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

 

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