Maidenhead v Reading Abbey (home)

Maidenhead v Reading Abbey (home)

For the second week running, we have a local derby against Reading opposition to look forward to, this time, in the form of 5th placed Reading Abbey, who have adapted well to life in SW1, after a tough start. Both sides enter this game after good wins a week ago- Maids dispatching Reading 38-13 in the derby, with Abbey overcoming Grove 15-7.

Abbey feature Maids’ old boy, Patrick McSweeney in the front row this week, who sadly, couldn’t commit to his old club this season, but we look forward to giving him a warm welcome, followed by several dirty pints in the bar, post-game. Abbey also feature ex Chinnor and Redingensians second row, Michal Kruzycki, a current Polish international, while at full back, they have the fleet-footed Gavin Dampies- an Apache 7s teammate of several Maidenhead players.

In the Maids team, Perry Jansen continues at 9, due to injuries to Mark Childerhouse and Jack Hill, so Will Thompson remains at 10, and we caught up with him this week, to learn more about him…

*Nickname(s)? Thomo, Foghorn, Weird Will, Frodo.

*Occupation? Unemployed graduate/full time sponger and Jeremy Kyle viewer.

*Position? Fly half

*Former clubs? Maidenhead RFC from U8s, and Leeds Met RFC

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Reaching the semi-finals of the Daily Mail cup in my final year at school, and beating Durham to win the league with my uni team.

*Favourite food? Curried spitroast.

*Dream woman/man? Jennifer Lawrence/Tony Brooks

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Churchy/Cadden- they’re both very weird.

*What do you want to achieve this season? Promotion, and to play a regular part in the promotion push. I also want to captain the birdbath team.

 

So, what is a birdbath, that is regularly mentioned in this preview? The birdbath is a 16th century cleansing mechanism, derived from South China, believed to give strength, and an immunity to colds, flu and sexually-transmitted infections. Recent studies show, that a birdbath a day, increased white blood cells, used for fighting off diseases, and it’s thought that the new methods may help cure cancer in the long term. Upon initiation into the first team at Maids, this beautiful, ancient practice is demonstrated to debutants, where they often take it upon themselves to practice regularly. Recent champions of this art form, include Steve and Scott Prince, father and son, who have been rumoured to be forming an unhealthy addiction to the birdbath, which has seen them perform the act in every room of the family home. Martine Prince was unavailable for comment, at the time of going to press.

 

Regarding team selection, Will Macauley is on a left-hand passing course up North, so is unavailable, and is replaced by Ross Muil in the back row. James Emmanuel’s 6-day hangover has just finished, so he can take a place on the bench, whilst Ross Lewis will make his home debut if he comes on. Lunch Money Jones continues at tighthead, despite trapped wind, while Nic Jones is full of beans after a ‘successful’ date night last Saturday, which saw him and new girlfriend devour 3 plates of pigs in blankets.

 

Maids team:

 

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

 

Abbey team:

 

  1. McSweeney
  2. Toland
  3. Emery
  4. Hallett (c)
  5. M Kruzycki
  6. Shaw
  7. O’Connell
  8. Cole
  9. Bevan
  10. Burns
  11. Greenaway
  12. Ross
  13. Walton
  14. Gingell
  15. Dampies
  16. Charlton
  17. K Kruzycki
  18. Gingell

 

Come on you Maids!

Maidenhead v Reading (away)

Maidenhead v Reading (away)

After comfortably dispatching Oxford Harlequins at the Braywick Bowl last week, Maids have the tricky prospect of facing Berkshire rivals, Reading at Holme Park this week. Despite the poor form of ‘the Green Machine’ so far this season, this is a big derby match, which previous experience tells us, is irrelevant in these games. Coached by Paul Gaster, and led by number 8, Jon Cranton, Reading will be abrasive and aggressive, and look to shut down the free-flowing style, that has typified Maids’ good start to the campaign. In the pack, they feature veteran tighthead Andrew ‘Grizz’ Grierson, with Sean Kenneally packing down behind him in the second row, also a familiar name in this fixture. Out wide, Reading will look to young fly half, Sam Bowers to pull the strings, while Chris Greig on the wing is always a threat.

In the Maids’ side, there are further changes, after the long injury list was extended last week, to incorporate Jack ‘Jelly-Bean’ Hill, the scrum half suffering a concussion, which rules him out for at least 3 weeks, joining Mike Burnett, Jaryd Robinson, Frankie O’Keeffe, Jon Heron, Umar Marriott, Alex Cannon, Mark Childerhouse and Matt Bill, to name a few, on the long injury list at Braywick.

This week, we spoke with back row forward-turned centre, Ryan Long:

*Nickname(s)? Longy, Schlongy, Pippy-Schlong-Stockings, Ray, Golden Balls, Mr Incredible.

*Occupation? Teacher

*Position? Back row

*Former clubs? Wasps, Maidenhead, North Otago, Maidenhead, Henley, Maidenhead, Chinnor, Maidenhead, Drifters.

*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning the Heartland Championship with North Otago.

*Favourite food? Chicken.

*Dream woman/man? Ed Keohane’s sister.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Perry Jansen, he likes me too much, and it’s starting to become uncomfortable.

*What do you want to achieve this season? I want to ensure James Emmanuel does a birdbath on the day we get promoted.

 

It’s a big welcome back to Ross Muil, who makes his return to the 1s after injury this week, whilst Ross Lewis, newly-signed from Henley Hawks, joins him as a substitute for his debut. Perry Jansen switches to 9, so he can moan at the pack from closer range, and Will Thompson starts at 10. Tom Finnie is hoping his sugar levels recover, after he had a big Thursday night on the Coca Cola, whilst player of the month for November, Lunch-Money Lewis Jones, is refusing to commit, until viewing the menu choices on offer at RRFC.

 

We must also take the opportunity to congratulate James Emmanuel, on his 150th 1st XV cap versus Oxford Quins last week, a fine achievement for a young man with social and learning difficulties.

 

Maids team:

 

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

 

Reading team:

 

  1. Smith
  2. Sparks
  3. Grierson
  4. Kenneally
  5. Parr
  6. Spears
  7. Macnaughton
  8. Cranton
  9. Barber
  10. Bowers
  11. Greig
  12. Czernuka
  13. Witko
  14. Gomez
  15. Mitchell
  16. Nicol
  17. Cunningham
  18. Murray-Smith

 

Come on you Maids!