Maidenhead v Royal Wootton Bassett (home)

Maidenhead v Royal Wootton Bassett (home)

And….breathe. The boys have done it. South West 1 Champions, with a game to spare, after recording their 7th consecutive bonus point victory. The 38-19 victory over a stubborn Reading Abbey 2 weeks ago, ensures Maidenhead go into their final fixture against Royal Wootton Bassett with an unassailable 8-point lead over 2nd placed Newbury Blues. Before the boys can really celebrate this outstanding achievement, there are 80 minutes of rugby left, and a home record to preserve.

Bassett will come into this game with no fear, and no pressure, having guaranteed their safety in this division for another season. It’s been an impressive start to life in SW1 for Alan Low’s side, which has seen them record admirable victories at Old Pats and Newbury, after losing by the finest of margins to Maidenhead in the first game of this season, in tsunami-like conditions. They will be on the hunt for revenge for that opening day kick in the teeth, and Maids know that it’s going to be a hell of a battle.

Low’s side are led by imposing 2nd row Dave Hogg, who is also responsible for kicking goals for the away side, and is partnered in the row by Sam Robinson. Young Joshua Daley-Bowden will be hoping to continue his try-scoring form, whilst Tim Gallimore will be tasked with shoring up the Bassett defence in midfield.

There’s no player interview this week, instead, we take the time to thank all of the people behind the scenes, who don’t always get the credit they deserve;

-Sharlene and “Mandingo, the Black Mamba” (Ali) and their team of physios, who do such a great job of getting the boys strapped up, rubbed, and back on the pitch as quickly as possible. In sometimes testing circumstances, with endless sexual innuendo, graphic portrayals of activities in Pig Dick’s shed and numerous requests (which are sometimes granted) for ‘extras’, they carry on, with a smile on their face, often not even charging for the sleepover treatment regularly needed for player rehab.

-Big Dommy Birch aka “Chuckles”, and his team of Ellie, Wozza and various other good looking ladies that are carefully selected for their roles in the clubhouse, and behind the bar. Dom, in particular, puts in countless hours at the club, and will often go way beyond his remit, in order to ensure that the club is in it’s strongest ever position commercially. It is a huge testament to him that the bar is buzzing, with some legendary parties, delicious food and good-looking pole dancers on a Thursday night.

-our tremendous fans, who follow us home and away. Some home matches this year have had 500+ people attending, which gives the players a huge lift, and makes playing at Braywick both enjoyable for us, and intimidating for our opposition. Travelling to away matches, to see our support outnumbering that of the home team shows what great support we are lucky enough to enjoy, and we, as players, are truly thankful.

-injured players, such as Jon Heron, Jack Hill, Jaryd Robinson and Alex Cannon, have had to watch much of the season from the side-lines. In what must have been extremely frustrating for them at times, they have often been found lurking on the back of the player bus after 10am beers at breakfast. It’s a testament to these lads, and the tight-knit nature of the squad, that they often follow the boys home and away, to cheer them on.

-whilst the players, quite rightly, receive plaudits for the great brand of rugby they play, the coaches often go under the radar, and I’d like to give them a special mention;

The adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, certainly doesn’t apply to forwards coach Mark Bates, who is constantly striving to learn, adapt and improve. He is a selfless man, who dedicates hours of time to the club, to the team, and encourages an environment, for the forwards in particular, in which we are a democracy and have fun. His passion for this club is unrivalled, and rubs off on the lads. We sincerely hope he secures the holy trio of a tit-w**k, pale ale and a tear-up as a just reward for winning the league.

Gareth Andrews-Jones (Meeeester Gaweth) helps behind the scenes, to ensure our kit is correct, helps set up the changing rooms, coaches, and generally does anything he can to help us all. He even adopted young Fwankie, and occasionally lets him sleep in his bed.

Coaches Ty and Steve have done an awesome job with our outstanding 2nd XV, and a 2nd placed finish in their league, to end above Bracknell and Amersham (both Nat 3 clubs) is huge testament to their hard work.

Rob Churchouse, our S+C/fitness coach, works tirelessly to keep training ‘fresh’, will do one to one work with injured players, and ensures we warm up/cool-down correctly, to prevent injuries. A tough job, but one in which he does unflinchingly, with a great sense of humour.

