well placed to bounce straight back up with new coaches in place.

 

 

Man of the match was awarded to flanker Chris Kent who was everywhere for the full 80 minutes and has worked tirelessly week after week all season, giving his absolute all for the club.

 

 

Squad:   1 Ed Wynne   2 Leon Nell   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 James Buchanan   5 Ryan Gregory   6 Ben Whale
7 Chris Kent   8 Ollie Smith   9 Ian Barnes   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan   12 Oli Guy
13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Steven Ball   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Dave Evans   17 Euan Buckland
18 Max Sambrook

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Great effort by Chobham in the last quarter but too late

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

As Chobham welcomed the high flying Brighton to Fowlers Wells you could have been forgiven for thinking that the game had the potential to become a bit of a cake walk for the visitors.   However, after a string of incredibly encouraging performances from the Surrey men, the squad knew that they could definitely mix it with their visitors and were even capable of causing one of the season’s biggest upsets.   The return fixture earlier this season was probably Chobham’s best performance of this campaign.   Although they didn’t manage to secure the win, they had looked every bit the better side for long periods of the game and only lost their winning position in around the 75th minute.   An excruciating loss but one that was fuelling the Chobham squad’s confidence for the this game.

 

 

The first half was incredibly even with Brighton probably just edging the territory battle but Chobham (again for long periods) were defending superbly and resolutely.   However, they allowed Brighton to cross for 2 disappointing scores through attacking incredibly close to the breakdown which Chobham had discussed and warned each other about all week.   Sadly, Brighton had shown the accuracy to turn their territory into 10 points at the break while Chobham hadn’t managed to trouble the Brighton try line nearly as convincingly.

 

 

As the second half strrted thought, Chobham felt they were very much in the game.   They began brightly in an attempt to avenge their habit of starting the second half of nearly every game incredibly poorly, all season.   Despite the bright initial start, Brighton were soon crossing for two more unconverted tries to the disappointment of the Chobham squad and supporters.   They showed a great deal of accuracy and a real clinical edge to their play whenever they were afforded opportunities by their hosts.   Undeterred, the Surrey men fought back again and once more began to apply their pressure.   However, despite this change in momentum, Brighton were able to score their 5th try, this time converted, against the run of play and all of a sudden the scoreline read 0-27 and the game was out of Chobham’s grasp completely.   Chobham rallied however and soon were able to turn their own pressure into points.   With their first try by full back Lawrence Elliott and the second from James Buchanan following a sumptuous offload from scrum half Ian Barnes.   Both converted by fly half Clarke and the scoreboard all of a sudden read 14-32.   Chobham were now on the hunt for a losing bonus point to give their supporters something tangible to celebrate.   As they threw the proverbial kitchen sink at their visitors however, Brighton were able to capitalise for one last converted score of their own.   Despite Chobham’s efforts they could only secure one more try of their own which was an incredible solo effort from full back Elliot.

 

 

With the final score of 21-39 it was clear which side are still in the hunt for promotion whilst the other sadly will be playing their rugby in London 2 South West next season despite their best efforts.   With just one more league game to go Chobham will be hoping to finish the season with a convincing win against last place Hove.

 

 

Man of the match was awarded to back Tommy Reed who stepped in to play out of position from the wing to the centre and looked comfortable and assured all afternoon whilst also challenging the Brighton defences in the wide channels.

 

 

Squad:   1 Ed Wynne   2 Sean Bellion   3 Leon Nell   4 Ben Whale   5 Ryan Gregory   6 Chris Kent
7 Ed Riley   8 Ollie Smith   9 Ian Barnes   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan   12 Jayde Cruickshank
13 Tommy Reed   14 Josh Devitt   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Jimmy Heslop   17 Andy Walsh
18 James Buchanan

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Chobham lose again

Match report;   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Chobham lose again but edge even closer to an elusive victory in a 6 try thriller versus London Cornish.

 

Chobham went to Cornish on Saturday aware that they had no pressure on them whatsoever so they could just go and play.   Cornish who sit comfortable and secure in mid-table were not expecting to be challenged so much by their visitors I’m sure.

