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.
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:
Come on you Maids!