Will Greenwood has come in, and pushed the boys harder than they’ve ever been pushed. Intensity, work ethic, unrelenting high standards are all key traits he’s brought to the table, as well as introducing some of his mates to training- Eddie Jones, Paul Gustard, Graham Rowntree to name a few. Still yet to do a birdbath, so not quite one of our own, but hopefully a naked squawking windmill from Will Cadden can turn him.

Finally, Russ Bolton. Nicknamed the ‘Angry Chimp’ from Will Greenwood, Russ has (alongside the other coaches), created, encouraged and developed an outstanding atmosphere, in which players can flourish. Selection has been the toughest ever this season, due to squad strength, and competition, and there are often disagreements from other players and coaches, but he’s taken these challenges in his stride, and will no doubt learn and develop. Russ doesn’t always get it right, but he is never too proud to admit things haven’t worked, and isn’t afraid to keep trying new things- the sign of a great coach, in my opinion. If young players make an error in a match, they are excused for ‘being young’, but that doesn’t apply to coaching. Russ is a young coach, right at the start of his career, and there’s no doubt, he will go on to bigger and better things. We just hope that he does that at Braywick!

-there are countless others, such as all of our committee, Chairman Steve Bough, President Dicky Brown, DoR Tony Brooks, Mike Andrew, David Perry, all of our sponsors, just too many to name. To all of you, thank you!

Finally, we sadly have to bid farewell and ‘good luck’ to a couple of players, who are off to pastures new;

-Will Thompson- a fine young player, and product of the Maids youth system, is sadly moving to Somerset, for a new job. Will has broken into the 1st XV this season, and looked equally assured at fly-half, centre and full-back. On the odd occasion that he has played for the 2nd XV, he’s received excellent reviews, for his attitude and play. We wish Will all the best, and hope to see him back at Braywick in the future.

-Paul Britton- an absolute cornerstone of the Maidenhead pack, for the last 7 seasons, since joining the club. His first introduction to life at Maids was unexpected, as Ricky Khan, then coach, hung up, after telling him to where go, thinking he’d received a prank call from Windsor coach, Paul Britton. Paul has made an astounding 133 appearances in black and magenta at tight head prop, and has played each one of those games with a big smile on his face. One of the nicest men you can meet, you will not once have heard a grumble from Paul, whatever team he’s been selected in, be it 1s, 2s or 3s, and regularly participates in extra-curricular activities at the club, whether it be helping coach youngsters on a Sunday, or helping carry water for the seniors. A true ‘club man’, who is an absolute shining example of what a senior player should be.

Paul leaves the club, to pursue a coaching career with another club, and we have no doubt he will make a huge success of it. Our loss, is certainly another club’s gain, and as pleased as we are for him, we’re extremely sad to be losing a player and friend of his quality. Someone who truly ‘bleeds magenta’, we wish you all the very best Paul, thank you enormously for all of your efforts, and sincerely hope you come back one day.

 

This week in the Maids squad sees a return for Nic Jones, who has been released on bail by the Austrian police, and will begin on the bench, as long as Lewis Jones has finished his 7 laps of the pitch by 3pm on Saturday. Murray Barratt replaces Will Macaulay in the back row, who broke his hand punching newly-single Ross Muil, who was trying to steal his girlfriend, so Ross also misses out. Rorie Hannigan has his final ‘Finishing School’ lesson, meaning Ed Keohane partners Will Thompson in the midfield. After smashing the points-scoring record recently, Tom Finnie has vowed to smash the club’s Jaegerbombs record, and Cadden’s girlfriend has vowed to smash his face.

 

Maids team:

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. Richmond
  3. L Jones
  4. Bough
  5. Emmanuel
  6. Barratt
  7. Cadden
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Prince
  12. Keohane
  13. Thompson
  14. Lewis
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. N Jones
  18. Burnett

Come on you Maids!

 

Maids v Reading Abbey (away)

Maids v Reading Abbey (away)

So, after an incredibly tough run of fixtures, which has seen Maids play against league heavyweights Old Pats, Newbury and Old Cents, amongst others, they stand on the verge of being crowned champions of the most competitive South West One division in living memory. Last Saturday saw Maidenhead record their 6th consecutive bonus point victory, since the disappointing loss at Grove on January 28th. 8 points clear of 2nd placed Newbury Blues, a win tomorrow against a resurgent Reading Abbey at Rosehill, will make their lead at the top unassailable, and reward them with a spot in National 3 next year.

