FIRST Grade took to the field on Saturday against the undefeated Goulburn side who have been the bench mark side for the first half of the season.
With the rain starting to fall and the field becoming very heavy and slippery underfoot this made for a very testing game of football.
From the opening whistle both sides were up for the contest and with that a very entertaining game of hard fought rugby was played out for the next 80 minutes. Both sides were keeping it in the forwards and with the rain making it difficult for running rugby, the game soon turned into a war of attrition with defence being key to both sides.
Goulburn was the first side to post points, after a number of attacking raids had been either repelled or held up over the line. This fired the Cooma side up and on the back of strong runs from Phil Johnson, Mat Jamison, Jimmy Nichols and James Strange, Cooma was able to get back into Goulburn's half and after being awarded a penalty Ryan Morgan kicked a penalty goal to narrow the margin to 5-3.
With Tommy Maxwell and Will Nicholls directing Cooma around the park in the halves Cooma were looking to gain the ascendancy but a try from Goulburn late in the half saw Goulburn go into half time leading 12-3.
The second half saw both sides look to play field position and the kick return game became so important and it was the youngsters for Cooma who stood up.
With Matthew Moxon and Nick Keighley being very safe under the high balls and creating chances every time they ran it back, they were well supported by Matt Crowley who replaced Ben Kelly after he was hampered by a muscle strain.
With captain Leighton Bates, Tom Ladhams and Ryan Morgan leading the defence Cooma kept Goulburn pinned inside their own half. Goulburn extended its lead with a converted try early in the second half. With 20 minutes left Pat Egan scored and Ryan Morgan converted to make the score 19-10.
Cooma had all the running for the last 20 minutes but just couldn't convert pressure into points. Goulburn kicked a penalty right on full time to make the final score 22-10.
Points in first grade 1 point Pat Egan, 2 Points Matthew Moxon, 3 points Tommy Maxwell and Players Player Matthew Moxon. Next week see Cooma travel to Canberra to take on ADFA.
Reserve grade took to the field confident of matching it with Goulburn who had only narrowly defeated them in the first round.
Goulburn had other plans and came out all guns firing and blew Cooma off the park in the first 20 minutes of the game. In this opening onslaught Goulburn scored four tries and got an early 22-0 lead. Cooma then started to get back into the game on the back of strong defence from James Ewart, Andrew Barron and Matt Perkins.
Cooma was able to regain some possession and on the back of this were able to apply pressure to Goulburn's defence with strong runs from Matt Crowley and Damien Hopkins getting Cooma across the advantage line.
Goulburn forced a turnover 10 metres out from their line and ran 90 meters to score to get a 29-0 lead with 10 minutes left to go in the half and after a penalty took their lead to 31-0. Cooma rallied and created pressure. The backs were able to link up and Alex Moon was able to put Chris Roberson over in the corner. This gave Cooma momentum and they went into half time trailing 31-5.
After half time Cooma played with increased intensity and started to play better field position this allowed Cooma to control much of the play. Alex Moon and Damo Roach found space out wide while Damo Allen, Sam Hand and Tom Moxon were getting the forwards rolling forward.
Goulburn were able to score a try mid way through the second half but Cooma hit back with their second try to Damien Roach scoring out wide, Nathan Boate converted but Cooma couldn't score any more points with the final score been 36-12.
Points in second grade 1 point Andrew Barron, 2 points James Ewart, 3 points Damien Hopkins and player's player James Ewart.