Things couldn’t have gone much better for Maids last weekend, when in the process of securing a full 5 points, thanks to a 66-0 home win over Newton Abbott, the gap to 2nd placed Barnstaple, closed to a mere 4 points, following their away loss at Exmouth, 25-12, which saw them come away with nothing. Barnstaple have another tough Devon derby this week, as they welcome 3rd placed Ivybridge to Pottington Road, which will either see the gap between the sides increase to at least 6 points, or, if the result goes the way of Ivy, then a swap in league positions, with just another 4 matches to go afterwards.
It would be easy for Maids to start looking ahead to that crunch clash at Braywick against Barum in 2 weeks, but they must first fully focus on a tough trip to Everest Road, the home of Old Patesians, in Cheltenham. It’s been a really tough season for Old Pats, who have had to play a significant proportion of their games away from their formidable home ground Everest Road, due to pitch conditions, and have had the Prince of Wales as the venue for many of their fixtures this season. This Saturday however, in the forecasted heavy rain and wind, Maids will have to do it the hard way, and overcome the fearsome slope that so many fail to conquer…
The Pats pack will likely be led by big ball carriers George Angell and Rich Hance at 6 and 8 respectively, while the responsibility of a strong scrum will fall to props Jasper Frost and Teddy Saunders. In the backline, Tom Knight at 9 was one of the standout players in the reverse fixture at Braywick, he will likely be partnered at half back by Oliver Aherne.
In one of his final games at the club until the Honourable Mrs May finally introduces Brexit and boots the little Tinker out of the country, Laurence Leonard had a quick break from leering over hagged old women in the Honeypot, while his imaginary girlfriend is ‘away’, and answered some questions for this week’s match preview;
Name- Laurence Leonard
Nickname(s)- ‘Lar’, ‘Lozza’, ‘Loz’, ‘Larry’, ‘Bruno’, ‘Dennis Irwin’, ‘Leering Larry’, ‘Pervert Pete’.
Position(s)- Back row, second row, firmly behind the curtain.
Strengths- Reigniting British/Irish tensions with a few aptly placed IEDs this week, grooming (not kids, just young males), birdbaths, stealing radiators, scrap metal, evading tax, bills and rent.
Weaknesses- Brexit, singing crap Irish songs, looks, Rod Muil,
Occupation- thieving copper.
If you could be any of your teammates, who would you be and why? Rod Muil, because I know for a fact he’s paying £9.99 a month for pictures of Andy Darlo’s Mrs.
Which teammate would you least like to have over for dinner? Perry Jansen, with him only eating halal meat, and Ramadan coming up, it will be a nightmare to find something suitable for him.
What hobbies do you have outside of rugby? Gay-lick football, searching for 4 leaf clovers and intense lap dances at the Honeypot.
Tell us something we don’t know about you- I spent 3 years at Neverland with Michael Jackson as a kid and I loved it.
What are your aspirations for this season? Beat Bournemouth at their place, get promoted, find my girlfriend and stay in the country.
Ryan Long returned to training this week, re-invigorated upon finishing Perry Jansen’s best-selling book ‘A guide to getting away with a mid-season rugby sabbatical’, with players breathing a collective sigh of relief knowing their WAGs wouldn’t be receiving a visit whilst training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lewis Jones, absent on Tuesday training due to Pancake Day, will be starting at Tighthead Prop, the highly-sensitive naughty little warthog only agreeing to play because Batesy promised him a sausage roll on the way home, whilst James Johnstone, skipper of our victorious Colts side last season makes his debut off the bench, and he’ll be looking forward to getting touched up on a bus again, something he’s not experienced since those long away trips with Meester Gaweth in the previous 2 seasons in the Colts.
Olly Foxley thoroughly enjoyed World Book Day at school this week
Will Runciman returns from his poaching holiday in South Africa after successfully aiding the extinction of the White Rhino in the previous 2 weeks, and he comes back into the side to replace Ceri Morgan, who has been omitted from the squad, as Russ Bolton felt his little legs would struggle to get up the hill at Old Pats, whilst Rod Muil will be going directly to the ground, to get a good hour of pre-match Tinder in, to see what the Cheltenham community might be able to offer him.
All at Maids RFC were devastated this week, to learn of the death of our much-loved chef, Linda. In the past 2 seasons, Linda was responsible for producing some unbelievably high-quality food for the boys, which has regularly been heralded as ‘the best at any rugby club in the land’, and her excellent produce has no doubt resulted in such a high number of players sticking around after training and games for her meals. Linda was a shy, quiet lady, but the boys all loved her, and will miss her greatly.
Linda leaves behind 3 children; David, Anna and Emma, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time, as well as Dom, Catherine, and the rest of the Birch household. Sleep tight Linda X
Maids team (caps in brackets)
1. E Mandozzi (8)
2. S Rawsthorne (12)
3. L Jones (91)
4. S Churchyard (94)
5. A Berry (18)
6. R Muil (18)
7. L Leonard (42)
8. D Cole (37)
9. P Jansen (91)
10. W Runciman (35)
11. S Prince (47)
12. C Broughton (9)
13. N Crossley (20)
14. M Roddick (24)
15. M Davies (31)
16. J Johnstone (1)
17. E Atkins (4)
18. D Baptista (10)
Come on you Maids!