Maids have received many plaudits for the rugby they have played this season- fast, high-tempo, accurate and relentless, are all adjectives used at various points this campaign, so it’s only fair, that when these high standards are not met, as they weren’t a week ago versus Reading, then criticism is taken on the chin. Maids were far from their best, but missing key players such as Long, Jones, Cadden and Hannigan, coupled with various squad members down with illness, there are certainly mitigating factors…

On the plus side, the game was won with 5 points, extending the gap from 2nd placed to 8 points, and 2 fantastic young squad players, Joel Greene and Laurence Jones were given their debuts, and played a crucial part in a derby victory over old adversaries, Reading.

This week, despite their lowly-league position, Abbey will provide the sternest of tests. Fighting for their lives, and on the back of 2 morale-boosting victories against Chippenham and Grove, skipper Sam Hallett and his troops will be fired up, and want to knock a serious dent in the form book. Behind second-row Hallett, is the imposing figure of number 8, Will Woodward, a big ball carrier for the Rosehill boys, whilst full back Gavin Dampies is a lethal counter-attacking threat, with pace to burn. Ben Mitchell starts at 10, replacing the injured Luke Burns, and Maidenhead old boy, Pat McSweeney starts at loosehead.

This week, we decided to catch up with former 1st XV flanker, and now forwards coach, Mark ‘Badger’ Bates. The erudite, softly-spoken, artistic young man, gave us his thoughts, and an opportunity to learn more about him. Mark, a keen football hooligan and Tinder-enthusiast (see picture above), gave the following insights:

*Nickname(s)? Mark, Badger, Master Bates, Mr Worldwide, Birdbath-Barry, Gargoyle-Gary

*Occupation? Contemporary Dance Instructor

*Position?  Downward Dog.. proppa nawty that!!!

*Former clubs? Chelsea Head Hunters, Inner City Firm, Maidenhead Floral Art Society

*Biggest coaching achievement to date? When Kempo laid out the Redingensians centre, after my clothes line session in training. So proud. Sharing a birdbath with Prinny was ‘triffic’.

*Favourite food? Lemons

*Dream woman/man? That Donna from the kitchen… she’s a right sort

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Will Greenwood- thinks he knows everything, but has he ever been butted by Rene Dance or been in the Battle of Coney Hill? I think not.

*What do you want to achieve this season? The holy trio- a t** w***, a session on the Pale Ales, followed by big tear up down the Vine. Promotion would be alright- I fancy a crack at those soft pasty-munchers next season.

Nic Jones continues to be unavailable, travelling on a pilgrimage to Austria, to visit the original Fritz lair, and Sam Churchyard has opted to visit the cat museum in Bali on his honeymoon- recommended by Tom Simpson, so misses out. Fears grow for Big Dom Birch, who hasn’t been seen since his birthday, when Christoph Bart took him to the Honeypot. Lunch Money Lewis Jones missed training on Tuesday with indigestion, but is hoping to be ‘fit’ and Will Cadden is available again, after being glassed by his Mrs at the Churchyard wedding.

 

Maids team:

 

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. Richmond
  3. L Jones
  4. Bough
  5. Muil
  6. Cadden
  7. Macaulay
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Prince
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Thompson
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. Emmanuel
  18. Stileman

 

Abbey Team:

 

  1. Judas McSweeney
  2. Toland
  3. Daniels
  4. Hallett (c)
  5. Shaw
  6. House
  7. Ellaboudy
  8. Woodward
  9. Bevan
  10. Mitchell
  11. Evered
  12. Huggins
  13. Walton
  14. Greenaway
  15. Dampies
  16. Charlton
  17. Knights
  18. Bahlsen

 

Come on you Maids!

 

Maids v Reading (home)

Maids v Reading (home)

Maids took a giant step towards their ultimate goal of securing the South-West 1 championship last week, gaining 5 points away at in-form Oxford Harlequins, whilst 2nd placed Old Patesians faltered against a resurgent Newbury team, which opened up a 7 point gap at the summit. Consequently, if Maids can win two of their final three matches, they will be crowned champions.

