Maidenhead v Ivybridge (home)

Maidenhead v Ivybridge (home)

Maidenhead welcome Devon-based Ivybridge to the Braywick Bowl this week, in possibly the first ever meeting between the 2 sides, if not, the first in a very long time. Ivybridge enter this game full of confidence, following 3 consecutive victories, including impressive away wins at our friends Newbury, and Lydney, who were our victors, 38-29, a week ago.

Maids are disappointed with their away form so far this term, and are fully aware that a change in mindset, and a tweak to the game plan is required, if they are to emulate home successes. However, they are delighted to be back on the familiar 3G territory, and confident of extending the proud home winning run. Consecutive 500+ crowds, buoyed by the Maidenhead Ultras haven’t been disappointed this campaign, and all the players are determined to continue entertaining and rewarding the many people of the town that have been coming to support.

Ivybridge are a somewhat unknown quantity to Maids, but player-coach Lewis Paterson, at outside centre is likely to be a threat, and inside him, Mitch and Billy Pinkus at 10 and 12 respectively will pull the strings. Scrum half Sean Disney, is a summer recruit from SW Prem rivals, Hornets, and he starts at 9 this week, with fellow scrum half, Ben Watts on the bench. Upfront, Matt Finn skippers from tighthead, and goes directly up against Maids captain, Parrott, whilst last week’s 2nd rows are missing, and replaced with Pete Abraham and Robin Luscombe moving up from the back row.

There are further changes in the Maids team this week, but one of the ever-presents this term, Will Runciman, starts at 12, so we caught up with him, to ask the new recruit some questions…

*Name/nicknames- Will, Runci, Willy, Run Simon, Runny Sperm, Terry, Carole Smillie.

*Position(s)-Fly half

*Occupation- Dodgy Accountant, helping Boughy and Dom rob the club’s money.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Dark Marlington- I’m not sure how he’d react to the situation, and I’d fear for my life.

* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Sam Churchyard- we’d survive on his years’ supply of Puss milk- yummy.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? Bottom, but the Vietnamese, Gary Glitter version.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Dom Birch is my current primary pastime. I’ve been studying his behaviour very closely over the past few months, and performing intricate pyscho-analysis on the complexities of his social and emotional interaction with peers and players alike, hoping to identify a chink in his armour. Sadly, no success yet, and he really does hate us. Also learning to play the piano.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d be a bedbug, so I could continue to piss off Perry, and make him get his wardrobe dry cleaned again.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? A top 4 finish would be great, and to learn the words to ‘A Little Respect’ off by heart.

After another impressive 1st XV performance last week, Lawrence Leonard has invited his family down for the weekend, and it is their caravans, currently occupying the carpark at the club. Tom King and Badger Bates thoroughly enjoyed their Thursday night tag-team street fight with the local travelling community, and have invited them to stay for a couple more weeks. Ed Keohane misses out this week, due to a karaoke competition in Skegness, but Jaryd Robinson returns to the starting lineup, after finalising the terms of his ‘home games only’ contract, with DoR, Tony Brooks. It’s a warm welcome back to Mark Childerhouse, who starts at scrum half after completing his fashion degree, and Lewis ‘Pumba’ Jones, will be looking to make an impact off the bench, despite the ‘inconvenient’ 3pm kick off time, falling straight on the time of his usual afternoon snack.

 

Ivybridge team:

1.       Jon Morgan

2.       Jay Geraty

3.       Matt Finn (c)

4.       Robin Luscombe

5.       Pete Abraham

6.       Aiden Taylor

7.       Marcus Prout

8.       Luke Richardson

9.       Sean Disney

10.   Mitch Pinkus

11.   Damon Ackerman

12.   Billy Pinkus

13.   Lewis Paterson

14.   Tom Scoles

15.   Charlie Briant

16.   Wes Vermigle

17.   Hayden Coles

18.   Ben Watts

Maids team:

1.       Myke Parrott (c)

2.       Mark Darlington

3.       Andy Darlington

4.       Sam Churchyard

5.       Sam Hallett

6.       Tom King

7.       Will Macaulay

8.       Dave Cole

9.       Mark Childerhouse

10.   Perry Jansen

11.   Jaryd Robinson

12.   Will Runciman

13.   Ryan Long

14.   George Blewitt

15.   Max Roddick

16.   Lewis Jones

17.   Lawrence Leonard

18.   Alex French

Come on you Maids!