 

 

Chobham defended superbly throughout the first half and looked threatening with the ball which saw scrum half Ian Barnes dart over from close range and the conversion was slotted by fly half James Dunne to take a 0-7 lead.   This spurred on the hosts and Cornish soon responded with a couple of penalties and a try of their own.   With their try coming from a poor, long pass being intercepted just moments before the break, it really felt like it may be a momentum shifter and sadly it showed to be just that.

 

 

As the second half started, Chobham’s terrible form between minutes 40 and 60 returned and they allowed Cornish in for two tries.   One completely out of their control as a poor kick rebounded off the upright for a Cornish player to pounce on but one scored directly from a number of missed tackles on a Cornish back row player. Chobham were now chasing the game but knew they could get back in the mix if they returned to the control and focus they had shown for long periods in the first half.

 

 

Their response was immediate as winger Liam Monaghan scooped up a scuffed kick from Cornish to cross the line after beating the chasing, covering defenders. Converted by Dunne, the score was now 25-14 and Chobham were back in the contest. As Chobham continued to pressurise their hosts they looked like it was only a matter before they scored another. As the game began to open up, space was beginning to appear and Monaghan again popped up to run a superb line off of his wing to score under the posts, again converted by Dunne and Chobham were just 4 points behind.

 

 

Sadly, Chobham just ran out of time and Cornish were certainly the happier team to hear the final whistle.   Again Chobham had fallen short however and knew that it had been their own decisions and errors that had allowed it to happen, certainly not for the first time this season.

 

 

Man of the match went to hooker Sean Bellion who made his first start for Chobham 1st XV having appeared from the bench in the two previous games.   He carried superbly, tackled ferociously and was a menace at the breakdown throughout.

 

Squad:   1 Ed Wynne   2 Sean Bellion   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory
6 Matt Bosworth   7 Chris Kent   8 Ollie Smith   9 Ian Barnes   10 James Dunne   11 Liam Monaghan
12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Tommy Reed   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Leon Nell   17 Ed Riley   18 Ben Whale

 

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Chobham sadly fade away

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Chobham sadly fade away to lose another close game that they really could and maybe should have one.

 

After losing 77-7 away at Thurrock earlier in the season, many of the Chobham faithful may well have been looking forward to the game incredibly tentatively.   However the squad were going into the game buoyed with confidence after a great weeks training and a week off the week before.   Forced again however to make a raft of changes since the Chichester game, Chobham would be giving it their absolute all to upset the form book against the odds.

 

 

Not a person in Fowlers Wells on Saturday afternoon would be able to say that Chobham didn’t have the better of the first half.   They were strong in the set piece, clinical in attack and aggressive in defence but sadly they showed their usual inconsistencies and frailties within brief moments of defence and allowed their visitors in for two weak tries under the posts from straight up missed tackles.    However, through their greatly improved performance they looked incredibly good for their 16-14 lead at half time after two tries of their own through Josh Devitt for his 100th try for the club plus another from Lawrence Elliot.   Coupled with two penalties from fly half Josh Clark.

 

 

The Thurrock side looked a little shell shocked at the break and had maybe arrived a little complacent but they would undoubtedly throw everything at Chobham in the second half.   Chobham have been consistently slow out of the blocks second half this season and they were committed to not doing the same again.   Thurrock did come out of the blocks hard however and Chobham did everything they could for long periods of time again to repel them.

 

 

The second half ebbed and flowed throughout the second half with both sides having opportunities and both sides defending resolutely.   However, losing is a habit and so is winning.   With the game being so even it felt as though there sadly might only be one winner.   Chobham were only able to add one more try through James Dunne whilst the Essex men added three of their own with two converted by excellent fly half Sam Stanley.   The game ended with the scores at 24-36 and Chobham yet deflated by the loss ultimately felt great pride in the way they had performed.    Thurrock have improved greatly this season and have had an incredibly successful season, on this day however, Chobham Could, and maybe Should have beaten them.

 

 

The man of the match was awarded to fly half Josh Clark who controlled the game and kicked well throughout.

 

 

Squad:   1 Ed Wynne   2 Leon Nell   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 Dom Sammutt   5 Ryan  Gregory
6 Matt Bosworth   7 Chris Kent   8 Ed Riley   9 Ian Barnes   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan
12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Josh Devitt   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Sean Bellion
17 Andy Walsh   18 James Dunne

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Chobham’s losing streak continues

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Chobham’s losing streak continues despite an improved performance away at Chichester RFC.

