Maids v Newton Abbot (home)

Maids v Newton Abbot (home)

In the first of their final 3 home games this season, Maidenhead welcome Newton Abbot RFC to Fortress Braywick, aiming to keep the pressure on 2nd placed Barnstaple, who face a tough trip to their Devon neighbours Exmouth on Saturday. Maids will be hoping Exmouth can do them a favour and beat their arch rivals, which could see the gap close to as little as 4 points, depending on bonus points, and of course, subject to Newton Abbot being dispatched…

It’s been a topsy-turvy few weeks for the ‘Devon All Whites’, which, according to reports, has seen Head Coach Matt Jess depart, along with several senior players, but if Maids have learnt anything over the last couple of seasons in SW Premier, it’s that there are no easy games, and on any given day, anyone can beat anyone…

Last time out, it was heartbreak for Bolton’s men, as they succumbed to a penalty with the last play of the game, which saw the home side, Weston, snatch a draw, thus awarding the visitors just the 3 points instead of 5, which they feel they deserved. Despite the disappointing result, the coaching team would have been pleased with the performance, which saw them bounce back from 24-17 down, to lead 27-24 until that final passage of play.

Weston are always a tough team to play against, and that game unfortunately caused no fewer than 4 injuries- an early recurrence of an ankle injury to Andy Darlington meant he limped off after 10 minutes, and he was followed by centre Charlie Broughton in the 2nd half who picked up a thigh strain. Then, with just 20 minutes to go, Olly Foxley hyperextended his elbow, causing a fracture and two torn ligaments, ruling him out for the rest of the season, and he will be joined on the sidelines by skipper, Myke Parrott who dislocated and broke his elbow in the final play of the game.

Due to injury and unavailability, there are several changes to the squad this week frustratingly, but one young man who keeps his place in the squad, is local Granny-bashing, ASBO collector, Scott Prince. Having a curfew for anti-social behaviour means, the young lout has had plenty of opportunity to give us his thoughts, ahead of this weekend’s game.

 

Name- Scott Prince

Nickname(s)- Prin, Prinny, Prinny Senior, Prin Diesel, Spitty Scott, Ho-Chi-Prin, Joey Barton.

Position(s)- Wing/fullback

Strengths- Hiding my hairline, swindling money, getting arrested, Fifa (had it in my prison cell), hoovering the bus, spying on my fit Auntie.

Weaknesses- Hairline, bicep curls, my Dad, eating, honesty.

Occupation- Defrauding innocent old people and taking their life savings.

If you could be any of your teammates, who would you be and why? I’d be Rod Muil- his Tinder chat is strong, and he loves dogs.

Which teammate would you least like to have over for dinner? Parrott- he’s well boring now he doesn’t drink. He was much better when he was lashed up doing bird baths and spraying the fire extinguisher all over the club.

What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Staring at my fit girlfriend.

Tell us something we don’t know about you- for Xmas, I bought my Dad a cat flap so he can get in and out the back door without needing his keys.

What are your aspirations for this season? Try and nick the playoff place and beat Bournemouth in their own back yard.

It’s a warm welcome return to action for Lewis ‘Pumba’ Jones, who has required a 2 month break, such was the gruelling nature of his previous fitness regime, he takes his spot on the bench, as front row replacement, covering young Elio Mandozzi who has a tendency to get distracted by the ‘magical aeroplanes’ during games, often needing a small break to ‘refocus’ the young prop, and keep him from running after the pigeons behind the pitch.

Don’t miss new Netflix series ‘Narcos’, starring Big Ron Birch

Ed Atkins is touch and go for this week’s clash- he’s having girlfriend issues after putting only 11 kisses on the end of his good night text last night, instead of the normal 12, despite being next to her at the time, whilst Andy Berry is back in the squad after some ground-breaking physiotherapy treatment from the truncheon of Physio Ali.

For Mark ‘Badger’ Bates, the boys have chipped in to buy him a special set of concrete tackle bags, for flying headbutt practice in team run-throughs, and he’ll be hoping for his famous ‘holy-trinity’ birthday treat when he gets home. Big Ron Birch is in a famously good mood, after Boughy made him in Administrator on the club’s new GMS system, meaning he can delete records for all 1st XV team members, accelerating their exit from the club.

 

Maids team (caps in brackets):

1.       E Mandozzi (7)

2.       M Darlington (c) (35)

3.       S Rawsthorne (11)

4.       S Churchyard (93)

5.       A Berry (17)

6.       R Muil (17)

7.       L Leonard (41)

8.       D Cole (36)

9.       C Morgan (13)

10.   P Jansen (90)

11.   S Prince (46)

12.   C Broughton (8)

13.   N Crosley (19)

14.   M Roddick (23)

15.   M Davies (30)

16.   L Jones (90)

17.   E Atkins (3)

18.   L Ellis (13)

 

Newton Abbot team:

1.       Radford

2.       Dore

3.       Dowrick

4.       Browne

5.       Milton

6.       Fogden

7.       Bottoms

8.       Wright

9.       Vicary

10.   Castleton

11.   Brown

12.   Monnington

13.   Fogden

14.   Perica

15.   Allen

16.   Lacey

17.   Blackmore

18.   Ottoway

 

Come on you Maids!

