Maids v Lydney (home)

Maids v Lydney (home)

This week at the Braywick Bowl, Maids welcome struggling Lydney, looking to avenge their 38-29 defeat back in September, in what was arguably, the worst performance of the season to date. With just 10 games remaining in this campaign, both sides will be desperate for the points, for conflicting reasons at opposite ends of the table.

Despite their lowly position in SW Premier, Lydney arrive at this game on the back of a morale-boosting victory over Hornets 7 days ago, a result which leapfrogged them off the foot of the table, at the expense of their West-country visitors. Contrastly, Maids let slip a 19-3 lead, to lose 30-24 away at Exmouth, and although they gained 2 bonus points, a mad 10 minutes at the start of the 2nd half cost them a victory they feel they should have secured.

For the visitors this week, there are a few unfamiliar names, following the acquisition of various Gloucestershire All Golds Rugby League players. Steve Parry at 10, is one of those players, and has international experience, having represented Wales RL, which means previous fly half, Ollie Locke, moves outside him to inside centre. Reuben Haille on the wing, formerly of Chinnor and Southend was the dangerman back in September, and the Maids back 3 will have to ensure they keep a close eye on him.

Yet again, the selection dice has been rolled this week, with various changes made to the side, which sees Sam Churchyard start in the row, alongside Laurence Leonard, who we caught up with, to try and gain a bit of an insight into his abstractly-wired mind…

 

*Name/nicknames- ‘Laurence’, ‘Lar’, ‘Larry’, ‘Paddy’, ‘Necrophiliac Jack’, Bruno.

*Position(s)- Back of the bus, pants down.

*Occupation- March organiser for Pride.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Tom King- he’s not in to any of the fun stuff, like some of the other boys, just too straight laced, for a liberal, hippy little potato-picker like me.

*Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Parrott and Chills would be my top choices, though I’d struggle to keep my hands to myself.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? Father Ted

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Gay-lick football, and naked farming.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d be a cow, so I could have multiple lads milking me at the same time.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? Personally, I want one, united Ireland. Under British rule. As a team, try and nick that play off space, and then have a big party with the Unicorns.

 

Will Cadden misses out this week, as he tries to convince his fit Mrs that he’s ‘not like the rest of those immature children at the club’ and continues in his fake, upper class persona, and he is replaced by Will Macaulay, who returns after unsuccessful hair restoration surgery. Dave Cole and Myke Parrott are rewarded with their recent weight gain successes, with places on the bench, while Sammy Hallett has been given a week off to stock up for the rave bus next week v Ivybridge. Ryan ‘John Terry’ Long, starts in the number 7 shirt, and Alex French returns to the centre after he managed to pop some of his spots. Congratulations to Jon Cranton, the semi-pro rugby player, who successfully achieved 12 views on his latest rugby fitness Insta page, he skippers the 2nd XV this week versus Henley 3s.

Maids team:

1.       L Jones

2.       M Darlington

3.       A Darlington

4.       L Leonard

5.       S Churchyard

6.       T King

7.       R Long (c)

8.       W Macaulay

9.       P Jansen

10.   L Ellis

11.   M Burnett

12.   A French

13.   E Keohane

14.   S Prince

15.   J Robinson

16.   M Parrott

17.   D Cole

18.   W Runciman

Lydney team:

1.       C Lane

2.       G Butt

3.       B Ncube

4.       D Bennett

5.       J Ward

6.       K Brown

7.       H Brown

8.       J Walter

9.       S Arnott (c)

10.   S Parry

11.   R Haille

12.   O Locke

13.   J McLean

14.   N Tucker

15.   T Lakabuka

16.   C Thompson

17.   R Watling

18.   M Williams

Come on you Maids!

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Maids v Exmouth (away)

Maids v Exmouth (away)

Maidenhead make the long trek down to the South West this week, to tackle 6th placed Exmouth, who will be desperate to bounce back after suffering defeat at bottom club Hornets last week. With just 11 games left in this campaign, the race for 2nd place is really hotting up, with Newton Abbott, Bournemouth, Maids, Cleve and arguably Exmouth all still in contention. Dings Crusaders sit 8 points clear at the summit of SW Premier, and it would take a dramatic downturn in form, for them to now lose their grip on the Championship. However, like all before them at Braywick in the last couple of years, they did slip up last week against a dogged Maidenhead side.

Recent games at Maids have been almost Super Rugby-esque, high-scoring, free-flowing affairs with tries and attacking play very much the prominent feature, but someone forgot to read the script last week… Indeed, there was no lack of ambition from two teams who play an attractive brand, but defences came out on top, especially in the 2nd half, which saw just 3 points scored thankfully from the boot of Ed Keohane, to secure a 15-12 victory. The defensive shift from the home side will live long in the memory for those who witnessed it- wave after wave of Dings attack repelled by a stubborn magenta wall, which simply refused to be breached, even when down to 14 men. No doubt, Dave Perry was looking down on the boys in that last 20 minutes, and it served as a fitting tribute to the man.

This week’s contest is a different proposition, in likely, very different conditions. With heavy rain expected in Exmouth over the next 24 hours, the battle upfront takes on more significance, and after their 45-33 reversal to Maids earlier in the season, the Cockles will be gunning for revenge. Playmaker Tom Whelan is likely to feature at fly half for the home team, with threats outside him coming from centre Henry Goldson and fullback James Downie. In the pack, skipper Jack Fahy will lead from the second row, with the hooking duties from either young prospect Charlie Gibbings, who has played A-league for Bristol this season, or the more experienced Davy McGregor.