 

As Chobham made their journey down the A3 to take on Chi they knew that they would face a stern test.   With Chobham’s fate this season all but sealed the week before, the message to all players was to go out, enjoy themselves and express themselves.   With no pressure on them and all of the pressure on their hosts this is exactly what they intended to do however they couldn’t help but show the same defensively frailties that have hampered them so often this season.

 

 

They say that winning and losing both become habit and with what felt like every bounce of the ball and rub of the green going the way of Chichester, it just didn’t feel like it was going to be Chobham’s day sadly.   With a number of these bouncers occurring in the early stages it was immediately made hard for Chobham as Chichester were able to score relatively cheap tries as well as adding a penalty.   In the same period Chobham had only been able to one penalty of their own so the scores were 17-3.   Chobham were very much in the game however and soon crossed the Chi line for two of their own through returning wing Josh Devitt.   Half time came and the scores were now 17-15, which was a far fairer representation of how the game had been played.

 

 

Chobham were very much in the game and they had fixed many of the issues from recent weeks that they had been experiencing with their set piece.   The message was that the game would be won or lost in minutes 40 – 60 and Chobham knew that they had to up their intensity but that the game was there to be won.   Sadly, it was their hosts who came out all guns blazing in the second half and in a 15 minute period took the game away from Chobham with another penalty and 3 more tries.   Chobham bounced back and gave everything they could in response but could only muster one try of their own in response from number 8 Ollie Smith.   As the final whistle blew, Chobham had let another winnable game slip through their grasp in a 39-22 loss.

 

 

Man of the match was awarded to flanker Matt Bosworth who challenge the gain line all afternoon and looked back to his best after a series of frustrating injuries.

 

 

Squad:   1 Dave Evans   2 Leon Nell   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory
6 Matt Bosworth   7 Sam Rumball   8 Ollie Smith   9 Ian Barnes   10 Josh Clark   11 Josh Devitt   12 Oli Guy   13 Dan Mays   14 Jayde Cruickshank   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Sean Bellion   17 Andrew Walsh
18 Steven Ball

 

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Chobham’s fate is all but sealed after another disappointing defeat

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

As Chobham welcomed Dartfordians to Fowlers Wells from Kent they knew that without a win they would almost certainly be facing relegation from London 1 South this season.   The squad which again saw a whole raft of forced personnel changes were able to welcome Number 8 and long-time talisman Ollie Smith for the first time this season.

 

 

The opening exchanges and in fact the whole of the first half could not have been closer or more keenly contested.   Dartfordians undoubtedly had the upper hand at the scrum but Chobham were moving the ball with much more accuracy in open play which afforded them plenty of opportunities.   However, the team under pressure and undoubtedly low on confidence was not able to capitalise on their opportunities as often as they would have liked.   Chobham defended resolutely for long periods for just a few individual errors to cost them 7 pointers whilst Chobham had that man Smith to thank for their two tries.   With both teams also adding a penalty, Chobham’s coming from the boot of fly half Josh Clark, they were only separated by the 2 points of a conversion, 15-17 to Dartfordians at the break and it was game on.

 

 

Unfortunately, the start of the second half saw Chobham’s discipline begin to waver and this allowed Dartfordians to extend their lead.   First through territory, field position and pressure, secondly through forcing their way over the Chobham try line for 2 more tries.   This not only stretched their lead within the game but also earned them a vital bonus point.   Chobham were then spurred into life and through absolutely everything they had at their visitors.   Was it as accurate and as fluent as the Chobham Faithful know their team can be at times?   No, but it did show real resilience and a never say die attitude which was pleasing to see.   During this period Chobham were able to secure another 3 point penalty through Clark as well as a 7 pointer through a fantastic finish from full back Lawrence Elliot.   Sadly this wasn’t enough however and when the final whistle went the Chobham men were visibly crushed.   As Dartfordians celebrated their vital win they knew they had possibly ‘got away with one’ but that doesn’t change the fact that they had worked tirelessly for a hard fought, 5 league points which could go an incredibly long way to ensuring their own survival in the division.

 

 

Sadly for Chobham, although not completely mathematically impossible, it looks like relegation is all but sealed.   The Fowlers Wells men will give everything they have to give in the search of ending the season as positively as possible in spite of the league standings.