 

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Maids v Weston (away)

Maids v Weston (away)

With just 7 games left of this campaign, the race for that much-coveted play-off place is seriously hotting up, with another round of ‘juicy’ fixtures set to further shape this rollercoaster of a season. Barring a catastrophic collapse which nobody can foresee, Bournemouth now have the title well and truly wrapped up, and will deservedly go up as Champions, but competition to stay in this division at the bottom end of the table is fierce, and Maids have Ivybridge hot on their tails, with Barum 7 points ahead of them, in the fight for 2nd.

After Barnstaple dropped points, with a loss away at Drybrook a week ago, and now facing the prospect of a dangerous Exeter University side this week, Maids will be hoping to bridge that 7 point gap ahead of welcoming their North-Devon rivals to Braywick on March 23rd. However, standing in their way, is the formidable opponent of Weston Super-Mare RFC, who have been the only side to leave Braywick this season with a win. Despite sitting in 9th position in the table, Maids know that Weston well and truly had their number earlier in the season, yet both number 8 Brad Talbot, and loosehead prop, Sam Coles, who were outstanding that day, miss this return fixture through injury. They are replaced by youngsters Tom Sugg and Charlie Brabham respectively, the latter of whom has recently featured in some A League fixtures for Bristol.

For Maids, hooker Mark Darlington returns to the squad after recovering from his papercut, meaning new recruit Sam Rawsthorne drops to the bench. He wasn’t too downbeat however, when he was given the opportunity to feature in this weeks’ high-in-demand match preview…

Name- Sam Rawsthorne

Nickname(s)- ‘Travis’, ‘Rawsy’, ‘Sub’, ‘Mark Bosnich’, ‘Bozzy’, ‘Lavin Mark II’, ‘Sandpit Sam’.

Position(s)- Bench

Occupation- I make coffee for Andy Berry, and clean his shoes.

Weaknesses- Fully answering questionnaires, IQ, ascertaining my nationality, my accent, following instructions, common sense.

Strengths- my girlfriend, making sandcastles, asking people how their day has been.

If you could be any of your teammates, who would you be and why? I’d be Andy Berry, so I could have my own personal PA for both work and rugby too.

Which teammate would you least like to have over for dinner? Ryan Long- he’s already added my Mrs on Facebook. It’s always how it starts.

What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Upon my return from Australia, I’ve recently joined UKIP and the National Front with Tom King, so I’m really enjoying bashing up anti-Brexit protestors and soft lefties on my free weekends.

Tell us something we don’t know about you- I was the one who left the speaker out in the rain last week.

What are your aspirations for this season? Get a start, get promoted, move in with Andy Berry.

 

Ahead of his maiden bus trip for the first team, young Ed Atkins was unfortunate enough to be papped on the tube with some roses, 3 minutes after excusing himself from training last night, so he will be looking forward to 3 hours of drinking from Jockstrap John’s ball sack on the way home tomorrow, whilst Charlie Broughton’s initiation has rolled over yet another week, and he climbs to number 1 contender for Puss of the Week, with a prize of a lovely t-shirt and some cat milk beckoning.

Ed Atkins ‘couldn’t make training’ last night…

Niall Crosley will be hoping to take his place in the centre after recovering from his annual Valentine’s beating from his Mrs, but Andy Berry misses out sadly- he was pictured with Rolf Harris wandering around Oldfield school last week, so has an appointment with the Maidenhead Constabulary.

On the coaching front, Mark Bates has this week had to cancel his family summer holiday to France with his access to the country abruptly denied following his assault on 22 French Vets last weekend, whilst Zoran Higgins has been banned indefinitely from future coach trips by the Club Committee, in the aftermath of complaints of nakedness and lewd behaviour from 17 different cars on the M4 last Saturday night, as well as Burger King staff, the owner of Premier Coaches and the toilet attendant from Weston Service station.

 

Congratulations to Will Macaulay, who wins his 50th 1st XV cap this weekend, a fine feat for the 45 year old flanker.

 

Maids team (caps in brackets)

1.       M Parrott (c) (198)

2.       M Darlington (34)

3.       A Darlington (36)

4.       S Churchyard (92)

5.       L Leonard (40)

6.       T Muil (16)

7.       W Macaulay (50)

8.       D Cole (35)

9.       P Jansen (89)

10.   W Runciman (34)

11.   D Baptista (9)

12.   C Broughton (7)

13.   N Crosley (18)

14.   S Prince (45)

15.   O Foxley (13)

16.   S Rawsthorne (10)

17.   E Atkins (2)

18.   A French (21)

 

Weston team:

1.       C Brabham

2.       M Hocking

3.       O Streeter

4.       A Glen

5.       C Kingscott

6.       S Fisher

7.       R Bignell

8.       T Sugg

9.       R Bennett

10.   J Mackay

11.   M Watkins

12.   G Dickson

13.   M Nel

14.   A Howman

15.   R Mackay

16.   A Fisher

17.   G Bamsey

18.   H Jones

Come on you Maids!