Fixtures and results in the first half of the season in Surrey Reserve Championship meant that the Cannons travelled to New Malden to play Law Society RFC in their third top of the table class this side of Christmas.
Recent results suggested it would be a well-contested match up and the predictions turned out to be correct. Chobham started the match well, but despite a few visits to the hosts’ 22 they could not return with any points. After this opening spell, Law Society had their best 20 minutes of the game. Some hotly contested rucks and some well stolen ball gave the opposition the ball near the Cannons’ try line. The heavy pack was causing some problems, and although they were held out at first eventually pressure told and Chobham conceded two tries in quick succession along with a yellow card for centre Khan. After weathering the 10 minute spell down to fourteen players, a deep kick found its way near the Chobham 22. Unfortunately for the visitors the Law Society second row managed to somehow collect the ball between jumper and scrum-half to stroll in for the home side’s third try just before the break, stretching the half time lead to 19-0.
With some soul-searching needed to keep the unbeaten streak alive the Cannons turned around at half time and set about the task. Territory and possession stats were very much one-way in the opening few minutes and Alex Julian crossed for the first try of the afternoon for the Chobham side. The reliable boot of Ciar Cox yet again adding the extra two points. Sustained pressure continued, through strong carries from Jack Wakefield and debutant Adam Pickett although the important final pass kept eluding the visitors. Cracks were appearing however and when it was the turn of the home side to play with a man in the sin bin, the Cannons struck out wide, with James Somper going in at the corner. Although the kick was missed by the narrowest of margins, coming back off the post, the teams were now just separated by a single converted try. With time running out Chobham started throwing the ball around a little more, and Law Society took advantage of a fumble to go in for their fourth try. The Cannons were not going to go down without a fight however, and Alex Julian went in for his second of the game, after some good interplay between new centre pairing Nieem Khan and Oli Guy down the right hand side. With Cox adding the quick drop goal conversion to save time, the Cannons looked to salvage a draw in the remaining few minutes. It was not to be, but Chobham finished with the losing bonus point and lots of positives from the second half. They remain top of the table, clear of Law Society by 4 points, with both sides having a game-in-hand over third place.
Man of the Match: Nieem Khan
Players’ Player of the Match: Oli Guy