 

 

Man of the match was awarded to the returning Ollie Smith for his 2 fantastic scores.   Who knows what this season could and/or would have looked like if it hadn’t been for the injuries suffered by Smith and so many more of the Chobham men.

 

 

A special mention has to go to Scrum Half Ian Barnes who came to Chobham’s rescue from retirement this Saturday after long term injuries were sadly sustained in consecutive weeks to no.9s Robbie Kennard and Sammy King who performed so well in the jersey this season.

 

Squad:   1 Jimmy Heslop   2 Leon Nell   3 David Evans   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory (c)   6 Ben Whale   7 Chris Kent   8 Ollie Smith   9 Ian Barnes   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan   12 Dan Mays   13 Charlie Andrews   14 Tommy Reed   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Robbie Brown   17 James Buchanan   18 James Dunne

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Excellent start for Chobham followed by disappointment

Match report :   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Despite an excellent start and moments of real positivity, Chobham were unable to turn around their run of terrible form away at Havant RFC.   While Chobham were able to welcome back Captain Phil Williams to the match day 18 they were unfortunately unable to select either No 8 Ben Whale or scrum Half Robbie Kennard for the fixture.

 

However, Chobham opened up playing some of the best rugby they have played for quite some time.   Within a matter of minutes this afforded them an opportunity to open their account which winger Tommy Reed finished superbly, converted by fly half josh Clark and the visitors were 0-7 up.

 

 

This appeared to spurt the hosts on however and Chobham were very soon under huge amounts of pressure and it felt like only a matter of time before their defences would be breached.   Despite their positive start, Chobham appeared to lack confidence as soon as Havant crossed for their first and within minutes they had secured two more to take a 19-7 lead into the half time break.

 

 

In what felt like a blink of an eye, Chobham had gone from looking like the best side in the contest to the team chasing a lost cause.   It was going to take a mammoth effort after half time to turn it around.   Sadly, the second half started with Chobham once again allowing their hosts to secure cheap tries and cheap points.

 

 

By the time an hour had been played Chobham had conceded 3 more tries and all they had left to play for was a four try bonus point.   They began to get themselves back in to the game at this stage and managed to look more like the side that had started the game but other than a consolation try and conversion from Lawrence Elliott were unable to truly test Havant’s excellent defences sufficiently.

 

 

As Chobham’s focus had shifted entirely to the 4 try bonus point they inevitably left some openings for their hosts and they made no mistake in exploiting these.   Credit to Havant who looked incredibly organised, resilient and ruthless from minute twenty to minute 80 and looked very good for their substantial win.

 

The poor injury luck just seems to roll on from week to week for Chobham this season.   As they welcomed Phil Williams back to the squad they lost him in a matter of minutes to a suspected torn pect while scrum half Robbie Kennard departed with a dislocated shoulder early on.   Yet again Chobham shipped an unhealthy number of points and ended on the wrong side of a comprehensive 50-14 defeat.

 

In two weeks time Chobham host Dartfordians at Fowlers Wells knowing that if they don’t secure the win that their already slim chances of survival In London 1 South would be all but gone so this will inevitably add plenty of spice to the fixture.

 

 

Havant awarded Chobham’s man of the match award to second row Dom Sammut who not for the first time this season was an absolute standout and did everything in his power to turn around a losing cause.

 

Squad:   1 Ruslan Yakimovich   2 Leon Nell   3 Dave Evans   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory
6 James Buchanan   7 Sam Rumball   8 Chris Kent   9 Sammy King   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan
12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Tommy Reed   15 Lawrence Elliott   16 Pete McCain
17 Matt Bosworth   18 Phil Williams

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Chobham well beaten by local rivals

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

As Chobham hosted an incredible Ladies Lunch to raise a fantastic amount of money for the Anthony Nolan Blood Cancer Charity, they ended up being well beaten by their local rivals Camberley.

 

 

As per almost every week this season, Chobham’s match day squad saw another 5 changes to the 18 whilst Camberley arrived with a squad full of consistency and continuity.   The two sides are experiencing very different seasons this year and at times it was clear to see why.   Camberley showed great levels of composure when Chobham awarded them opportunities and were able to gain the ascendancy through their dominant scrum throughout the 80 minutes.   Chobham however had the best of the exchanges at the lineout and created a number of their own scoring opportunities but could only cross the visitors’ line once.

