Grasshoppers Report

Grasshoppers Report

In their second outing of preseason, Maids made their annual trip to West London, to take part in the Grasshoppers tournament, with 9 other similarly-matched sides, split into two groups of 5. After a late pull out from Welsh touring side, Tycroes, newly-promoted National 3 London team, Sutton & Epsom came in as a replacement into Maids’ group, along with Old Priorians, London Scottish Development and Marlow.

Game 1 v Old Priorians
This was a tough opening test for Maids, against a side who finished strongly in parallel league, London 1 North last season. During a scrappy first half, where defences were on top, Maidenhead had Tom Stileman to thank for the clean sheet, after he tackled his opposite man over the try line, somehow holding him up, to prevent what looked to be a certain score. Maids were unlucky not to take the lead, after a good period of pressure, saw Lewis Jones knock the ball on over the try line from short range. 0-0 at half time.
The 2nd period was a slightly more fluent affair, with Maids starting to get in their groove, albeit against a fierce wind and tough Old P’s defence. With Ed Keohane pulling the strings, and Christoph Bart looking dangerous with ball in hand, a score looked inevitable, but it was the men from Ealing who came closest. After several good phases of play, the ball was shipped out wide, for a certain try, and with the winger strolling over for 5 points, the game looked over. Frankie O’Keeffe had other ideas though, and somehow got his hands on his man, wrapped him up, and turned him on his back, holding the ball up to prevent a certain try. Commenting on his heroics after the game, O’Keeffe proclaimed ‘that’s a move I’ve performed a thousand times, in the clubs of Bangkok.’ Final score, 0-0. Continue reading “Grasshoppers Report”

Pre-season Review (so far)

Pre-season Review (so far)

After a much-needed break from training, through May and June, the first week of July saw the commencement of pre-season at Braywick, with some new additions, and sadly a few departures. The initial focus, through July, was fitness training, led by S&C Coach, Rob Churchouse, with some conditioned games chucked in, and the start of the development of attacking shape. August has seen an increase in game play, with some Monday night fitness sessions added, led by Mark ‘Badger Bite’ Bates for bare-knuckle boxing. After his MMA defeat to Perry Jansen, Christoph Bart’s confidence in this area, has been sufficiently shattered to render him ‘indefinitely unavailable’ for these sessions.

Maids one and only pre-season match to date, came last Thursday, away at a strong Marlow side, buoyed by the return of fly-half Will Fulton, and inside centre George Jafari. After a close first half, Maids hit their stride, with Perry Jansen leading the charge, scoring a wonder try, and assisting Frankie O’Keeffee for another, with a sublime cross-field kick. Marlow fought back with two late scores, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the lead, and Maidenhead prevailed 29-25. Notable mentions go to debutants/youngsters Umar Marriott, Bradford Langenhoven, Rorie Hannigan, Jamie McNabb, Chris Blythe, Matt Bill, Dom Bart and Matt Donaldson. Continue reading “Pre-season Review (so far)”