Cobham always knew this was going to be a tough game against league leaders Medway, especially in the knowledge that they had trounced Hove 85-12 the previous week.
However in this same fixture last season Cobham had run out worthy winners 41-24 so whilst it was destined to be a hard fought tight encounter neither group of supporters could have envisaged just how this pulsating match was to be concluded.
This was, until the last ten minutes, a wholly exceptional performance from Cobham who were especially dominate in the first half . However Medway are not top of the league without just cause and they tore up the script that Cobham thought they had written to snatch victory in the final minutes.
Cobham started strongly with, eventual man of the match, Jake McQuade featuring in the early attacking phases breaking the Medway line. Then it was the turn of Murphy and Rodman to execute deft passes at the front of the line out requiring stout defense from Medway to avoid an early score but that defence could not prevent turnover ball fed from Ryan Saunders to winger Max Macdonald from touching down and Farrelly converting 7-0 .
From the kick off Cobham maintained the momentum towards the Medway line but were rocked when a loose pass was intercepted on the halfway line by the visitors' standoff half Harvey who scored under the posts 7-7. The home team's confidence was further knocked when after 13 minutes the first scrum of the game was won by Medway with a surge and the resulting penalty took Medway into the lead for the first and last time until the eventual denouement . 7-10
Cobham responded strongly with centre Farrelly taking a quick tap penalty, kicking ahead for full back Will Sanders showing his lighting speed to chase down and score. Farrelly again converting 14-10.
What stood out for Cobham in this first half was not only their opportunism in attack but also their tight defence with strong tackling from especially Porter and Holmes. So having withstood the Medway onslaught Cobham returned to the attack with a text book try as Tom Davison supplied the line out ball for Ryan Saunders to fed the back line and Farrelly put Max Macdonald away to score his second try in the corner. Farrelly adding the extras for a 21-10 scoreline at half time after a further period of Medway pressure was withstood.
At this stage of the game Cobham were on course to achieve a similar victory to last season but the first score of the second half was a penalty to Medway 21-13 as they looked to keep in touch.
Picking up where they left off in the first half the combination of line out prowess from Davison, coupled with swift passing saw standoff half Johnny Holmes break the line and with an outstretched hand secure a well deserved try. Farrelly converting 28-13. Medway chipped away with another penalty 28-16 but it felt the game was slipping away from them especially when McQuade acting as a centre set up Max MacDonald for what looked like a certain hat trick only for the ball to be ripped from his hands by a great cover tackle from Medway scrum half Dance.
As if to prove it didn't matter within minutes substitute George Tunnacliffe had provided scrum half Saunders with the space to make it 33-16 and with Farrelly kicking his fifth conversion 35-16 looked to have secured a victory.
Medway had been set back on their heels by the challenge Cobham had set but they now proved to be equal to it as within minutes the score line moved to 35-30 with firstly a score from back row Beaumont and from a second Medway interception full back Garratt.
Cobham needed to run down the clock and they got an opportunity to put the game out of reach when Farrelly kicked an excellent penalty from far out maintaining his 100% record for the afternoon. With the score 38-30 Medway would need to score twice in the last five minutes and that is exactly what they did. First a try by winger Chalmers 38-35 and then, when a penalty kick to tie the scores was spurned for a more adventurous line out, the ball was moved down the line to score in the corner 38-40.
1 Ben Joyce
2 Andrew Murphy
3 Sam Matcham
4 Tom Davison
5 Doug Rodman
6 Ali Porter
7 Olly Fox (C)
8 Jake McQuade
9 Ryan Saunders
10 Jonny Holmes
11 James MacDonald
12 Tom Farrelly
13 James Mitchell
14 Max MacDonald
15 Will Sanders
16 Mario Zakakiotis
17 Ben Latimer
18 George Tunnacliffe
No 14 Max MacDonald x 2 Tries
No 15 Will Sanders x 1 Try
No 10 Johnny Holmes x 1 Try
No 9 Ryan Saunders x 1 Try
No 12 Tom Farrelly x 5 Conversions 1 x Penalty
Man of Match No 8 Jake McQuade Sponsored by George & Dragon Thames Ditton