 

 

In the early exchanges the possession and territory ebbed and flowed incredibly evenly.   However, they say winning is a habit and whilst Camberley finished their first two chances with too much ease, Chobham failed to finish 2 wonderful scoring opportunities created by their backs due to handling inaccuracies.   At this point at 0-10 down, Chobham handed Camberley an incredibly soft try which completely shifted the momentum of the game and took the wind out of Chobham’s sails for the rest of the first half.   During this period the visitors managed to add 2 more relatively soft scores from Chobham’s perspective and the home side were going in to the interval 0-29 down.

 

 

The half times messages were simple, get out of your shells and score four tries.   Chobham threw everything at Camberley during the second period but their defenses stayed as resolute as their attack did accurate.   As Chobham threw everything at them it was almost inevitable that they would leave themselves susceptible on the break away and this they did. By the time Chobham forced their way over through fly half Josh Clark, Camberley had secured two more tries of their own and they matched this in the closing stages to finally seal their 9 try, 5-57 victory.

 

 

This was never a game that the Chobham squad had set out to grab maximum league points in the battle for survival but they had aimed to secure a 4 try bonus point at the very least.   Their situation at the bottom of the table continues to look more and more difficult but undoubtedly they will be giving it absolutely everything they have over the coming weeks in the hope of staying up.   Sadly, this game clearly showed the huge disparity between the clubs at the top end of London 1 South and those towards the bottom.   In the current climate and landscape it is simply becoming seemingly impossible for the others to compete.

 

Within the next week or two they are looking forward to welcoming back Captain Phil Williams and No.8 Ollie Smith but it was incredibly sad to lose scrum half and current captain Robbie Kennard on Saturday with what looks like it could be a season ending injury.

 

 

Chobham’s Man of the Match was awarded to second row James Buchanan who worked tirelessly all afternoon and leapt like a salmon at the front of the lineout throughout the game.

 

Squad:   1  Ruslan Yakimovich   2 Leon Nell   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 Dom Sammut   5 James Buchanan
6 Sam Rumble   7 Chris Kent   8 Ben Whale   9 Robbie Kennard   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan
12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Sammy King   15    James Dunne   16 Robbie Brown
17 Matt Bosworth   18 Lawrence Elliot

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Chobham give good account of themselves

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

Chobham give good account of themselves as they travelled to high flying Medway for their latest battle in London 1 South.   After last week’s incredibly disappointing result against relegation competition Tottonians the group had the unenviable task of picking themselves up for a trip to Kent to take on Medway who remain very much in the promotion hunt along with 3 other sides.

 

 

On a cold blustery Saturday the Chobham team had to make another raft of changes to the side from the previous Saturday and this was added to as their starting hooker was forced to move to the bench to only be used in absolute emergency circumstances after pulling up in the warm up.   Unsurprisingly, Medway started the game by throwing the kitchen sink at Chobham and kept possession of the ball relentlessly playing into the wind.   However, for lengthy periods of time Chobham repelled their advances and knocked over their opposition over and over again.

 

 

However, the hosts, full of confidence and very much in the habit of winning games were happy to wait for the Chobham errors, invariably, as these occurred they pounced and were able to punish the men with tries from both short and long range.   Chobham were not without chances to score however during the first half but once again their inability to maintain focus and consistency at pivotal moments stopped them from crossing the Medway line.   With a scoreline of 26-0 at the break Chobham quite simply had to throw caution to the wind second half in the search of securing a 4 try bonus point.

 

 

The effort and resilience shown by Chobham during the second period was pleasing to see and they continually put the home side under pressure during the second half but Medway also were able to keep the score board ticking over.   With tries from winger Liam Monaghan after numerous phases of accurate team play and then Oli Guy on his 100th Chobham RFC 1st XV appearance finishing off an equally impressive sequence of play Chobham really displayed their metal which has sadly been missing at far too many instances this season.   As they continued to throw everything they had at their hosts they did sadly let Medway in for 3 more tries of their own with the last coming from the very last play of the game.