 

 

 

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Maids v Lydney (away)

Maids v Lydney (away)

Following on from a breathless 80 minutes at Braywick a week ago, Russ Bolton’s charges head to Regentsholme, Gloucestershire, to the home of Lydney RFC, where a tough challenge awaits them. Maids head into the game full of confidence, after dispatching league heavyweights Exmouth 45-33 last week. This was no doubt, the eye-catching result of the round, and one of the most notable in recent times at the club.

Exmouth, who were playing in National 2 last season, stormed into an early 12-0 lead, and the signs looked ominous, but this Maidenhead team are a smarter, stronger and fitter side than in previous seasons, and they adapted well, to bounce back and exert their control. A solid set piece, relentless defence, and clinical, pacy counterattacking were the catalysts for a 45-26 lead, until the last play, when the Cockles successfully stole a losing bonus point with their 4th try, to give a 45-33 final scoreline.

Despite their lowly position in the table, Lydney must consider themselves unfortunate so far, having had to play 3 of the opening 4 matches away from home, in a tough start to the season for them. Nevertheless, they will be delighted to be back at home this week, and will see this as a key fixture for them, to pick up some points. Some Maids boys will recognise one of the key Lydney men this week, with winger Reuben Haille having spent some time at Chinnor previously. Number 10, Ollie Locke may also be recognisable to some, having played for Old Cents in SW1 last year, and he will partner fellow halfback and skipper Sam Arnott tomorrow.

For Maids, there are several changes this week, but one of our ever-presents, big Sammy Hallett keeps his place, so we took the time to ask the introverted, retiring, long-haired Garage MC a few personal questions, to gain an insight into his mind.

*Name/nicknames- Sam, Big Sam, Samson, Jesus, MC Goldilocks, Lady Gaga.

*Position(s)- 2nd row/wing

*Occupation- I con old people out of money, by telling them their roof needs fixing, and then charge a fortune to damage it further.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Would have to be Andy Darlington, pretty sure he’d get hungry first.

* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? That’s an easy one, Will Runciman. I know when food gets scarce, he’d be a gent, and let me eat him first. Top lad!

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? I love, love, love TOWIE!!! The clubhouse sometimes reminds me of it actually- Cadden’s psycho ex attacking him, then him sniffing round Ellie’s fit mates, only to be cockblocked by the boys. Love the drama!

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? I’m massively into topiary at the moment. There’s something cleansing about creating form out of a regular old brush.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? Interesting question, and I’m delighted you’ve asked me that actually. I would love to become a beaver, just for one day- we all know this is Batesy’s favourite dam-building mammal, and I feel if I could get to know the social complexities of this fascinating creature, he may take me in as one of his own.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? Personally, I want to score more points than anyone else ever has in one season. I know Tom Finnie did well last year, but his haul is certainly achievable I feel. As a team, I think if we are really going to push forward, then it’s vital that we know Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, word for word.

Jack Hill continues in the 9 shirt this week, despite the foot injury sustained at the hands of his Dad, Adam, who put him in an ankle lock at home, but Jaryd Robinson is away; the staunch Communist, who refuses to get a normal job and play every Saturday, has travelled to Japan, to cheer on the North Korean missiles. Mark Childerhouse is unavailable, as he and new fiancé Amy have to spend a day deciding which chair covers they would like at their wedding, but luckily there is a return to the side for youngster Max Roddick, who has spent a couple of weeks in the shed of Nic Jones. There are debuts for George Blewitt, who has just signed from Amersham, and also Mark Grimshaw and Alex French, who start on the bench.

Maids team:

1.       M Parrott (c)

2.       M Darlington

3.       A Darlington

4.       S Hallett

5.       S Churchyard

6.       L Leonard

7.       T King

8.       D Cole

9.       J Hill

10.   P Jansen

11.   M Roddick

12.   W Runciman

13.   R Long

14.   G Blewitt

15.   E Keohane

16.   L Jones

17.   M Grimshaw

18.   A French

Lydney team:

1.       C Lane

2.       N Ford

3.       B Ncube

4.       D Bennett

5.       A Southon

6.       K Brown

7.       T Patrick

8.       J Barker

9.       S Arnott (c)

10.   O Locke

11.   R Haille

12.   J Sargent

13.   J Dunn

14.   K Bower

15.   T Lakabuka

16.   G Butt

17.   L Overthrow

18.   P McCain

Maids v Exmouth (home)

Maids v Exmouth (home)

Searching for their 22nd consecutive home victory, Maids face their biggest threat so far to the proud record they hold, with currently unbeaten Exmouth coming to town. With 15 points from 15 so far, Jon Hill’s men arrive at Braywick full of confidence, and will be looking to cement their place at the summit of the table.

