Foxley comes aboard!

Foxley comes aboard!

Maids have further bolstered their backline options, with the addition of full back/winger, Olly Foxley, from National 2 high-flyers, Redingensians. Foxley, who began his rugby at Pangbourne College, before playing at Nottingham Trent, and later Reading RFC, has been at Redingensians for the past 5 seasons, and has been an almost ever-present, in a team which has risen from mid-table in Nat 3, to within touching distance of level 3 rugby, after finishing 3rd in National 2 South this year.

Commenting on his decision to hop aboard the Maids train, Foxley (pictured in action for Redingensians below) said:

 

I felt my rugby needed a refresh and I chose Maidenhead for a few reasons – firstly I think they have an ambition to play in the leagues above and with my experience, I think I can play a key role both on and off the field in helping the team progress. Secondly, as a back three player, I have the chance to play on the 4G pitch every week, which excites me, and I know Maidenhead like to play expansive and exciting rugby. Lastly, having Will involved with the club brings another level of excitement, and attraction for both players and supporters- I’m looking forward to improving as a player, and learning as much as I can from him, and the other coaches”

 

Maids looked on course for a top 2 finish, right up until the latter stages of last season, before key injuries and unavailability, particularly in the backline, dashed those hopes, being overtaken by Bournemouth, who clinched the playoff spot, unfortunately being defeated away to Guernsey. Following on from the signing of Niall Crosley last week, Head Coach Russell Bolton is clearly determined to correct the errors of the previous campaign, and he was clearly ecstatic to be able to add Foxley into his backline armory:

 

I’m delighted to be able to welcome Olly to the club. We identified early on that our back three was an area where we wanted to improve both the quality and our strength in depth and as soon as we heard of Olly’s interest it was a no brainer to try and bring him in. We were aware of Olly’s talents through some of the joint work we have done with Redingensians over the past couple of seasons and having spoken to their coach Seb Reynolds he couldn’t speak higher of Olly’s character and competitive nature. I think Olly will fit in well with what we hope will be a highly competitive backline next season that compliments the power and set piece accuracy that our forwards currently offer.”

Backs coach Will Greenwood added:

 

“I’m over the moon that Olly has elected to join Maidenhead, from such a great club like Redingensians- it’s a hugely positive sign that a player of his calibre has chosen to come down the road, and we can’t wait to get stuck into training, and hopefully learn a little from him. From the joint training sessions with ‘Ensians last year, we know Olly has great footwork, and his pace will certainly complement our backline, especially on our 4G pitch at Braywick. We’re very excited with this addition, which no doubt adds quality and depth to our squad.”

Foxley is the 2nd new signing announced at Braywick this summer, with further news of a couple more additions to be released over the coming weeks.

Everyone is delighted to welcome Olly, and his family to Braywick, and we look forward to him becoming a key part of (hopefully) a very successful campaign next year.

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Maids v Tynedale- National Cup Final

Maids v Tynedale- National Cup Final

Already now officially the most successful Maidenhead Colts side in history, “Brooksy’s Babes” stand just 70 minutes away, from achieving the truly remarkable feat of becoming National Champions. If this potential achievement wasn’t impressive enough on it’s own, they’ve done it in truly the most difficult circumstances, through adversity which may have broken other teams, but has had the reverse effect on this special group of young men. The strife they have endured this year has united them, and bonded them as the tightest of squads, that work and fight for each other and simply refuse to be beaten.

2 weeks ago, they saw off the latest in a long line of challengers in the semi final at Braywick. Sussex champions, Horsham, despite a brave fightback, never really recovered from a blistering first half from the home team, which saw them lead 26-3 at half time, eventually losing out 31-17, which in all honesty should have been more. A Kieran Grey masterclass from scrum half, and an aggressive magenta wall in defence from 1-22, were the catalysts for a fine result which put them in the final, to be held at the home of Worcester Warriors, Sixways.

The last remaining obstacle hail from Tynedale, Northumberland, who arrive at this game off the back off an impressive 38-17 victory away at Sheffield, following close wins over Old Northamptonians (33-32), Doncaster (13-5) and Percy Park (24-17). Tynedale will be marshalled by fly half and skipper Cam Grant, and he, alongside half back partner, Finn McKendrick, will be tasked with trying to unlock the Maids defence. The back row of Klein (6), Collins (7) and Richards (8) will need the game of their lives to stop Maids’ big runners, whilst Will Roberts at outside centre will have the unenviable job of marking the dangerous Elliot Thorne.

