Charlton Park were swept away by the precision of their visitors as well as the elements on Saturday. On a day of constant and often horizontal soaking rain Cobham demonstrated their ability to overcome the weather and an initially energetic start from the home team to record an emphatic four-try victory.
For much of the first half Park were more than in the game. After withstanding some early pressure they were able to pin their visitors back with some clever angled kicks from Alan Knuckey and Alex Miller. After missing his first penalty Miller kicked the home side ahead.. Their lead lasted until nearly halftime, but Chobham’s try when it came should have rung alarm bells. A seemingly innocuous kick downfield went to the visitors’ livewire left wing Josh Devitt and he ran through a gaping defence. The simple conversion put Chobham 7-3 ahead. An almost-identical kick to the same man in even more space just after the break extended the lead.
The second half saw the visitors gradually exert their influence on a Park team who never stopped but were unable to break out of their own half. They suffered further from a couple of yellow cards, and an injury suffered by Knuckey in the first minutes eventually led to his withdrawal. Chobham turned the screw cold-bloodedly to get their bonus point with driving mails from line-outs and impressively assured handling in the continuing deluge. Park often chose the wrong option trying to cope with the stranglehold they were under but they could never be accused of giving up. There was a continued improvement in the scrum and the defence stood up well, although Park have to learn when and when not to put numbers in at the break-down; they were too often under pressure and this led to those wild and damaging kicks – the match video will be scrutinised closely.
The better team won and it was refreshing to host a team and supporters who stayed for a beer and a chat after the game. The club once again was able to put out four teams despite the debilitating injury list and the second team’s last-minute win at Sidcup raised the spirits.