There are several enforced changes to the Exmouth team this week, with skipper Jack Fahy ruled out through injury, and new signing Owen Nesbitt replacing player-coach Tom Whelan at scrum half. Man of the Match last week, Pete Ingoldsby keeps his place in the back row alongside Ross Morshead and Dave Bargent, with youngster Dan Armstrong switching to the row. Exmouth will enjoy the fast surface the 3G at Braywick gives, often choosing to play an expansive game of rugby, which should make for a cracking contest.

There are various changes to the Maids team this week, which will be looking to make amends for a poor 1st half performance away at Dings Crusaders a week; Ryan Long switches to centre, with Tom King and Dave Cole making their debuts in the back row, alongside openside flanker, Will Macaulay, who we spoke with this week, find out more about the mysterious bald Northerner…

*Name/nicknames- Macca, Mac Attack, Return of the Mac, Northern Norman, Pen Machine.

*Position(s)- Offside/back row

*Occupation- Teacher

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Perry- he’d eat all the mushrooms, and be really needy, wanting cuddles all the time.

* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Ed Keohane, would sing a decent lullaby.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? Jim’ll Fix it.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? I really enjoy running Big Dom Birch’s Twitter account (@bigdombirch), and signing Batesy up for nuisance calls and spam, so that Parrott gets the blame for it. Have recently put Tony Brooks’ house up for sale, and sent pizzas round to Boughy’s, so can’t wait to see him in trouble for that.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d be a Moose, to communicate with Will Cadden, and try to learn what goes on in his head.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? As a team, I’d like us to finish top 4, and personally, I hope to develop my left-hand pass.

Maids welcome former Windsor skipper, Tom King, into the back row this week, for his debut, alongside new addition Dave Cole, after Ellie Birch insisted that new plaything Ryan Long isn’t allowed in the pack anymore, so he switches to 13. Rorie ‘Cow Head’ Hannigan has grass poisoning, with his udders disagreeing with the Dings’ turf, so Sammy Angell comes in at 12, after completing his month-long sausage roll tour of Oxfordshire, and Mike Andrew takes over the bar, with Dom Birch convinced that ‘mind-goon’ Sam Jarman is putting voices in his head and making him kick children. Jack Hill will be hoping that the girl he takes home this weekend, won’t end up naked in bed with his sister, and Will Cadden, currently injured, aims to make it 3 straight weeks of crying in the toilets at the strip club.

Exmouth team:

  1. Tom Brown
  2. Davy McGregor (c)
  3. Tom Barnard
  4. Dan Armstrong
  5. Mike Richards
  6. Pete Ingoldsby
  7. Dave Bargent
  8. Ross Morshead
  9. Owen Nesbitt
  10. George Meadows
  11. Matt Dayment
  12. Alex Goldman
  13. Mark Wathes
  14. Matt Ryan
  15. Rich Bright
  16. Nick Halse
  17. Charlie Gibbings
  18. Rich Cadywould

Maids team:

  1. Myke Parrott (c)
  2. Mark Darlington
  3. Andy Darlington
  4. Sam Churchyard
  5. Sam Hallett
  6. Tom King
  7. Will Macaulay
  8. Dave Cole
  9. Jack Hill
  10. Will Runciman
  11. Jaryd Robinson
  12. Sam Angell
  13. Ryan Long
  14. Perry Jansen
  15. Ed Keohane
  16. Lewis Jones
  17. Laurence Leonard
  18. Ross Lewis

Maids v Dings Crusaders (away)

Maids v Dings Crusaders (away)

After 2 weeks gone of Maids’ first season back at level 5 rugby, emotions in the camp are mixed- 7 points from the opening 2 games is a decent return, but the performances, although filled with endeavour, haven’t been as polished as the players and coaching team would have liked. Despite having 61% of possession against Cleve last week, the margin of just 2 points in victory is indicative of the clinical nature of teams at this level.

