Maidenhead v Oxford Harlequins (home)

Maidenhead v Oxford Harlequins (home)

 

Maidenhead v Oxford Harlequins (home)

Following a bruising encounter at the aptly-name Everest Road, home of Old Patesians, last week, Maids will be eager to regain top spot with a 5-point victory over Oxford Harlequins. Old Pats have a tricky trip to 3rd-placed Newbury to contend with, so Maids will be hoping to put a little space between them, and at least one of their other rivals for the title, depending on results.

Maids will feel they deserved to win last week, and despite the fact they didn’t, 2 points, and the knowledge that Old Pats must travel to Braywick after Xmas, gives hope for their title challenge to come.

However, next up, is the challenge of Oxford Harlequins, which on paper, may look routine, but the players think very differently. Last year, Quins were the only team to complete the double over Maids, which included their solitary reversal at Braywick, losing 8-3 in late October. Quins had a similarly slow start last season, but quickly picked up, and the fact they’re now unbeaten in 4, makes them very dangerous. It’s no coincidence, that the upsurge in form has happened at the same time as the reappearance of skipper, Allan Purchase, back in the side after a recent shoulder injury. His usual second row partner however, Adam Neal, will not feature for Quins, after being red-carded in their derby last week against Gove, which was abandoned after 55 minutes. Jack Robinson, in the 13 shirt, is always a tricky opponent, and scored the winning try when the two teams met in February, at Marston Ferry Road.

This week, we spoke with mercurial fly-half Perry Jansen, who returns to his favoured number 10 shirt, after playing at full back the last 2 Saturdays.

*Nickname(s)? Pez, Pel, P-dowg, White Chocolate

*Occupation? Insurance Broker

*Position? 9/10/15

*Former clubs? N/A

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning Bournemouth 7s international competition with Apache 7s, and getting runner up for top try scorer at Maids last season.

*Favourite food? Fry up at the Birch household.

*Dream woman/man? Catherine Carrington-Birch

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Ryan Long- everything would turn into a competition, which I’d win.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Keep my 100% kicking record, promotion would be ideal, however, if that’s not achieved, I hope we learn from it, and Russ makes me captain.

Despite having Ed Keohane, Christoph Bart and Ryan Long all down injured at the same point last week, all 3 make the team, and there are fortunately, no new injury concerns to report. One man who will be absent, is Dominic Birch, who is in hot water for setting light to the lost property at the club, causing the fire crew to arrive last night. In his defence, the stuff had been there for 2 days…

Although not playing, Frankie O’Keeffe is likely to be present at the match, with a moose from Tinder for the 3rd week running, and Mark Childerhouse is shopping in L.A. with hero and mentor, Gok Wan. After several death threats from Andy Emmanuel, Bolton has elected to return his son, James to the starting line-up, along with presenting Scott Prince with his first start on the wing, who is still recovering from his initiation, which saw him tied to his obnoxious father for an hour.

Maids team:

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. T Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Churchyard
  5. Emmanuel
  6. Cadden
  7. Macaulay
  8. Long
  9. Hill
  10. Jansen
  11. Prince
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Bart
  15. Finnie
  16. Britton
  17. White
  18. Thompson

 

Oxford Quins team:

  1. Barlow
  2. EdneyO
  3. Boulton
  4. Purchase (c)
  5. Ojo
  6. Milton
  7. Ward
  8. Latu
  9. O’Brien
  10. Watkinson
  11. Fisilau
  12. Jenner
  13. Robinson
  14. Crowe
  15. Van Dijk
  16. Farahani
  17. Taylor
  18. Tynan

Come on you Maids!

 

 

Maids v Old Pats (away)

Maids v Old Pats (away)

Back to business, after a week’s rest for Maids, as they travel to 2nd placed Old Patesians, who they lead in the league table by just 2 points. Old Pats were relegated from National 3 last season, but have adjusted well to South West 1, having lost only once so far- to Royal Wootton Bassett, 21-24. Old Pats will field a strong physical pack, led by their skipper Chris Dean, and bolstered by second row Josh Stevens, a man that will run their lineout, and be responsible for providing clean ball to a backline featuring rugby league convert James Gahan on one wing, and the speedy Duncan Spurrier on the other. Both men will have to be kept quiet, if Maids are to retain their place at the summit.

Maids head into this top-of-the-table clash, following a very strong performance two weeks ago, which saw them prevail 52-14 against Old Cents, Gloucestershire neighbours of Old Pats. Maidenhead feature the same starting XV this week, with the possibility that Phil White may have to withdraw at short notice, due to the impending birth of his first child. Coach, Russell Bolton shuffled his backline for the Old Cents game, moving Christoph Bart from centre, to the wing, where he has duly impressed. We caught up with him, to learn a little more about him:

 

*Nickname(s)? Toph, Chris, Shadow, Wench, Barack, Chocolate Boy, Prisoner 377

*Occupation? Recruitment Consultant, within the Adult Entertainment industry.

