Chobham Step Up to top of the League

Trinity 21 – 40 Chobham 

The visitors to Lime Meadow Avenue had to really battle for the first hour, but the Scarlett & Golds class shone through in the end with a win against Trinity that takes them top of Counties 1 Surrey/Sussex. Chobham knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game and truly earnt their five points on Saturday.

Chobhams team saw a number of changes with Chris Kent, Ben Puttock and Joe Mousley returning to the squad – as well as first starts for Tom Martin and Cannons Captain Henry Fisher, who had both come up through the minis and juniors at the club. Unfortunately Joe Head could not play as his registration did not come through in time.

From the first few scrums, it became apparent, the normally dominant Chob pack were for the first time matched in the set piece. But an early push by Trinity at a scrum allowed Chob to kick for a 5 m lineout, this the other quality part of the visitors season and they used it to their early advantage to see Sean Bellion score a converted try. In a half dominated by the strong Trinity scrum eventually a couple of penalties at concurrent 5m scrums ended up in a penalty try for home team and Pete McCain being sent to the sin bin.

This was the event that changed the scrum for Chobham and for the 10 minutes of playing a man down they held their own. Trinity’s game was being managed by fly half Greenwood, and they were testing Chobham as well from No 8 Agbalaya and outiside center Okenla who was playing his last game for the home team. Chobham constanty attacked and Trinity’s resolute defence kept them under control, but while still a man short a great line break by Sam Thirwell saw him score under the posts for the visitors second try.

The very well matched game was seeing two teams neutralise each other, but with 10 minutes left for the half from a lineout just outside the 22 some great phases by the home team eventually saw prop Byant step the Chob winger to score a converted try. The teams went in at half time 14 all, the score matched the game at that stage.

But Chobham came out for the second half with a little more zest, a couple of minutes in from just outside the 22 and after a few phases Guy Mawhood spotted a gap to the left of a ruck and sniped through to score in the left hand corner. 10 minutes from a penalty Mawhood got his brace in another sniping run to score a second converted try. The final score of the day from the hosts went to inside centre McEvilly who used a 3 on 2 to his advantage two minutes later.  But from the turn of the hour Chobham went up a gear and another level, subs Ben Puttock and Dan Benton were now on. Chobhams scrum were now holding their own, with less that 10 minutes to go Pete McCain from a pick and go drove over for a try.

The last play of the game from a stable scrum saw Mawhood feed Bellion for his second converted try if the afternoon. The game finished in a convincing 40-21 win for the visitors, the win put them top of the table with two games to go.

Chobhams season in Counties 1 Surrey/Sussex is getting exciting as after this weeks catch up game and Chobham sitting top of the league. Old Cranleighans had already given 3rd placed Hove the walk over to also keep the pressure on Old Tiffinians and the Scarlett & Golds. Next weeks game for Chobham is 3rd placed Hove, the club expects a capacity crowd at Fowlers Wells to see what could be the league decider, next Saturday Tiffs will hope to keep the pressure on with an expected win at Cranleighans. Even though Chobham will still need three points from their last game – unless Twickenham can do them a favour by beating Tiffs on Friday 24th March.

Billy Davison, Chobhams Head Coach, said post match “the Chobham teams onward rise hit a speed bump in the shape of a determined and talented Trinity side. On a fantastic pitch in SE London, the hosts proved capable of challenging the Chobham team in many areas of the game. With the game within a score at the half it was time for accuracy, game management and execution. Although these remained inconsistent the Chobham team did have one not-so-secret weapon: Guy Mawhood. A captain’s performance for the season led a late push to secure the victory, and, for the first time in many years, Chobham secured the top place in the league. Now to see if the team can hold on until the end!

Director of Rugby, Harry Norman-Walker, said “we knew this was going to be a tough game after the performance from them before Christmas, once again for 60 minutes they challenged us toe to toe. We saw performances from a team that does not beliegh their league position. We had lost  a few players for the game, but that is not an excuse as the squad we had was more than capable.

The boys rallied and in the second half and went up a level to take the win, along with a few tactical substitutions, to secure a win tha took us to top of the table. Next week is a huge game against Hove, which will be a big task, but well within our grasp. This week our training will be focussed on us and an opposition we have great respect for, we have two games left and need 7 from a possible ten to be Champions.

Trinity hosted us really well and it was nice to see both teams mixing so well after the game.

It’s a really exciting time for Chobham and the whole club is focussed on us and the progression to Level 6 rugby.”

Chobham: Leon Nell; Sean Bellion; Pete McCain; Chris Kent; Sam Thirlwell; Dan Warren; Harrison Jones; Sam Goddard; Guy Mawhood; Adam Peever; Tom Martin; Oli Guy; Ollie Blackmur; Joe Mousley; John Rumsey.

Replacements: Dan Benton; Ben Puttock; Henry Fisher.

Harry Norman-Walker
Director of Rugby
Chobham RFC

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