This week, Maidenhead face the daunting trip to pre-season title favourites Dings Crusaders, and they are certainly living up to their billing as top seeds, having comfortably dispatched Ivybridge 55-7 on the opening day, followed by a 39-6 victory at Hornets last week. Dings are a somewhat unknown quantity to Maids, but are likely to be marshalled by ex Bristol and Exeter full back/fly-half, Luke Arscott, who doubles up as their backs coach. Upfront, an expected physical pack will be headed by experienced hooker Paul Fincken, with Jake Holcombe one to watch at number 8.

Maids 2nd XV tackle local rivals Witney at Braywick this Saturday, with a star-studded side that could easily be mistaken for a 1st XV. Former Windsor captain Tom King makes his debut in a Maids shirt, and will be hoping to push for a 1s spot in the coming weeks. He lines up in an imposing back row alongside Dave Cole and Mark Grimshaw, who have both impressed in training in recent weeks. In the backline, former colt, Scott Prince continues his recovery from injury, and will start in the 15 jersey.

There is another ex-Maidenhead colt who deserves a special mention this week, Jamie Townsend. Jamie was an outstanding servant to the club, making his 1st XV debut at the tender age of 18, before being offered the chance to play National 2 rugby at Chinnor. Jamie suffered a horrific leg break in his second season at Chinnor, but it is testament to his character and work rate that he successfully bounced back, and impressed so much, that Championship side Richmond swooped for him. Tomorrow, Jamie is set for his debut with ‘Mond, against Bristol, and the club couldn’t be prouder of him, and wish him all the very best.

We spoke to another former colt this week, Jack Hill, who managed to find a couple of minutes between fighting with his Dad and kissing his dog, to learn a little more about him…

*Name/nicknames- “Hilly”, “Jellybean”, “Adam Hill mark 2”, “Amber’s brother”, “Glassjaw”, “Binbag Billy”

*Position(s)- Scrum half/face down on Sharlene’s physio bed.

*Occupation- Adam Hill impersonator, builder, shouting at kids.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Myke Parrott, because he’d be far too keen to drink p!ss to survive, and would be too happy and chirpy all the time.

* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Andy Darlington- could be a useful raft.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? I love DIY SOS and Cowboy Builders- reminds me of working with my old man.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? I like to travel round different gyms, and scream at people with poor technique. Strolling around my manor in nothing but a black binbag is one of my favourite pastimes and at night I stalk round over 30s nightclub evenings, on the hunt for my next victim. I also really enjoying purring at topless Instagram photos of George Dutton.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d love to be a Bluetit- I could sup from birdbaths all day, and not be called weird for it.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? As a team, a mid-table finish or better, and personally, to spend less time injured, and more time on the pitch.

Sam Angell has fallen cruel victim to a heartilage epidemic just this morning, though rumours have spread that he was unhappy with the food choices on offer at Dings, so has pulled out of the matchday squad, to be replaced by Jaryd Robinson. In the words of Andy Emmanuel, son James has ‘quit rugby, to try and get a girlfriend’, so has been absent from the club for a few weeks now, after failing to realise that rugby was actually all he had going for him. Ryan Long isn’t allowed on the bus this week, with new girlfriend Ellie Birch reigning him in, and Mark Childerhouse is in love eutopia with new fiancé Amy, so misses out again. Scott Prince was caught with intimate pictures of his Aunty by Father, Steve, so is a doubt to make kick off after an emergency intervention. Finally, Fwankie was found last night, locked in Boughy’s Grotto under the stairs, where Meeester Gaweth had been keeping him locked up, after discovering him with a Jo Gill Voodoo doll.

Maids team:

1.       Myke Parrott (c)

2.       Mark Darlington

3.       Andy Darlington

4.       Sam Churchyard

5.       Sam Hallett

6.       Will Cadden

7.       Will Macaulay

8.       Ryan Long

9.       Jack Hill

10.   Will Runciman

11.   Mike Burnett

12.   Rorie Hannigan

13.   Ed Keohane

14.   Perry Jansen

15.   Tom Finnie

16.   Nic Jones

17.   Laurence Leonard

18.   Jaryd Robinson

Come on you Maids!

