Chobham get the Devon Cream

Chobham 29 – 23 Cullompton

Chobham hosted Cullompton in the quarter finals of the Papa Johns Communities Championship Cup (Counties 1), in what had to be the best performance by a Chobham team in a decade. The Scarlett & Golds had lost their talisman captain Guy Mawhood injured and were 12-0 down after 10 minutes, the performance over the next 70 minutes by Chobham was titanic.

Saturdays team had a number of changes from the team who faced Bromley, injuries meant that they had lost Tommy Reed and Pete McCain and Matt Bosworth and Sam Davies were unavailable. Leon Nell returned to the front row, Sam Goddard slotted in at no.8, Joe Mousley returned to the wing and Sam Thirlwell onto the bench. But the surprise on the day was back row Magnus Barber starting at Outside Centre.

The visitors Cullompton had finished 2nd in Counties 1 West and had beaten Walcot in the previous round. Their dominant pack and big running backs expected to dominate in Surrey.

Chobham start was appalling, from the start they appeared disjointed and nervous allowing the visitors an early try through prop Grant, 3 minutes later the strong running fullback Luxon gave Cullompton a 12-point lead. The Scarlett & Golds also lost their Captain Mawhood to a hamstring injury, replacement Finn Livingstone-Learmonth stepped in and his speedy performance was the start of where Chobham began to settle and the next quarter saw the hosts going up through the gears. The Scarlett & Gold scrum held their own against a much bigger pack. Just after the half hour Cullomptons lock Hayball’s high tackle saw him in the sin bin. Chobham took advantage and opened their account for the day through wing John Rumsey on his 50th 1st XV appearance. The visitors went in 12-5 up at half time.

A new Chobham came out in the second half and kept the pressure on the visitors. 5 minutes into the half Livingstone-Learmonth opened his account for a well worked converted try. Straight from the kick off Cullompton suffered another yellow card from a high tackle by back row Tucker. But against the run of play Luxon got his first penalty of the day for Cullompton and just before the hour it was a Chobham high tackle infringement saw back row Dan Warren yellow carded. Luxon’s trusty boot got his second penalty of the day, from the kick off Cullompton ran the length of the field for Tyers to score in the left corner.

Chobham’s constant pressure started to come to fruition and just after the hour stand in centre Magnus Barber scored a converted try. As the Scarlett & Golds upped their game with 10 minutes to go Josh Sheppard ran in under the posts from his own half, for the first time in the game they crept into the lead. The last score of the game went to Adam Peever with a penalty to add to his three conversions.

Chobhams performance gave them a deserved victory in a fantastic game, the weather held off to give the Chobham faithful a great day in the sun. Huge credit to Barber who had a sterling performance as a stand in centre, Dan Bentons tackling was a phenomenal part of the game.

The 1st XV travel to Old Alleynians next Saturday in the Semi Final of the Papa Johns Communities Championship Cup (Counties 1), Saturday 29th April, they won Counties 1 Kent this season, so it will be an evenly matched game.

Harry Norman-Walker
Director of Rugby
Chobham RFC

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