Cobham took the short trip to local rivals, Effingham and Leatherhead on Saturday, the first match between the sides for many seasons.
The Eagles were having a mixed start to the season, picking up some good wins despite a blight of injuries, but points had been hard to come by in recent weeks. Cobham again fielded a changed side due to injury and absence forcing DoR Steve Pope to shuffle his mid field and second row options once more. In came the veteran centre Cowell to partner the versatile Trepant in a solid centre duo whilst Webb made a start in the back -row accompanying ex-Vandals recruit Kunkler. Starting on the bench and making his debut was young Luke Bliss.
Captain Robbie Kennard chose to play into the strong wind in the first half on one of the league's smaller pitches. Solid early multi phase play established the visitors as the dominant force early in proceedings. Despite the territory and a disallowed try from wing Clements, it was the Eagles who struck first through the accurate boot of their fly half. 3-0 This set the tone for the half as despite the lion share of territory and possession, the Eagles defended and cleared well and took their chances . So much so that after three well taken penalties they had accrued a 9-0 lead on the half hour.
Knowing that the conditions would play a heavy part in the outcome and that Cobham's fitness had told on several teams this year, the Cobham management team were not alarmed and their confidence was to be well founded as the stoic Eagles dam broke shortly before half time as Trepant blasted over. 9-5
With good endeavour Cobham would surely look to use the wind in the second half to turn possession obtained into points and just after the half kicked off a perfectly executed line out drive enabled Kennard to crash over to score With the conversion Cobham were pulling ahead. 9-15 and turned the screw with the accurate boot of Weir, frequently placing the Eagles deep into their own half, leading to a well worked try by winger MacDonald 9-20.
With the heavy wind at their backs the final result seemed secure however the valuable bonus point was not. Tackle after tackle prevented the fourth try with ten minutes to go. All credit to Effingham who dug deep and made more tackles than any other opponents faced this year.
Despite their efforts and with just five minutes remaining the plucky Eagles could hold out no longer. After a series of bruising try line rucks Cobhams' patient forwards got the reward they sought as Buffini snuck through to score. 9-27.
With light fading fast the referees whistle marked the end of an challenging game for Cobham. Effingham will prove a hard place to collect points for many sides this year and with the continued commitment shown this week, will see them in the top half soon.
Cobham conclude a hugely eventful and polarised 2015 at home to physical Warlingham who will no doubt up their game on their visit to the Fairmile Lane
After the game Sports and Conditioning coach and Physio David Silver said
"We knew this game would be a real challenge on a small pitch. It was pleasing to see the lads maintain possession well and build the pressure we have been working on. We should have a bolstered squad after the Xmas break when the business end of the season begins. We hope to see the return of Matt Goddard, Calum Williams, Nathan Ampofo, Jonny Wehbe, Tom Hilton Stevens and Charlie Rooke. First off we have a job to do next week to finish 2015 on a real high'.