Maids v Cleve (home)

Maids v Cleve (home)

It’s a big welcome back to Braywick this week for Bolton’s charges, who came agonisingly close to opening their South West Premier with a victory last week at Camborne, only to be edged out 30-27. Despite the loss, Maids will take confidence from their performance, which demonstrates they can compete at this level, and it’s an evident shift in mindset when they are disappointed they didn’t return with 5 points, instead of being pleased with the 2. The fast-improving 2nd XV put in a great shift in a round-robin with Slough and Drifters 1st XV teams, winning the triangular, without conceding a point, and they travel to local rivals Bracknell this week, hoping to start their league campaign with a win.

Visitors this week, are Bristol-based Cleve, who have aspirations of improving upon their 9th-place finish last term, and they’ve certainly started as they mean to go on, by thrashing Hornets 54-12 a week ago. New Head Coach, Chris Brooker, formerly of Harlequins and Bristol handed debuts last week to 5 new arrivals, including Mike Uren, a summer arrival from Clifton, and young Tommy Price at scrum half. There are a couple of changes this week, which sees Louis Bartlett replace Paul Vinicombe at tighthead, and Oskar White starting in the 9 jersey.

Maidenhead Coach, Russell Bolton has the luxury of picking an unchanged 18 this week, which means a continuation in the number 12 shirt for Rorie ‘Cow Head’ Hannigan, who we caught up with, for an intimate outpouring of his thoughts;

*Name/nicknames: Rodman, Resh, Cow, Cow Head, Grazer

*Position: Centre, often face down in the grass.

*Occupation: Project Manager for Brazzers.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with? Will Cadden, in case I catch Dingbatitis. Don’t want my Mrs turning psycho like his last one.

*Which Maids teammate would you want to be stuck on a desert island with? Mark Bates- we could have tear ups and birdbaths, while watching the sunrise.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? Only Fools and Horses, because I get to watch Rodney, Jonesy’s little brother on Gold. That’s when he’s not banged up for bashing his Mrs.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? I really enjoy flying kites on Maidenhead Thicket, near to the layby where everyone goes dogging.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? Easy, I’d be a cow- graze all day, moo to my heart’s content and lick as many udders as I like.

*What do you want to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? Personally, I want to convince Boughy to get rid of the horrible artificial pitch, and get some grass back, and as a team, I want increased nakedness, and a mid-table finish.

 

There is just one positional change in the squad, which sees Myke Parrott returning to the starting XV, after recovering from indigestion, and he’ll line up alongside Mark Darlington, who switches to his preferred hooking position, with brother Andy at tighthead. Sammy Hallett lines up in the row, after a suspected broken nose last week proved just to be a nose-bleed from altitude, whilst Jon Lavin will hopefully have finished puking after the 6 hour bus trip a week ago. Ed Keohane is due to start at centre, but has told Russ Bolton he’s only 50:50, due to wedding planning, as he only has 11 months to go. Frankie Khakhumlan is still on the missing list, with Meeester Gaweth denying all knowledge of his whereabouts, despite his neighbours complaining of sobbing noises from the cellar.

Maids team:

1-      Myke Parrott (c)

2-      Mark Darlington

3-      Andrew Darlington

4-      Sam Churchyard

5-      Sam Hallett

6-      Will Cadden

7-      Will Macaulay

8-      Ryan Long

9-      Jack Hill

10-   Will Runciman

11-   Mike Burnett

12-   Rorie Hannigan

13-   Ed Keohane

14-   Max Roddick

15-   Perry Jansen

16-   Nic Jones

17-   Jon Lavin

18-   Tom Finnie

Cleve team:

1-      Liam Appleton

2-      Tom Gollop

3-      Louis Bartlett

4-      Anton Welling

5-      Bradley Horman

6-      Tyler Jerrum

7-      Hayden Johnson

8-      Mike Uren

9-      Oskar White

10-   Nathan Huntley

11-   Adam Lamberts

12-   Greg Welling

13-   Steven Bath (c)

14-   Sam Polledri

15-   Alex Kilbane

16-   Paul Vinicombe

17-   Ben Silk

18-   Joseph Hall

Maidenhead v Camborne (away)

Maidenhead v Camborne (away)

Well, here we go again! Once the title celebrations and hangovers subsided, it was very much straight back to business at Braywick- planning for Nat 3 (now named SW Premier), recruitment, extra fitness and a little time for socials, before hitting preseason with a bang. We have welcomed many new players to the club, and sadly said goodbye to some, for varying reasons.

