Maids resume their South West campaign, via a welcome week off, off the back of a highly encouraging 26-10 victory away at Newton Abbot last time out, a game in which they played with a high tempo and accuracy rarely seen away from Fortress Braywick over the last couple of years. Despite an early injury to Andy Berry, who scored 2 tries in the opening 15 minutes, followed by the withdrawal of Rorie Hannigan before the break, due to a broken foot, Bolton’s side managed to restrict their normally free-scoring hosts to just the solitary try, and even when down to 13 men for the last 7 minutes, refused to allow their try line to be breached.
This week, we welcome our old Gloucestershire friends, Old Patesians to Braywick, who were promoted into South West Premier, off the back of a title-winning year last season in South West One. It’s been a tough start for Old Pats, and they currently sit rooted to the bottom of the table, winless after 9 games. However, recent results have improved for the Cheltenham boys- a close fought 35-41 loss to Exeter Uni, and a 4 try bonus point away at Exmouth illustrates they are no mugs, and just as Weston did earlier in the season, will arrive at Braywick pumped up, looking to turn the form book on it’s head.
New skipper George Angell misses out this week, and this loss in the back row is compounded by the recent departure of Scott Alldritt, who has left the country for a new job. However, Rich Hance will start at number 8- he is a strong ball carrier who will need shutting down early. Matt Dean will start in the number 10 shirt for Pats, with the imposing figure of Jackson Ellmers outside him at 12- a recent new signing from New Zealand.
For Maids, there are a few enforced changes, but one lad enjoying a consistent spell with the 1s recently, is the naughty little warthog Lewis Jones, who we spoke to for this weeks’ player interview…
Name- Lewis Jones
Nickname(s)- ‘Pumba’, ‘Lunchlady’, ‘LJ’, ‘Andrew Biggie Morris’, ‘Lunchy’, ‘Lunch Money Lewis’, ‘Calf-ton Palmer’, ‘The Weeble’.
Position(s)- Face down on Sharlene’s physio bed, but only after I’ve paid my subs, or she tells me to **** off.
Strengths- all you can eat buffets, excuses, getting kicked out of Whatsapp groups, finding truffles.
Weaknesses- all you can eat buffets, my calves, breaking off mauls and not scoring, food prep, food prep pictures.
Occupation- PE Teacher- the kids need to do as I say, not as I do.
If you could be any of your teammates, who would you be and why? Andy Darlo- I’d love to be as moody as him all the time.
Which teammate would you least like to have over for dinner? Niall Crosley- I’d end up knocking him out, but at least he’d forgive me.
What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Counting calories, kit assistant for Abbey Ladies, supervising them change and EDL meet ups.
Tell us something we don’t know about you- I once spent 3 days in hospital with a suspected stomach tumour, but it was trapped wind.
What are your aspirations for this season? Play for the 1st XV as much as possible, and make sure nobody finds the hidden camera in the Abbey Ladies’ changing room.
Now that ‘The Goblin’ has left the club, new scrum half Ceri Morgan takes over the mantle of ‘ugliest bloke’ in the squad, but at least he’s a nice lad with it, though nobody can understand a word he mumbles in his chav Welsh accent, whilst there’s a fellow new boy in the squad this week for Ellie Birch to get her teeth into, Dylan Baptiste. He’ll have to show some patience though, as Saturday night is date night, with new squeeze ‘Liam’, who is admittedly ‘just a bit of fun’, before she goes on another long holiday with her Dad, Big Ron, in January.
Since shouting at the squad after the Weston game for a lack of commitment, ‘BGB’, Andy Berry hasn’t been seen at training, and he takes a week off this Saturday to wash his car and mow his lawn- he is replaced in the squad by Mark Grimshaw, with Todd Muil starting in the row. Will Runciman has developed an over-dependency on Ali’s truncheon foam-roller, straining his MCL through excessive use, and is ironically replaced by the ‘snake-charmer’ Adam Lubbock at fly half. Elio Mandozzi keeps his place in the squad, despite his ‘artwork’ on the coach after his initiation, and Russ Bolton will be bringing his chalk board for him to play with whilst on the bench, so he can practise his shapes and colours.
The whole squad will be playing for fullback Tom Finnie this week, who has suffered the tragic loss of his Mum in the last week. Everyone pulling on a Maids shirt this week, will be doing so with the Finnie family in the forefront of their minds, aiming to put in a great performance and hopefully a win, for him and his family. We send our love and best wishes, and hope Tom can stay strong in this difficult period x
Old Pats team:
10. M Dean
11. J Aherne
16. C Dean
18. O Aherne
Maids team (caps in brackets)
1. M Parrott (c) (189)
2. R Barber (25)
3. L Jones (86)
4. S Churchyard (82)
5. T Muil (10)
6. L Leonard (31)
7. W Macaulay (42)
8. D Cole (26)
9. C Morgan (5)
10. A Lubbock (10)
11. S Prince (39)
12. E Keohane (111)
13. P Jansen (82)
14. N Crosley (8)
15. O Foxley (7)
16. E Mandozzi (3)
17. M Grimshaw (7)
18. D Baptiste (debut)
Come on you Maids!