First up for Bolton’s men, is the small matter of a Berkshire derby, versus old rivals, Reading. Sadly for the ‘Green Machine’, their fate for next season is already sealed, with relegation to Southern Counties now a mathematical certainty. Plagued by injuries and unavailability, this has been a season to forget for the men from Sonning, and after just 3 victories this campaign, they will hope to rebuild and ensure that next season is far more successful.

In their line-up this week, they feature Charlie Davies at 8, who has received rave reviews, despite his team’s struggles, and ever-present Chris Greig on the wing, always seems to score versus Maids. Alex Dorliac at 13 is one to watch in green and white, and fullback-turned-flyhalf Alex Murray-Smith, will be tasked with ensuring good ball gets out to his dangermen.

A key feature of Maidenhead’s success this season, is the return of Braywick old boys, such as Ryan Long, Ed Keohane, Alex Cannon and more recently, Joe Bough, after a brief secondment at London Cornish. It’s great to have Joe back in the squad, and we caught up with him this week, to learn a little more about him…

*Nickname(s)? Boughie, Boughie Junior, Le Bough, Forest Fire, Tango Pubes, Toe-breaker, Wotsit Head.

*Occupation? Chairman’s son .

*Position? Second row.

*Former clubs? London Cornish, BRFC Paris, Aston Cobras.

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Selected for ‘ile de France’; it’s a weird ginger French team, but we didn’t have enough members to play a game.

*Favourite food? Crisps (mainly Wotsits).

*Dream woman/man? The fat chick at pole dancing in the clubhouse on Thursday nights.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Rupert- he’s the only man who understands the lineout calls less than me.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Promotion, and to break some toes.

 

In the words of Mark ‘Badger’ Bates… “he’s got Tourette’s in his feet”, so players from both sides, will be hoping that Le Bough can keep it in check tomorrow. Ryan Long is absent this week, as he participates in his annual MILF-hunting weekend, disguised as a ski trip, while Nic ‘Fritzl’ Jones has used a similar excuse, but to hide a very different excursion…

Will Cadden and Rorie Hannigan are both rested this week, so there are call-ups for Weird Will Thompson at centre, and Murray Barratt in the back row, a victorious coach of Wellington U15s midweek at Twickenham. Bolton hands first team debuts to outstanding youngsters Laurence Jones and Joel Greene this week, and the whole of Maidenhead awaits Allan Greene’s Facebook status in anticipation. Rumours abound that senior Greene has already started drinking for the game, and is a bottle of port down, are currently ‘unsubstantiated’, but it’s a distinct possibility. Fwankie make Mr Gaweth weally happy last week with his twy, so he continues in the starting lineup.

 

Maids team:

 

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. Laurence Jones
  3. Britton
  4. Bough
  5. Emmanuel
  6. Barratt
  7. Muil
  8. Macaulay
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Prince
  12. Keohane
  13. Thompson
  14. Khakhumlan
  15. Finnie
  16. Lewis Jones
  17. Greene
  18. Lewis

 

Reading team:

 

  1. Pallett
  2. Watson
  3. Nicol
  4. Parr
  5. Kenneally
  6. Cranton
  7. McRoberts
  8. Davies
  9. Portch
  10. Murray-Smith
  11. Greig
  12. Czernuka
  13. Dorliac
  14. Mitchell
  15. Hill
  16. Woodworth
  17. Hegarty
  18. Assefuah

 

Come on you Maids!

 

Maids v Oxford Harlequins (away)

Maids v Oxford Harlequins (away)

Maids continue their title-quest this week, away from home again, this time travelling to Oxfordshire neighbours, Oxford Harlequins. The 68-22 defeat of Quins at Braywick before Xmas, has turned out to be a real catalyst for their upturn in form, during the 2nd half of this season. Quins have won 7 of the last 9, and drawn one, which was away at Grove 2 weeks ago.

Unlike Quins, Maids didn’t have the fortune of a rest last week, and travelled to Gloucestershire, for the rearranged game against Old Centralians, seeing them turn in a professional and clinical display versus a side who will surely challenge for the league next season. They came away with all 5 points, after a 35-13 win, which sees them lead Old Pats in 2nd, by 3 points now, with just 4 matches remaining.