Aside from the obvious increase in challenge, intensity and physicality, from moving up a league, perhaps the most prevalent change, is the extra mileage the players will incur. Fixtures in Brixham, Ivybridge, Newton Abbott and Exmouth are all potential overnighters, with the longest trip of all, away to Camborne first up. Camborne enjoyed a highly successful first season back at level 5 last year, following promotion the previous season, finishing up an impressive 3rd place. It could have been even better for the Cherry and Whites, had they maintained their early season form, which saw them romp to the top of the table after 11 straight victories.

Camborne have enjoyed a successful preseason campaign, comfortably dispatching Camberley 73-12, and then Launceston 33-7. Jake Champion at centre is in rich try-scoring form, and will be one to watch for the Maids midfield, whilst Dave Mankee is an assured kicker, and will look to control the match from the number 10 position. Cornwall tighthead, Andrius Zacharovas, anchors the scrum, and is a menace in the loose. The Camborne faithful will be disappointed to have lost their talisman, Sam Matavesi, to local rivals Redruth, but there seems plenty to be excited about at the Rec, with a young team, spearheaded by new Head Coach, Rhodri McAtee.

As mentioned, there have been lots of new players welcomed to Braywick over the summer, with a quick rundown below:

*Mark Darlington- hooker, who has joined from Chinnor. Previously with Newcastle Falcons Academy, Fylde, ‘t Gooi, and also a current Dutch International.

*Andy Darlington- tighthead prop, and brother to Mark, also from Chinnor. Previously at Fylde and ‘t Gooi, and currently plays for Holland as well.

*Sam Hallett- second row, who has joined from local rivals Reading Abbey, where he was skipper. An imposing figure, who will add weight to the pack and add a bit of sparkle to the Maidenhead Advertiser with his flowing locks. Also captained Berkshire recently in their 2017 campaign.

*Jon Cranton- back row who has come across from Reading, where he was captain. Due to be sponsored by Allan Greene, number 1 fan of our Berkshire rivals.

*Mark Grimshaw- back row, who has moved to the area, after recently playing for Tonbridge Juddians. An out and out 7 who has really impressed in preseason.

*Dom Bart- back row, and a returning colt, brother of Christoph who says he’s been at uni for 3 years, but may have been in prison. Like his brother, he’s big-hitting and athletic who will add energy and tempo to our game.

*Jon Lavin- back row, and another player we have managed to tempt from Chinnor. Nearly joined us last year, but didn’t due to injury. Part of the successful Oxfordshire side which won the county championship at Twickenham.

*Dave Cole- back row, from Reading Abbey. Dave plays mainly at number 8, and although he has been away for much of preseason, he is due to return to training next week.

*Will Runciman- fly-half, who has recently moved to the area. Will has previously played at Championship and National 1 level for Manchester and Sedgley Park respectively, as well as spending time with Sydney University.

*Sam Angell- centre/fly-half from Chinnor. A big-hitting, big-drinking, big-eating acquisition, who is equally adept at 10 or 12. Loves a sausage roll.

*Max Roddick- full-back/wing. Max is an RGS old boy, and comes back to the area after recently finishing university, where he played for Westcombe Park. A good-looking young lad, who Sam Churchyard looks forward to becoming acquainted with on the bus.

As is tradition with the weekly match previews, we take the opportunity to learn a little more about a certain player, and this week, we spoke with one of the more ‘complex’ characters at Maids, Sam Churchyard, who gave us the following insight:

 

*Name/nicknames: ‘Churchy’, ‘Puss Puss’, ‘ya big priiiiick’, ‘Greengrass’, ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘Fat Greener’.

*Position: Hanging out for a blue ball (and then dropping it).

*Occupation: Full time Bandit

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with? Savage…  Got no chat.

*Which Maids teammate would you want to be stuck on a desert island with? PD (Nic Jones) I’m determined to re-kindle that special relationship we once had.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? “The secret life of the cat” BBC 2 Horizons.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Mostly sitting indoors pretending to be an owl or a pussy cat. Sometimes I pretend to chase myself around the house.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? Woodworm, so I could finally see what PD gets up to in his prison shed.

