Cobham travelled south to Hove for their first visit since December 2014 when both sides struggled in the league and were relegated . On that occasion Cobham won a close game 16-17 but it was certainly not a game that any of the current Cobham side would have recalled as they would have still been playing their youth rugby at the Memorial Fields.
Following their promotion from London South East this season Hove have struggled but that was not reflected in the first ten minutes of play. Will Sanders had to provide a try saving tackle to avoid Hove scoring first but the pressure was maintained and following a well taken line out and well executed rolling maul Hove achieved that all important initial try which was well converted 7-0.
Although Cobham were somewhat rocked back on their heels the response was immediate with strong backline tackling resulting in a loose ball which was fed to winger Ollie Kitto who displayed his electric pace to score under the posts. Farrelly converting 7-7.
Hove came back strongly and when full back Will Sanders was yellow carded for an adjudged dump tackle Hove took advantage to restore the lead 10-7.
With the game being played end to end although Cobham were down to 14 it did not stop them putting together a series of plays which saw two tries with McQuade featuring. His break was supported by Kitto who returned the ball to McQuade who fed stand off Farrelly who converted his own try 10-14 and then McQuade was the finisher himself as Hove went further down 10-21
James Mitchell, back after injury, then showed his pace to collect loose ball and leave Hove reeling 10-26.
It is all credit to Hove that they did not allow those scores to lose their confidence and although scrum half Tiernan White held up what looked to be a certain try Hove, using the benefit of their dominant pack controlled a scrum 5 to ensure their number 8 put them back on track with a score before half time 17-26.
It had been an enthralling first half with some great running rugby and it was particularly pleasing to see the growing confidence of this very young Cobham team.
The first ten minutes of the second half saw both sides probing but when Cobham found themselves in territory the ball moved swiftly down the line for James Macdonald to put down in the corner 17-31
In the first half back row Tom Davison had been ubiquitous now it was the turn of Captain Olly Fox who created a scorching line to set up stand off Farrelly for his second try 17-36 going onto to extend the lead with a penalty when a Hove deliberate knock on was penalised and yellow carded.
In a game that saw so many great passages of play Mitchell, Aujla, Davison combined to put full back Will Sanders over for a converted try 17-46 and then it was the turn of hooker Andrew Murphy to deftly ( and its not often deftly and hooker appear in the same sentence) release centre James MacDonald for Cobham's eighth try well converted by Farrelly 17-53
Despite all the pressure that Hove had taken it is to their credit that when Cobham finally took their foot off the gas they took advantage and scored a converted consolation try 24-53
There was still time for Cobham to pick up one last try as Farrelly kicked ahead for substitute Tunnacliffe to score.
It was the highest score Cobham had achieved since April 2017 when they beat Chiswick 87-14 and provides back to back wins to start the new year
Director of Rugby Steve Pope said ' What was always going to be, turned out to be a tough encounter. Both teams rusty after the Christmas break it showed ... but very pleased with the final result.
1 Ryan Aujla
2 Andrew Murphy
3 Chris Lippiatt
4 Tom Davison
5 Harry Green
6 Freddie Joyce
7 Olly Fox (C)
8 Jake McQuade
9 Tiernan White
10 Tom Farrelly
11 Max MacDonald
12 James Mitchell
13 James MacDonald
14 Ollie Kitto
15 Will Sanders
16 Wilf Sandwell
17 Jordan Bond
18 George Tunnacliffe
No 10 Tom Farrelly x 2 Tries x 1 Penalty x 5 Conversions
No 13 James MacDonald x 2 Tries
No 12 James Mitchell x 1 Try
No 14 Ollie Kitto x 1 Try
No 15 Will Sanders x 1 Try
No 8 Jake Mcquade x 1 Try
No 18 George Tunnacliffe x 1 Try