5th March 2011

Maidenhead 45 - 5 Gosford All Blacks
(league fixture)

Had you been at a sunny Braywick Park on a glorious Saturday in early March 2011, you would have witnessed the finest display of running rugby since England beat Italy three weeks earlier. The huge crowd that had gathered to watch the Fantastic Fours regain their league momentum, which they briefly lost in their previous game, were not to be disappointed as the home side raced away to a 19-0 lead after only a quarter of the game.

With Messrs Daryl Brady and Jan Weddepohl on fire in the centre of the pitch, the former playing his best game of the season and the later somewhere near to his imperious best, Gosford All Blacks found Maidenhead too hot to handle. The Maids forwards continued their excellent work this season, securing ball all around the park, with some notable performances from Craig Love, who roamed far and wide all afternoon, and Paul Kingsley, who put in an excellent 50 minutes before he received a well deserved rest; by which I mean a substitution, not his customary ten-minute breather.

Maids were 26-0 up at half time and then 40-0 up with 20 minutes to go. Following this the team sat back a little, allowing Gosford possession and territory in a ten-minute spell which eventually ground down the staunch Maidenhead defence for a well deserved try finished by their fly half; a try his counterpart Dan Carter would be proud of. However, Maidenhead had the last laugh, scoring almost straight from the restart, again owing to some excellent penetrative running in the back division. This was the seventh and last try for Maidenhead. With Thorley and Callaghan sharing conversions, Thorley striking at an impressive 80 per cent and Callaghan at a less impressive 50 per cent, Maids eventually ran out impressive 45-5 victors against the side they narrowly lost to earlier in the season.

Man of the match was a toss up between Love and Brady, but with both leaving the club far too early to be considered sociable, the award went to the referee, whose performances have improved massively game on game since he lost us the chance of promotion last year. Next week Maids head to High Wycombe to face the team that has just inflicted the first defeat of the season on runaway league leaders Bletchley. Maids will hope to continue their winning ways and push for a second place finish in the league.

(Match statistics)