In the Quins line-up this week, Michael Ojo, voted Man of the Match at Braywick in November, is likely to partner skipper Allan Purchase in the 2nd row, whilst young Dion Taylor will be aiming to keep his place in the back row, after recent positive reviews of his performances. Archie Van Dijk at full back, provides Quins with a dangerous counter-attacking option, and they have their pick of options at 10, with one of Huw Dimond, Sam Watkinson and Ollie Jenner poised to start in the play-making role.

For Maidenhead this week, keeping his place in the 1st XV squad, after an impressive return against Old Cents, is young Frank Khakhumlan, who opens his heart on gender identity struggles, fetishes and general aspirations…

*Nickname(s)? Wankie, Frank-the-Tank, Lady Boy.

*Occupation? Chocolate-maker, Tinder-enthusiast (must be over 15st)

*Position? Wing, full-back, outside-centre, Reverse Cowgirl.

*Former clubs? Slough, Cardiff Met.

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning the Fresher’s Cup with Cardiff Met, and being the first dual-gender player to score for Maidenhead 1st XV.

*Favourite food? Roast Dog, with noodles.

*Dream woman/man? Gareth Andrews-Jones.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Will Cadden, he likes getting a little too weird.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Help the team win the league, and make Mr Gaweth weallllly happy.

 

Returning to the coaching set up this week, is forwards coach Mark Bates, who comes back from Margate as 2017 over-50s bare-knuckle boxing champion, whilst Russell Bolton joins him, after a week away auditioning for Love Island. A rejuvenated Nic Jones continues at hooker, after proudly completing the entire Karma-Sutra challenge in just one week, with his new girlfriend, as detailed to Perry Jansen in the physio room last night and Scott Prince makes a welcome to return to the squad after injury. Ross Muil continues to struggle with life after Charlie, amidst ‘solid rumours’ she has a begun an affair with skipper, Myke Parrott.

Maids team:

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. N Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Bough
  5. Muil
  6. Cadden
  7. Macaulay
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Khakhumlan
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Bart
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. Emmanuel
  18. Prince

Come on you Maids!

Maids v Old Centralians (away)

Maids v Old Centralians (away)

After a nervy first half last week, which saw title challengers Old Pats record 3 tries, Maids showed great character to respond, and finally pull away in the last play of the match, which saw Tom Finnie dot down, to score the decisive score, awarding Maids a bonus point, whilst also restricting their Gloucestershire counterparts to a solitary point. The 33-22 final result gives Maids a slight edge in the SW1 title race, and they now know that if they win their remaining games, with a couple of bonus points along the way, they will be champions.

This week, they travel to Old Patesians’ neighbours, Old Centralians, to play the re-arranged fixture, which was previously called off due to a waterlogged pitch. Old Cents boast a strong home record this season, and Maidenhead know that the 52-14 result, in the reverse fixture at Braywick before Xmas, is irrelevant to this week. Last time out, Old Cents were dismantled by 3rd-placed Newbury, 52-5, and they will be keen to bounce back, and what better way, than to bloody the noses of a team fighting for the title?

Maids were delighted to welcome back Jaryd Robinson into the squad last week, and he continues in the 11 shirt this week, so we took the opportunity to learn a bit more about him;

*Nickname(s)? J-Rod, Gerrard, Robbo, Jezza, Longy Mark II.

*Occupation? Printer fixer.

*Position? Wing.

*Former clubs? Too many to mention

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Beating Samurai in the Super Sevens, playing in the World Club Sevens at Twickenham, and getting a bronze medal in the Maids RFC sprint race, behind Perry and Christoph.

*Favourite food? Steak.

*Dream woman? Ross Muil’s ex-girlfriend, Charlie Docker.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Perry Jansen- he’s really boring to talk to.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Not get injured, and play a part in a successful promotion.

 

There are a few changes in the Maids squad this week, after the Old Pats victory last week; Sam Churchyard had his foot broken in training on Tuesday, by Umar ‘John Dem’ Marriott, who said he looked at him funny, and Ross Muil is out with a broken heart, so is at home watching Netflix and eating ice-cream, whilst Murray Barratt rubs his back. Rorie Hannigan, aka ‘Cow Head’, arrived at Old Cents yesterday, in eager anticipation of the reported long grass on the home side’s pitch and Christoph Bart is in Manchester, settling a gangland dispute.

