After two tough opening matches against Wiltshire-based opposition, in the form of Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon, respectively, Maids partake in the first Berkshire derby of the season, when they take the short jaunt down to Home Park, to face Windsor. Maidenhead will be desperate to exact some revenge on a team that comfortably dispatched them in this fixture last year, 25-5. Maidenhead were outplayed and out-thought that day, by a dogged Windsor side, that managed the wet conditions much better than the boys from Braywick, who were somewhat naïve in their game plan. With hopefully a dry day in store, this should be less of a factor in the outcome of the match, and will hopefully see both teams play a fast, open game, which both are capable of.
In the Windsor team, influential scrum-half Rhys Davies is sadly injured, with powerful 2nd row, Colin Thompson in South Africa, but they will be buoyed by the likely return of Tom King in the back row- a key man, both in attack and defence for Windsor. Since last season, Windsor have parted with long-term coach Paul Britton, and he’s been replaced by Anthony Andrews, formerly of Old Priorians, in Ealing. Under Andrews’ stewardship, Windsor will no doubt be looking to make a swift return to the upper echelons of South West 1, and the scalp of Maidenhead will be a key confidence booster for this objective, if successful. They enter the game, following a disappointing 25-10 loss away to Grove last week, but they are a different beast at Home Park, exemplified by the 29-14 victory over relegated Chippenham on the opening day.
Maids arrive to the game in confident mood, after winning their opening two fixtures, the last of which was a 29-17 win over a well-fancied Swindon. One player who was singled out for praise by boss, Russell Bolton last week, was front-row Lewis Jones, who has impressed so far this year, with his solid scrummaging and destructive ball-carrying. We took a minute to catch up with him, and learn a little more about him…
*Nickname(s)? ‘LJ’ or ‘Jonesy’
*Occupation? Glass Restoration Technician
*Position? Front row (of the food queue)
*Former clubs? Ealing, Wasps FC, Drifters, London Scottish Academy, Bangalow Reds (in Australia). Basically, anywhere that would let me in.
*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Representing Maids 1st XV, and being asked to play in Australia.
*Favourite food? Lasagne
*Dream woman/man? My Mrs
*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Scud- it would be a bit tight.
*What do you want to achieve this season? To secure a starting spot in the 1st XV, and help the boys get into National Leagues. I also look forward to my debut birdbath at Mexican night, with my old pal Willy Watson.
Dangerous full back Tom Finnie has been ruled out of the clash tomorrow through injury, but is replaced by Ed Keohane, who is now eligible to play, after his paperwork arrived. Alex Cannon, affectionately known as Stinky Pierre, doesn’t quite make the squad, after angering senior players with holiday pictures, so the back 3 will be completed by Frankie O’Keeffe and Jon Heron. Sam Churchyard has nearly resolved his mortgage issues, so has been given the pass to play from his fiancé, but James Emmanuel remains on the side-lines, whilst he receives treatment for his strange carpet-licking fetish.
1/ Parrott, 2/ N Jones, 3/ L Jones, 4/ White, 5/ Churchyard, 6/ Cadden, 7/ Macauley, 8/ Long, 9/ Hill, 10/ Jansen, 11/ O’Keeffe, 12/ Hannigan, 13/ Bart, 14/ Heron, 15/ Keohane, 16/ Marriott, 17/ Meek, 18/ Childerhouse
Come on you Maids!