 

 

Medway looked every part the title contenders on the afternoon but for the second time this season were full of praise for the Chobham side.   They are clearly of the opinion that Chobham have far more quality than their league position suggests.   Despite the improved performance from the Chobham men it is another week that goes by without adding league points and their mission to stay in London 1 South becomes yet more difficult.

 

 

Man of the match for Chobham was awarded to Sammy King who played out of position on the right wing and contributed superbly on both sides of the ball before spending the last 15 minutes or so at his preferred position, scrum half.

 

Squad:   1 Dave Evans   2 Justin Dougherty   3 Jimmy Heslop   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory
6 Chris Kent   7 Sam Rumball   8 Ben Whale   9 Robbie Kennard   10 Josh Clarke   11 Sammy King
12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Liam Monaghan   15 James Dunne   16 Leon Nell   17 Oli Guy   18 Lawrence Elliott

 

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Pressure mounts on Chobham

Match report:   Ryan Gregory   Photographs:   John O’Brien

 

The pressure mounts on Chobham as they fail to win again as they welcome their nearest competition in the league table to Fowlers Wells.

 

Chobham currently find themselves fighting for their survival in London 1 South and they were full of confidence as they hosted Tottonians after an incredibly positive and sharp weeks training under their belt.

 

 

A cold but relatively still afternoon greeted both sides and Chobham were the first to score with 3 points from the boot of fly half Josh Clarke.   However, soon after, the visiting inside centre was able to take advantage of a defensive lapse to set up Totts for the first seven pointer of the game.   A tentative Chobham were able to add another 3 points by Clark before properly getting going but it took a piece of individual brilliance from scrum half and captain Robbie Kennard which saw him dart through from a ruck to finish superbly under the posts.   Converted by Clark and Chobham went in to the interval holding a 13-7 lead.

 

 

A buoyant Chobham came out for the second half but sadly it was all Tottonians for the opening exchanges.   Soon after the visitors scored an incredibly fortuitous looking score which seemed to have be fairly clearly knocked on after an equally dubious call at the break down but Tottonians were riding their luck and were also able to add a further 5 pointer.

 

 

Only one of the kicks at goal was successful but the Hampshire men had managed to turn a 13-7 deficit into a 13-19 lead all too quickly.   However, Chobham knew they were still very much in the game and that one converted try would regain them their lead.   However, having worked hard for fantastic field position, their set piece let them down on the opposition 5 metre line as has happened far too often this season.   This was followed by a series of penalties that allowed Totts to march their way up the field and in the blink of an eye Chobham were defending with all but the kitchen sink.   Up stepped the Totts replacement fly half to chance his arm with a drop goal which wobbled its way over for a further 3 points.   Totts now held a 9 point lead.

 

The rest of the game was all Chobham and they were soon back at the other end of the pitch, battering down the Tott’s defences and it wasn’t long before centre Jayde Cruikshank crossed out wide after some excellent inter play, converted by Clark and the scores were now 20-22.

 

 

Once again, Chobham kept the ball well and pressurised their visitors but were now considerably further from their line.   As Totts worked hard to keep Chobham at that distance they gave away a penalty dead on the half way line and after discussion with skipper Kennard, Cruikshank stepped up to mark in the hope of securing 3 last points from his right foot.   Sadly for the home side he wasn’t quite able to do so and Totts held on by the skin of their teeth.

 

Chobham’s uphill battle now becomes even tougher as they enter in to an incredibly tough series of games against many of the leagues current top sides, but they have set themselves clear targets throughout this period.

 

Man of the match was awarded to returning number 8 Ben Whale.

 

 

A special and huge thank you must go out to the many minis and juniors from Chobham who came out along with their parents and showed their unbelievable support in the bitter cold for the club’s first team in their hunt for survival.   The noise they made was something to behold and the players hugely appreciated it.

 

Squad:   1 Pete McCain   2 Justin Dougherty   3 Dave Evans   4 Dom Sammut   5 Ryan Gregory
6 Chris Kent   7 Max Sambrook   8 Ben Whale   9 Robbie Kennard (c)   10 Josh Clark   11 Liam Monaghan   12 Dan Mays   13 Jayde Cruickshank   14 Charlie Andrews   15 James Dunne
16 Jimmy Heslop   17 Sam Rumball   18 Oli Guy