Cobham Rugby

Match Report: Cobham 53 Thurrock 36

High scoring fixture to bring the season to a close

Cobham's last game of the season against Thurrock provided supporters of both teams with possibly the most unusual game of rugby they will have seen for many seasons.

This was a game of three halves with Cobham dominating play at the start and end of the game but Thurrock playing all the rugby in between.

Cobham were led onto the pitch by veteran and former Captain Arran Cowell playing his 156th and final game for Cobham first XV

With Old Colfeians relegation confirmed midweek, following a 5 point deduction by the RFU, the pressure was off Thurrock and that showed in the first twenty minutes. Cobham responded strongly following their disappointing game against Gravesend the previous week and within minutes of the kick off Goddard had secured the first try. Having secured the ball from the line out there was no defence to the Cobham packs drive and Farrelly secured the extras with a well taken conversion form the touchline 7-0.

Further pressure in Thurrock's half led to an infringement and Farrelly easily extended the lead 10-0. This was swiftly followed up by Cowell creating momentum and showing why he has been such a great centre for the club, feeding hooker Murphy for 15-0 easily converted by Farelly 17-0.

The champagne rugby continued with back row Ali Porter breaking through to score the third try 22-0 and  all was set fair for Cobham to replicate their first try when they lost the ball. 

Cobham were not to know that in losing that ball they also lost all the momentum and allowed Thurrock to come back at them for the next thirty minutes either side of half time. 

Thurrock scrum half Ben Stanley made ground to fed centre Sonny Gay for a converted try 22-7 and despite Farrelly picking up a penalty for Cobham 25-7 they could not shut Thurrock out and just before half time centre Henry Bird provided a neat inside pass for winger Nathan Farrell to go over, Barrard converting 25-14. 

It felt as if Cobham had left the door ajar but nothing that a refocus during the interval could not resolve. Unfortunately Thurrock came out completely focused and from playing the first ten minutes in Cobham's 22 took a tap penalty to claw back 25-21 then a penalty 25-24 and to finally and take a wholly unexpected lead 25-29. Even the new electronic scoreboard was having difficulty keeping up. The door was wide open 

Just as  the Director of Rugby Steve Pope  his coaching team and the home ground supporters were despairing of Cobham ever regaining the ball, let alone scoring, Max MacDonald executed a trade mark finish to a backline move to equal the try scoring record set last year by Matt Goodard (19), Farrelly converting 32-29.  It was then James MacDonald's turn to get on the scoresheet breaking though the Thurrock defence for a converted try 39-29.

Pressure from Cobham and frustration from Thurrock played its part in the visitors losing two players for yellow card offences in the space of minutes. 15 played 13   

With Cobham very much back  in the driving seat they now put together the best try of the match if not season with the ball going through five pairs of hands. The back line exploded down the touchline for full back Clements to score in the corner and Farrelly converted 46-29.

With the electronic scoreboard clock ticking down to 4.30 was there an opportunity for Max MacDonald to break the try scoring record?  It was a MacDonald who scored next but it was his cousin James who took Cobham out of sight 53-29 although Thurrock were rewarded for their never say die attitude scoring in the last seconds 53-36.

This was Cobham's highest score of the season and replicated what they did in the last match of the season last year- saving the best till last.

At the players awards after the match Tom Farrelly was awarded players player of the season

Other awards :-
Supporters Player of Season Jake McQuade
U21 Player of Season Theo Buffini
Clubman of Year Arran Cowell
Allstars Player of Season Andy Cobb 
3rdxv Player of season Tom Cowan 
2ndxv Player of Season Freddie Joyce
1stxv Player of Season Oliver Fox

Director of Rugby Steve Pope said " Well I was not expecting that .. Lets look at today as one of those bizarre game days ....end of the season ups and downs....

We nearly leaked as many points as we created, with us making such a good start I was hoping to see the game really open up however we let them off the hook and back into the game all afternoon.
With focus on the match changing and it no longer being a that of a must win for either side. I thought all though a frustrating game we were able to offer a fitting send off to Az  Cowell, Josh Brown and Adrian Van De Ploeg.
Arron finally hanging up his boots after a many seasons for the club across all teams. JB, another player who has represented the club for a long time with both having played over 150 time for the club. Josh is moving on to a new challenge at Reeds Weybridge and Adrian will return to finish his studies at Loughborough. All of which will be big loss to us as a club. We wish them all the very best of luck in retirement, new challenges and studies respectively.
Tonight we have our awards .. and I hope a fitting and enjoyable way for a large number of the many who have represented the club so well this season to share in a few beers and fond memories of this past seasons competition. 
I'd like to thank everyone that has played, coached, supported or helped the club this season and look forwards to bettering our top 5 finish next year."


1 Josh Brown
2 Andrew Murphy 
3 Ben Joyce
4 Adrian Van Der Ploeg (C)
5 Joe Goddard 
6 Ali Porter 
7 Olly Fox
8 Jake McQuade 
9 Christian Disley-May
10 Tom Farrelly 
11 James MacDonald
12 Arran Cowell 
13 Miles Fletcher 
14 Max MacDonald 
15 James Clements
Subs :-
16 Sam Matcham 
17 Sam Cordery 
18 Craig Bonnar

Tries Goddard,Murphy,Porter,Max MacDonald,James MacDonald(2) Clements

Conversions Farrelly (6)

Penalties Farrelly ( 2)