After a few weeks without a player interview, Andrew Darlington took time out from moaning and writing his food diary to enlighten us with some of his thinking:

*Name/nicknames- ‘Andrew Darlington’, ‘Darlo’, ‘Darlo number 1’, ‘the better brother’, ‘the better-looking brother’, ‘D-A-R-L-O’, ‘the favourite son’, ‘Skinny Sam Angell’.

*Position(s)- Prop, 12, just generally following my brother (through life).   

*Occupation- Full time Tank.

*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Dave Cole- he has a strange obsession with my belly button, which is turning sexual. He probably wouldn’t turn up anyway though, to be fair.

* Which Maids teammate would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with, and why? Sam Angell- he’d have a plentiful supply of sausage rolls. However, his conversation and injuries would be somewhat irksome, very quickly.

*What’s your favourite TV Programme? I like watching medleys of me and my girlfriend hugging and kissing on repeat.

*What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Ultra-marathons and Ironman competitions- the one at Gourmet Chicken in Maidenhead is my current focus.

*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I’d like to be the snake in the video that Will Lawrence put in the Whatsapp group- very sexy, and seemed to get lots of attention.

*What would you like to achieve this season, both personally, and as a team? Personally, get fitter, and drive Myke Parrott into a break down, through incessant moaning at him on the pitch. As a team, finish top 3, and keep the home run going.

Congratulations must go to Andy McGregor, for securing the player of the month award, and hence becoming the first Indian to receive this award at Maidenhead RFC. No doubt a fine cigar will be lit in celebration, once his particular genre of tobacco is sourced by Head Coach Russell Bolton for him. Ryan Long will look to uphold his New Year’s resolution of not being drunk on Friday nights, by just sticking on the pints until midnight, before letting loose in the early hours of Saturday morning, whilst Dave ‘The Flake’ Cole, urgently scrambles the depths of his shallow imagination to conjure up another weak excuse for missing the bus trip.

Mandingo’s new technique of utilising his personal truncheon as a foam roller, has seen remarkable recent results in the physio room, with several injuries miraculously cured weeks ahead of schedule, including George Blewitt, who is sadly unavailable, due to his dog’s mother’s birthday. Much to the fury of Big Dom, Ellie Birch has been unceremoniously ditched by her latest squeeze, after details emerged of her 2-year affair with club pervert, Mike Andrew, who will travel to Exmouth with Ted Keohane, who hasn’t had a brawl since Bracknell away before Xmas. Upon hearing the news of his inclusion on the jailbus to Exmouth, and his impending re-initiation Karl Kempton exclaimed ‘this is the best day of my life, better than having kids’. We look forward to hearing details of his doghouse/potential divorce proceedings on Sunday morning…

Maids team (1st XV caps in brackets):

1.       M Parrott (c) (169)

2.       M Darlington (15)

3.       A Darlington (15)

4.       S Hallett (15)

5.       L Leonard (14)

6.       W Cadden (72)

7.       T King (8)

8.       D Cole (12)

9.       P Jansen (77)

10.   L Ellis (3)

11.   S Prince (26)

12.   R Long (94)

13.   E Keohane (78)

14.   M Burnett (54)

15.   J Robinson (16)

16.   L Jones (68)

17.   S Churchyard (64)

18.   K Kempton (43)

Come on you Maids!

Maids v Dings Crusaders (home)

Maids v Dings Crusaders (home)

It’s been a very tough week for everyone involved with Maidenhead RFC, following the tragic passing of club stalwart, David Perry. David was, amongst many other official and non-official roles, Fixture Secretary and a Committee Member at Maids for many years, as well as an ardent support of the club, following the 1st XV all around the South West of England. He also followed the team to Krakow, where it took David the grand total of 2 minutes to decide that his room and the budget hotel wasn’t up to his standards, before duly checking in somewhere more upmarket down the road! Of course, he was tried and convicted in the tour court, being found guilty (naturally), before embracing his punishment with a smile, as always.

One of David’s many responsibilities at the club, was to liaise with members and officials from other clubs and governing bodies, including referees, fellow Fixture Secretaries, other club Committee Members etc. It is indicative of the man, that many of these whom David came into contact with, have taken the time to write their messages of sympathy, all with a common theme prevalent; what a nice guy.

Indeed, a quick glance on the comments section on Facebook from current/ex-players, supporters and members echo this sentiment, and nobody will dispute, that David was indeed, the nicest guy you could wish to meet. From a personal perspective, I didn’t ever hear David criticise one single playing member of the club, in all his years at the club. He followed the team, home and away, and witnessed many defeats and poor performances, yet was nothing but positive to all of the players- something which must have been challenging at times!

David will be sorely missed, and it will be strange coming into the clubhouse after training without him propping up the bar, or seeing him at the front of the bus on away trips. On behalf of the 1st XV, we will all be playing, and trying to win for David tomorrow, and send our deepest sympathies to the family, and we hope that it’s a consolation to them, that he was very much loved by us all.

 

A couple of late injuries, has seen Russ Bolton rejig his backline, which means Ryan Long stays in the centre, and is replaced at openside by Will Macaulay, now back from injury. Keohane moves to 10, with a call up for Mike Burnett on the wing.

Maids team:

1.       M Parrott (c)

2.       M Darlington

3.       A Darlington

4.       S Hallett

5.       L Leonard

6.       W Cadden

7.       W Macaulay

8.       D Cole

9.       P Jansen

10.   E Keohane

11.   S Prince

12.   R Long

13.   A French

14.   M Burnett

15.   J Robinson

16.   L Jones

17.   T King

18.   L Ellis

Rest in Peace David x