*What do you want to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? Double promotion!! Definitely top half of table is very achievable we have bags of talent is this year’s squad!! Personally, challenge myself to be better than last year, both with my maths and rugby.

 

William Cadden returns to the starting line-up, after missing last week’s friendly against Redingensians, sustaining a rib injury after a bad tackle from a psychotic woman in a tent, but on the plus side, he is now fun again, since becoming single. Sammy Angell pulled a hamstring he didn’t know he had, so misses out, but Rorie ‘Cow Head’ Hannigan should have finished grazing by kick off, so starts at 12. Tom Simpson has gone a step further with his cat, and actually married her, but then got caught consummating the marriage, so has been banged up. Luckily, Mike Burnett is back fit and starts on one wing, with young heartthrob, Max Roddick on the other. Forwards coach Mark Bates has a bare-knuckle bout planned with some travellers in Exeter on Friday night, but all being well, should be fit to attend the game. Although advertised as ‘all-you-can-eat’, Myke Parrott and Andy Darlington have been warned that the hotel breakfast ‘is not a competition’, and have been limited to just 2 helpings each.

 

Maids lineup:

 

1.       M. Darlington

2.       N. Jones

3.       A. Darlington

4.       Churchyard

5.       Hallett

6.       Cadden

7.       Macaulay

8.       Long

9.       Hill

10.   Runciman

11.   Burnett

12.   Hannigan

13.   Keohane

14.   Roddick

15.   Jansen

16.   Parrott

17.   Lavin

18.   Finnie

 

Come on you Maids!

Big Sam is a Big Signing for Maids

Big Sam is a Big Signing for Maids

Next onboard the Maids train, is the imposing figure of “Big Sam” Hallett, who joins the club, from local rivals Reading Abbey. Hallett, the Abbey, and also Berkshire skipper, adds some much needed muscle to the Maids forwards, and will pack down at lock, behind an already much-beefed up front row.

Hallett is a player known well to Head Coach Russell Bolton, who said of the new signing;

“I’m delighted that the opportunity to bring Sam to the club presented itself to us. Having had him as my captain at Reading Abbey during my two years at the club I know exactly what he can bring to the team both on and off the field. As a player he is a big threatening ball carrier who will get us over the tackle line and create opportunities for those around him. He has a deceptive turn of pace and a good range of handling skills which will help him fit seamlessly into our style of rugby. He is also an excellent technician at the front of the lineout which along with his scrummaging strength will help us to achieve our aim of having one of the best set piece games in the league. Similarly to our other signings this season his character played a major role in why we wanted him at the club. As the current Berkshire captain Sam is someone that has the ability to lead through his actions but also to engage with the players on a personal level. His desire to return to a higher level of rugby and test himself is a testament to his attitude and I know that as a club we are well set up to help him thrive in this environment and help him develop as a player. As with all our other signings this summer it will be exciting to see how our current crop of talented players respond to the challenge of new arrivals and it is my hope that it will encourage them to work even harder in developing their game.”

Dom Birch is rumoured to have put down a deposit on a new boat, in anticipation of increased bar takings through Sam’s arrival, which ties in nicely with his new pricing strategy of £8 a pint, and £1 per use of the upstairs toilets, whilst forwards coach Mark ‘Badger’ Bates is so happy with the new additions to his pack, he gave Prinny a headbutt and then updated his Tinder profile.

In both games against Maidenhead last season, and in previous fixtures whilst representing Redingensians, his former club, Hallett has proved a thorn in Maids’ side, with his destructive ball-carrying regularly putting defences on the back-foot. It’s no surprise that other clubs were in for Hallett, but fortunately for us, he’s opted to play in magenta- he had this to say about joining:

“Having played against Maids last year, I loved the playing style and feel I can absolutely add some grunt up front. Personally for me, I want to prove myself in National 3, and I feel this team is the way to do that. Tremendous facilities, coaching, and from what I’ve seen, decent lads, all went towards my decision. I’m very much looking forward to my initiation away to Camborne, and confident that the other new signings won’t be able to keep up.

We look forward to welcoming Sam and his family to Braywick, and we’re confident he’ll make a big impact at the club.

Further new signings are due to be announced over the next month, so keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Come on you Maids!