Coming off the back of a unexpected weekend off, the Cannons travelled around the M25 to resume their league campaign – taking on Old Reigatians who sat one place below them in the table at the start of the day.
The weather was as forecast with heavy rain and driving winds straight down the pitch. Chobham struggled to adapt to the conditions with some sloppy ball possession at the beginning of the match but survived conceding any points, before the multiple kicking options in the backline started to gain field position with the wind at their backs.
After numerous visits to Old Reigatians 22, Chobham finally got onto the scoreboard with Sam Davies knocking over a penalty from in front of the posts. The match continued to ebb and flow with much of play occurring between both teams’ 22s. With the scrum count rising Chobham began to exert pressure on both teams’ feeds and when a golden try opportunity was missed with a knock on five metres out, the forwards set about making amends. A strong drive saw the opposition back row fail to control the ball at the base and Alex Hudson pounced on the loose ball to score under the posts. Davies again added the extras and Chobham had opened up a 0-10 lead.
With continuity proving difficult Davies took the next opportunity for a shot at the posts taking his personally tally to eight points off the tee. Old Reigatians line out started to gain some control and with easy exits, made possible by some Chobham ill discipline, allowing them to work themselves back into the visitors’ red zone they finally crossed the line just as the half was drawing to a close.
Chobham turned around at half time and now had to deal with the wind, a change of tactics was the order of the next 40 minutes. The third quarter saw a number of set pieces due to a combination of aggressive defence from both teams and wet conditions making it increasingly more difficult to keep hold of the ball for extended periods of time.
The home side came back into the game when a long raking kick settled in the dead ball area and the Old Reigatians winger just got his hand to it before the cover could get there. Another missed kick made the scoreline much more uncomfortable with just a 3 point deficit. Fortunately Cannons struck back quickly, a strong carry from Leon Nell from inside his own half, fed ever-hungry Nieem Khan to make significant yardage. Support was offered by Nell and Steven Ball inside drawing two defenders before the ball was released across the full width of the pitch with Alex Julian dotting down. The kick was missed but Chobham had reopened a two-score gap with the scoreboard now reading 10-18.
Old Reigatians kept pushing to attempt to tighten it up again, but good cover defence from the Cannons kept them at bay to see the match finish with another league victory – albeit without a bonus point this time around.
The Cannons next fixture sees them host current league leaders Rosslyn Park Hatters in two Saturdays time, with the change of clocks this will be a 2:30 kick-off – support is always welcome and much appreciated.
Man of the Match and Players’ Player of the Match: Adam Peever.