Maids make 2 changes from the side which won in the last round, with Hull and Williamson making way for Riches and Monk respectively, in an otherwise unchanged team. Teo Gaster at 6 will continue with his Friday night ritual of a nap on Big Dom’s sofa, whilst Drew Prince has been promised a kiss from his fit Auntie if he scores at Sixways. The second-row sandpit crew of Phil Wells and Jack Belcher are taking a break from getting booted of local pubs on a Friday night, and will tackle a 24 piece Disney jigsaw puzzle instead, which may take them a while, and Todd Muil can’t wait to celebrate with a birdbath, something he’s been practising regularly with brother Ross at home.

Coming from Braywick tomorrow, will be 4 coach loads of supporters, to be greeted by even more at the stadium, who are making their own way there. Every player, ex and current, coach, parent and supporter is right behind you boys, and we are so so proud of your fine achievements, both on the pitch, where you have been utterly sublime, but more importantly, off the pitch, where it’s clear to see how tight you have become as the season has gone on- a true band of brothers, who we all know, will give 100% tomorrow, led no doubt, by your imperious skipper, James Johnstone.

Do it for your coaches tomorrow- Michael, Stuart, Prinny and Martin. Do it for Gareth, who has had the most turbulent of years, but has still prevailed, stronger and better than ever- it’s clear you would run through walls for the man, and he would for you also. Do it for Brooksie- the man who started you on this journey, who was cruelly denied the opportunity to be there in person tomorrow, but who will be watching down proudly, urging you on, with a huge smile on his face. But, more importantly, do it for yourselves boys- you’ve earnt every single plaudit you get, and if you play the way you have all season, you’ll come out on top.

Tynedale team:

1.       Jeff Wealens

2.       Ollie Murrell

3.       Lewis Spark

4.       Joe Hanning

5.       James Sample

6.       Jack Klein

7.       Sam Collins

8.       Charlie Richards

9.       Finn McKendrick

10.   Cam Grant (c)

11.   Sean Abrams

12.   Tom Robson

13.   Will Roberts

14.   Alex Dryden

15.   Archie Robinson

16.   James Doody

17.   Ben Robson

18.   Euan Daniels

19.   Seth Kippax-Jones

20.   Des Weich

21.   Jack Donaldson

22.   Oscar Caudle

Maids team:

1.       Elio Mandozzi

2.       James Johnstone (c)

3.       Callum Dugmore

4.       Jack Belcher

5.       Phil Wells

6.       Teo Gaster

7.       Joe Thomspon

8.       Todd Muil

9.       Kieran Grey

10.   Elliot Frisby

11.   Ollie Hills

12.   Dan Collins

13.   Elliot Thorne

14.   Josh Odeniyi

15.   James Ford

16.   Matt Hine

17.   Will Manning

18.   Chris Allen

19.   Sam Riches

20.   Drew Prince

21.   Josh Henderson

22.   Louis Monk

Come on you Maids!

#bleedmagenta

  

Maids Unveil First Summer Signing!

Maids Unveil First Summer Signing!

Everyone at Maidenhead RFC is delighted to unveil our first new signing for the 2018/19 season, Niall Crosley. Niall joins us from North Premier champions, Preston Grasshoppers, who will be playing level 4 rugby next year, in National 2 North, after romping their division last season. A product of their youth system, with a brief time away playing rugby for Hartpury, while at University, Niall has represented England at Under 16 level, and also Lancashire, where he played alongside fellow Lancastrians, Andrew and Mark Darlington.

Backs coach Will Greenwood commented “I’m thrilled to have a player of Niall’s quality onboard at Maidenhead, especially as he has come from my old club, Preston Grasshoppers. We beat various other clubs to secure his signature, and I’m confident he has what it takes to light up this division next year”

Crosley, who can play centre, wing or full back, is a strong ball carrier, with deceptively quick pace, who knows his way to the try line. There were plenty of others, including multiple clubs in National 2 who were keen to secure his services for next season, after his relocation down South, but he was clearly impressed with the ambition and culture that Maids offers. Commenting on his decision, he said

“I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter down South, and I’m really excited to be joining Maidenhead RFC. After meeting with Russ and Myke, it was clear the club is ambitious to progress on and off the pitch. I’ve spoken to a couple of the lads, who I already know at Maids, and they’ve got nothing but good things to say, and now I can’t wait to get started”.

Crosley should feel right at home at Braywick, becoming (approximately) the 93rd Northerner in the squad, with Goonfather, Don Bircheone, leader of the Northern Mafia, slowly getting rid of the Southerners, targeting Keohane, Parrott and Churchyard in his next cull of players. All at Maidenhead excitedly await the fixture lists, which will determine Niall’s maiden bus trip, and his initiation into the squad.

Welcome aboard Niall, we can’t wait to see you in magenta, and are over the moon that you’ve chosen to join us on this journey.

Watch this space, as we reveal news of further signings in the coming weeks.

