After 2 weeks gone of Maids’ first season back at level 5 rugby, emotions in the camp are mixed- 7 points from the opening 2 games is a decent return, but the performances, although filled with endeavour, haven’t been as polished as the players and coaching team would have liked. Despite having 61% of possession against Cleve last week, the margin of just 2 points in victory is indicative of the clinical nature of teams at this level.
This week, Maidenhead face the daunting trip to pre-season title favourites Dings Crusaders, and they are certainly living up to their billing as top seeds, having comfortably dispatched Ivybridge 55-7 on the opening day, followed by a 39-6 victory at Hornets last week. Dings are a somewhat unknown quantity to Maids, but are likely to be marshalled by ex Bristol and Exeter full back/fly-half, Luke Arscott, who doubles up as their backs coach. Upfront, an expected physical pack will be headed by experienced hooker Paul Fincken, with Jake Holcombe one to watch at number 8.
Maids 2nd XV tackle local rivals Witney at Braywick this Saturday, with a star-studded side that could easily be mistaken for a 1st XV. Former Windsor captain Tom King makes his debut in a Maids shirt, and will be hoping to push for a 1s spot in the coming weeks. He lines up in an imposing back row alongside Dave Cole and Mark Grimshaw, who have both impressed in training in recent weeks. In the backline, former colt, Scott Prince continues his recovery from injury, and will start in the 15 jersey.
There is another ex-Maidenhead colt who deserves a special mention this week, Jamie Townsend. Jamie was an outstanding servant to the club, making his 1st XV debut at the tender age of 18, before being offered the chance to play National 2 rugby at Chinnor. Jamie suffered a horrific leg break in his second season at Chinnor, but it is testament to his character and work rate that he successfully bounced back, and impressed so much, that Championship side Richmond swooped for him. Tomorrow, Jamie is set for his debut with ‘Mond, against Bristol, and the club couldn’t be prouder of him, and wish him all the very best.
We spoke to another former colt this week, Jack Hill, who managed to find a couple of minutes between fighting with his Dad and kissing his dog, to learn a little more about him…
*Name/nicknames- “Hilly”, “Jellybean”, “Adam Hill mark 2”, “Amber’s brother”, “Glassjaw”, “Binbag Billy”
*Position(s)- Scrum half/face down on Sharlene’s physio bed.
*Occupation- Adam Hill impersonator, builder, shouting at kids.
*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Myke Parrott, because he’d be far too keen to drink p!ss to survive, and would be too happy and chirpy all the time.
* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Andy Darlington- could be a useful raft.
*What’s your favourite TV Programme? I love DIY SOS and Cowboy Builders- reminds me of working with my old man.
*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? I like to travel round different gyms, and scream at people with poor technique. Strolling around my manor in nothing but a black binbag is one of my favourite pastimes and at night I stalk round over 30s nightclub evenings, on the hunt for my next victim. I also really enjoying purring at topless Instagram photos of George Dutton.
*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d love to be a Bluetit- I could sup from birdbaths all day, and not be called weird for it.
*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? As a team, a mid-table finish or better, and personally, to spend less time injured, and more time on the pitch.
Sam Angell has fallen cruel victim to a heartilage epidemic just this morning, though rumours have spread that he was unhappy with the food choices on offer at Dings, so has pulled out of the matchday squad, to be replaced by Jaryd Robinson. In the words of Andy Emmanuel, son James has ‘quit rugby, to try and get a girlfriend’, so has been absent from the club for a few weeks now, after failing to realise that rugby was actually all he had going for him. Ryan Long isn’t allowed on the bus this week, with new girlfriend Ellie Birch reigning him in, and Mark Childerhouse is in love eutopia with new fiancé Amy, so misses out again. Scott Prince was caught with intimate pictures of his Aunty by Father, Steve, so is a doubt to make kick off after an emergency intervention. Finally, Fwankie was found last night, locked in Boughy’s Grotto under the stairs, where Meeester Gaweth had been keeping him locked up, after discovering him with a Jo Gill Voodoo doll.
1. Myke Parrott (c)
2. Mark Darlington
3. Andy Darlington
4. Sam Churchyard
5. Sam Hallett
6. Will Cadden
7. Will Macaulay
8. Ryan Long
9. Jack Hill
10. Will Runciman
11. Mike Burnett
12. Rorie Hannigan
13. Ed Keohane
14. Perry Jansen
15. Tom Finnie
16. Nic Jones
17. Laurence Leonard
18. Jaryd Robinson
Come on you Maids!