 

Maids team:

 

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. N Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Bough
  5. Emmanuel
  6. Cadden
  7. Macaulay
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Robinson
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Khakhumlan
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. Evans
  18. Lewis

 

Come on you Maids!

Maidenhead v Old Patesians (home)

Maidenhead v Old Patesians (home)

Since November 19th last year, when Maids returned from Gloucestershire on the wrong end of a 29-27 result to Old Pats, surrendering the lead atop SW1, the boys have patiently waited, for their opportunity, to correct a few wrongs from that day, and that time has finally arrived…

Old Pats enter this game, on the back of a thumping 56-19 victory over Grove 7 days ago, so come into the match full of confidence, especially after mercurial scrum half Takuya Osaki made his long-awaited return from injury, off the bench. Fans often get their money’s worth at Braywick, and with Pats averaging 43 points a game in their last 3 outings, supporters from both teams will be excitedly anticipating an expansive, hard-fought, entertaining spectacle.

Upfront, both teams will be keen to assert dominance at scrum time, and each come with genuine credentials for best scrum in the division. The “lumpy” front 5 of Patesians, versus the smaller, but technically-proficient counterparts in Maids’ shirts will be a fascinating contest to behold, and will go some way to determining which exciting backline will prevail on Saturday.

The 2 back rows of Cadden, Long and Macauley versus Langton, Alldritt and Angell provide another scintillating head-to-head battle, and it’s arguable, that if the outstanding player on the pitch back that day in November, Ryan Long, hadn’t had to retire early, the result could have been very different.

Outside of Osaki at 9, the two fliers in the Patesians’ side, Spurrier and Gahan score bagfuls of tries from either wing, and the fact they keep Verden out of the XV, who scored a scorching hat-trick in the reverse fixture, is an indication of their proficiency, and they will surely relish the playing surface that the AGP gives.

Maids head into the game after a frustrating postponement of their away match at Old Cents last week, which means it’s 3 weeks since they last played, following a superb performance in the 34-17 victory over title rivals Newbury Blues. This week, we focus on Paul Britton, who made a quite thunderous impact coming off the bench in that game;

*Nickname(s)? Pauly B, Brits, Silver Fox, Hefner, Carol Smillie.

*Occupation? Karma-sutra instructor.

*Position? Benchwarmer, ex-prop

*Former clubs? Salisbury, Walsall, Wolves Uni, RC Bassetts.

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning the league.

*Favourite food? Lasagne

*Dream woman/man? Scott Prince’s Mum/Perry Jansen

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Lunch Money Lewis Jones- he has the body of a dinner lady and bad taste in music.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Finish the season without injury!

 

Maidenhead were all set to name the same side, which so impressively dispatched of Newbury 3 weeks ago, but in a cruel twist of fate, teenage winger, Scott Prince, in sparkling form this season, got injured on Tuesday night, ruling him out of the fixture. The whole squad really feels for a young lad, who has worked hard this year to get a starting spot, keep it, and score lots of tries, but ultimately has to miss the biggest game of the season. Scott, there will no doubt be many more big games for you in a Maidenhead shirt, for years to come.

 

To replace Prince, we welcome back Jaryd Robinson, who makes his first appearance of the season following shoulder surgery, after Kevin Young’s knee injury diagnosis. To be fair to Kevin, his prescribed treatment of the injury was more medically accurate than that of Ellie Birch and Sharlene Bertie, who suggested he needed a sleepover with them…

Will Cadden has spent 3 weeks trying to get himself a transfer to a new club, but after things were going so well at Marlow RFC for him last week, true to form, he had a beer and upset the whole town, meaning he remains in the 6 shirt. Russ Bolton will hope that Christoph Bart leaves ‘Pinks’ in time to warm up for the match, and Ellie’s friend Tamsin will be eagerly awaiting news of his arrival, for sure. After last weeks’ washout, Parrott, Keohane and Churchyard got a glimpse of life after rugby, being stuck at home with the WAGS, and have all committed to the club for another 10 years. In the hope of securing additional RFU funding for next season, Frankie Khakhumlan, post-op transgender Thai national, with various religious beliefs, Tinder fetishes and general special needs, has been picked, in order to put a big tick in the ‘diversity box’. Club sponsor Paul Childerhouse has paid a large donation to the club, to ensure Mark Childerhouse gets 80 minutes at 9 this week, and he has promised to repay the supporters with a post-match windmill in front of his mother.