#COYM

Maidenhead Colts v Horsham (National Cup Semi-final)

Maidenhead Colts v Horsham (National Cup Semi-final)

It was back in the early 00s, under the stewardship of Gordon Macdonald, John Evans and Mark Brady that Maidenhead Colts, featuring the likes of James Haskell, Tom Guest, Paul Doran-Jones and Nils Mordt, swept all local sides before them, on their way to reaching the latter stages of the National Cup, twice progressing to the semi-finals, and once to the quarters. This remarkable feat has the potential to be bettered this Sunday, as the next breed of Maidenhead superstars, namely Messrs Harris, Muil, Johnstone and Wells take to the field at the Braywick Bowl, just 80 minutes away from sealing a place in the National final.

The visitors to Braywick for this highly anticipated clash derive from Sussex, namely Horsham RFC, who arrive at this game after seeing off Worcester 32-13 in the quarter final 2 weeks ago. They head into this match up in red hot form, after clinching the Sussex Cup a week ago, seeing off Brighton 19-8, meaning they enter this game unbeaten for the season so far.

Back row forward Vince Everitt, who scored 2 tries in the last round against Worcester, will look to get his side on the front foot, and the Maids back row need to shut him down early, to stop quick ball getting out to fly half Joe Blake, who will punish any Maids misdemeanors off the tee, if given the chance. Sadly, Horsham didn’t come through the last tie unscathed, losing both scrum half Aaron Linfield and centre, Jem Minto to serious injuries, which sees them out for the remainder of the season.

A thumping 59-21 midweek victory over Redingensians Rams, clinched the BBO title for the young Maids side, finishing ahead of Marlow- the only side that have beaten the champions this season, with a narrow win pre-Xmas. Since that day, Cup wins against last year’s national champions, Guildford (45-5), Beaconsfield (W/O), Marlow (45-30) and London Irish (23-15) set up a mouth-watering clash, away at well-fancied Bishop’s Stortford in the QF. Up against the organized, well-drilled home side, Maids had to dig in early doors, seeing little ball in the first 15 minutes. However, after settling into the game, they displayed little of the nerves often associated with playing away from home, and streaked clear, inspired by a Ben Harris hat trick to prevail 52-31, in a score that arguably was closer than it should have been. This result put them into the last 4, with either Sheffield or Tynedale awaiting in the final at Sixways, Worcester in 2 weeks.

In the Maids team, skipper James Johnstone will be tasked with the smooth running of the set piece, the hooker will be looking to lock forward Phil Wells for clean ball at lineout time, and along with props Elio Mandozzi and Callum Dugmore, aiming to provide a platform at scrum time. The backs, marshalled by half backs Kieran Grey and Elliot Frisby have plenty of pace out wide at their disposal, and will be looking to Josh Odeniyi in particular, to test the Horsham back 3.

Much to Big Dom Birch’s displeasure, a large crowd is anticipated for this game, and no doubt, a Maids win will cap a thoroughly miserable season for the Assistant Bar Manager, who was hopeful of the 1st XV getting relegated. Senior player, Ed Keohane, along with Dad, Ted, will be looking for a nice Sunday tear up in the stand, while it is hoped that Fwankie is untied from Lewis Jones’ chocolate machine to come and make Meeeester Gaweth a weally happy man, with lots of special cuddles. Steve Prince has been practicing the delivery of his pre match inspirational talk all week, borrowed from Mark Bates, and is feeling confident he can successfully deliver the somewhat ‘Churchillian’ speech of ‘f*****g whack ‘em’, without forgetting his lines. He must take much credit for the development of this group of players, after identifying members of the ‘sandpit crew’ at a young age, continued by regular reminders of their status through the years.

The incredible achievements of this young side after the adversity of losing their coach, Brooksy, so suddenly will take a long time to comprehend, and there’s no doubt, that this season, and all they have overcome will be remembered for many a year. Whatever happens this Sunday lads, just know that the whole club, from under 6s to 1st team, from your parents to the committee, we could not be more proud of you. Give 100%, and know that TB will be up there watching you with a smile, beaming with pride, and when things get a little tough out there on Sunday, just remember that he’s got your back.

 

Maids team:

15 James Ford

14 Josh Odeniyi

13 Elliott Thorne

12 Dan Collins

11 Ollie Hills

10 Eliot Frisby

9 Kieran Grey

1 Elio Mandozzi

2 James Johnstone (C)

3 Callum Dugmore

4 Jack Belcher

5 Phil Wells

6 Teo Gaster

7 Joe Thompson

8 Todd Muil

 

16 Matt Hine

17 Will Manning

18 Ollie Hull

19 Chris Allen

20 Drew Prince

21 Josh Henderson

22 Max Williamson  

Come on you Maids!

#Brooksysbabes #oneclub