*Position? Centre/Wing

*Former clubs? Henley Hawks, North Otago, Excelsior Blues

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Playing in the Ranfurly Shield game at the AMI stadium against Canterbury, in New Zealand. I also got to the final of the Maidenhead Royal Rumble in training, where I was beaten by Myke Parrott.

*Favourite food? Chicken

*Dream woman/man? Rihanna, and if I was ever to get curious, then probably young Frankie O’Keeffe- I’ve heard good things.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Without a shadow of a doubt, Mr Sam Churchyard, the only thing that could make that experience more painful, would be if Cadden was there too. Neither have any boundaries, and it scares me.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Promotion, top of the league, have a sleepover at Big Dom’s.

 

Ross Muil is still suffering with his weird, fetish-induced wrist injury, so continues on the sidelines, and Umar Marriott is in Brixton at a rap battle, so Paul Britton replaces him on the bench. Scrum half Mark Childerhouse remains out of action, with a broken heart, while Mike Burnett hasn’t been seen, since Dom Birch’s Whatsapp outburst about his Mrs. Fears for coach Russell Bolton are growing, as rumours gather, that Andy ‘the Hitman’ Emmanuel has a price on his head, for putting his son in the 2s, and Ellie Birch will be delighted to see her top 3 dreamboats, Ed Keohane, Perry Jansen and Murray Barrett all in the same side.

 

Maids team:

  1. Parrott (c)
  2. N Jones
  3. L Jones
  4. Churchyard
  5. White
  6. Cadden
  7. Macauley
  8. Long
  9. Hill
  10. Thompson
  11. Bart
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Bart
  15. Jansen
  16. Britton
  17. Barrett
  18. Prince

Come on you Maids!

Maids v Old Centralians (home)

Maids v Old Centralians (home)

Maidenhead return to Braywick, after a month away, to face the stern test of Old Centralians, who were relegated from National 3 last season, by the smallest of margins. Old Cents currently sit 5th in the table, but enter the game, after an impressive 48-10 trouncing of high-flying Grove, whereas Maids will be looking to bounce back, after they lost their unbeaten record at the hands of Newbury a week ago, being edged out 31-28.

Old Cents boast a large, aggressive pack, which is led by tighthead prop, and skipper, Scott Fritchley, but have plenty of pace out wide, especially in the form of winger Lewis May, who comes into the match in a rich vein of form. The 3G pitch at Braywick will suit both sides ambitions of running rugby, so the crowd should be in for a real treat.

In contrast to the backline, Maidenhead name an unchanged starting pack this week, including the bald-headed beauty, Sam Churchyard, who let us know a little more about him…

*Nickname(s)? Churchy, Greengrass, Greener, Humpty-Dumpty

*Occupation? Area Manager/On-call firefighter

*Position? Lock

*Former clubs? Winkers (banned), Sports Bar (banned), Coco’s (banned), Smokey Joe’s (suspended).

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Playing at Adams Park for the University, even though I was a cleaner there, and not a student.

*Favourite food? Chinese/Beef Roast

*Dream woman/man? Pig D***- I would let him lead me by the hand into his depraved shed.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Rupert Erskine- he would try to wear my skin.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Top 2 finish, ideally promotion, and hold on to my driving license.

 

Ross Muil continues on the sidelines, with a wrist injury, sustained in a strange bedroom experiment in Paris this week, with his girlfriend, whilst coach Will Greenwood has stepped down a level, to help junior side, Barbarians, versus South Africa. Will Thompson makes his first start, at 10, and Scott Prince makes his 1st XV debut from the bench, matching his father, Steve’s all time 1st XV appearance tally. Rorie Hannigan is back in the team, at inside centre, following his impressive birdbath showing in the Bonberry bar with Ryan Long last week. Finally, we wish Alex Cannon all the best in his recovery, after his surgery for a fractured and dislocated ankle, suffered in the defeat at Newbury.

 

Maids team:

 

  1. Parrott ©
  2. N Jones
  3. Marriott
  4. White
  5. Churchyard
  6. Cadden
  7. Macauley
  8. Long
  9. Hill
  10. Thomson
  11. Bart
  12. Hannigan
  13. Keohane
  14. Finnie
  15. Jansen
  16. L Jones
  17. McNab
  18. Prince

 

Come on you Maids!