 

No doubt, this is a huge game for players and supporters from both sides, but regardless of the result, let’s all hope that rugby is the real winner. Let’s ensure the game is played in the right way, and when that final whistle goes, we win or lose with humility and respect, shake hands, have a beer and wish each other well.

 

Old Pats:

 

  1. Saunders
  2. Dean (c)
  3. Thompson
  4. Stephens
  5. Evans
  6. Angell
  7. Langton
  8. Alldritt
  9. Aherne
  10. Offa
  11. Gahan
  12. Sharratt
  13. Harrod
  14. Spurrier
  15. Dean
  16. Hughes
  17. Downes
  18. Osaki

 

Maids:

 

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. N Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Barratt
  5. Muil
  6. Cadden
  7. Macauley
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Robinson
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Bart
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. Churchyard
  18. Khakhumlan

 

Come on you Maids!

 

Maids v Newbury (home)

Maids v Newbury (home)

Maidenhead welcome fellow title challengers, Newbury Blues to the Braywick Bowl tomorrow in a game that will undoubtedly have significant effect on who finishes South West One at the summit. Maids are unbeaten at Braywick since October 2015, whilst Newbury arrive on the back of an 8-game winning streak, which has seen them close the gap on the top 2 of Old Pats and Maids, to just 2 points. The game couldn’t be more finely poised, and no doubt, both sides will be hoping for a big crowd to cheer their respective teams on.

Maids will have to play for 80 minutes this week, without giving Newbury the benefit of a 20 minute lull, something which was afforded to Richie Craig’s Witney boys last week. Eventually, Maids settled into their rhythm, and dispatched the Oxfordshire side 47-26, but not without a couple of scares.

At Monks Lane earlier in the season, it was the Blues who came out on top, 31-28, after a superb individual performance from captain Dan Thorne, at 10. This week, he dons the 13 shirt, with Nick Wacwitz at fly half, but Maids will be wary of the threat he poses. Upfront, Newbury have big ball carriers in Winfield (6) and Millar (8), so will have to stop them early, and meet them head-on at the gain line.

Maidenhead welcomed back various senior players to the side last week, and one man who was singled out for praise by Head Coach Russ Bolton, was young stud, Ross Muil. We had a chat with him this week, to find out a little more about him…

*Nickname(s)? Rossy, Wossy, Rossco, Brad Junior, Charlie’s better half.

*Occupation? PE Teacher/Gap year student

*Position? 2nd row

*Former clubs? Maids, Berks U20s

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Scoring a try at Braywick while my girlfriend was watching. It was all for her.

*Favourite food? Italian

*Dream woman/man? Gemma Parrott (when she was pregnant)/Rupert Erskine

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Nic Jones, in case he has his weird Fritzl chessboard with him.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Promotion, and to ensure my Mum doesn’t catch me being ‘intimate’ with my girlfriend again.

 

Maids welcome back William Cadden to the starting line-up for this game, whose IQ has yet again deteriorated, this time, through a broken hand. Sam Churchyard wins the season award for most ridiculous absence, electing to book his stag do on this weekend, but fortunately, no other Maids boys actually like him, so James Emmanuel is the only other absentee for this. Nic Jones has had the Dmitri Payet treatment this week, being booted out of the Whatsapp group for skipping training due to Valentine’s, and then offering no apology, but is allowed to play the match. Mark Childerhouse continues in the scrum half shirt, with special permission from Russ Bolton to conduct his naughty little habit at half time.

 

Maids team:

 

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. P Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Muil
  5. Barratt
  6. Cadden
  7. Macaulay
  8. Long
  9. Childerhouse
  10. Jansen
  11. Prince
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Bart
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. Meek
  18. Burnett

 

Newbury team:

 

  1. Hicks
  2. Drysdale
  3. Macaulay
  4. Bastable
  5. Doel
  6. Winfield
  7. D Stewart
  8. Millar
  9. Piggott
  10. Wacwitz
  11. Futcher
  12. Love
  13. D Thorne
  14. Walker
  15. T Thorne
  16. G Stewart
  17. Davis
  18. Bartlett

 

Come on you Maids!