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posted: April 30 2013

Our rugby pitches have been verti-drained, scarified and reseeded in  readiness for next season.
In addition 250 tons of sand/top dressing will be put on them, in particular the training pitch which has been badly in need of attention.  To give the pitches the best chance for recovery and benefit from the remedial work they must not be used until further notice.

The remedial work has been very expensive but was necessary and unavoidable. In future years it will not be much less although the club is very optimistic that you will all see the benefit come the new season.

The pitches, or at least some will not be in bounds again until at least late August so please plan your training programmes accordingly.

ENGLAND v ARGENTINA, Saturday 9th November - Ticket Offer Update
posted: March 19 2013


Saturday 9th November @ TWICKENHAM

Ticket Offer

A Chance to watch International Rugby at Twickenham and EARN MONEY FOR THE CLUB.

The England v Argentina match is one of the fixtures of the Autumn QBE Internationals ( 2nd Nov - Australia, 16th  Nov - New Zealand)  and since they joined the Southern Hemisphere Championship competition a much more attractive option than in previous years.  This year the RFU are offering cash back to clubs, as well as HALF PRICE tickets in all categories for Juniors.

These tickets are only available through the club and cash back will only be paid to the club. The offer only applies if we order 10 or more Adult tickets and closes on May 22.

There are three categories

Cat 1. Adults £83 Juniors £41.50

Cat 2. £70 and £35

Cat 3. £60 and £30 (Cat 3 does not give cash back to the club)

If you are interested in applying for tickets then please contact Steve Vincent via either the Contact or International Tickets pages of the website.


Please note that when submitting your request to state clearly the number of Adult and Junior tickets you require in each category (e.g.  In Category 1:  4 x adult tickets will cost £332 and 2 junior tickets £83 etc.).  Additionally, orders that are submitted without accompanying payment will not be accepted.

Cheques (with order) payable to Maidstone Rugby

Bids to Steve Vincent by Monday 13th May at the latest please.

Lord Bearstead re-opens restored Tabernacle
posted: April 28 2013

Sunday saw Lord Bearstead at the club for the official reopening of the restored Tabernacle building, the project had been driven to completion by The Mote CCs Dennis Fowle and in addition to Lord Bearstead the ceremony was attended by MP Hugh Robertson and the Mayor of Maidstone.

Following the formal reopening there was a lunch held in the main clubhouse followed by a Twenty/20 cricket match between a Mote CC Chairman’s XI and a Maidstone Rugby Chairman’s XI.  As you would expect The Mote CC side ran out winners thanks to a knock of 61 by Ed de Lucy, although in reality the result was incidental to what was a significant event as the clubs move forward under the banner of the Mote Sports Federation.

Kent Cups Update – Finals Day
posted: April 28 2013

Sunday saw the completion of the Shepherd Neame Kent knockout competitions; starting with the Kent Cup, Blackheath and Elthamians contested the final with Club coming out on top 43-25.  The Plate competition saw a repeat of what was potentially a relegation shootout a few weeks before; although the outcome was the same with Sevenoaks taking the honours against Dunstonians 29-18.

In the Vase final Beccehamians completed a fantastic weekend after clinching promotion to London 3(SE) on the Saturday with a 47-0 scoreline at Eastbourne, they added the Vase to their season’s silverware with a 37-17 win against O Gravesendians.  The last of the finals saw a rampant Dartfordians continue their end of season league form with a resounding 67-5 win against Shooters Hill to take the Salver trophy.

Around the Grounds
posted: April 27 2013

National 1:At the top of the table despite Esher’s 33-24 win against Fylde, Ealing clinch the title with a convincing 41-17 against visiting Coventry.  At the foot of the table, already relegated Cambridge went down 47-24 at Cinderford, they are joined by Sedgley Pk who lost 24-37 to Rosslyn Pk.  The last of the relegation places will go to either Macclesfield or Wharfedale, Macclesfield picked up a hard earned 24-24 draw at Blaydon but the advantage probably lies with Wharfedale who after today’s 30-26 winning result against Richmond still have a game in hand over Macclesfield and sit level on points.  On the home front, Blackheath went down 25-29 against Loughborough Students.

National 2(S): At the top of the table Worthing had no fixture this week and Henley’s 8-32 win at Shelford narrowed the gap to just two points, leaving everything resting on the final weekend of the campaign.  Third placed Hartpury hammered Clifton 72-3, a result that puts Clifton very much back in the relegation frame.  Redruth just came out on top (45-40) against a Taunton side that is now clear of the relegation battle whilst Bournemouth completed a double over hosts Canterbury as they won 12-31 to take the battle for the last relegation place into the final weekend of the season.  In the basement battle, Lydney came out on top at Barking by 14-31 to keep their extremely slim survival hopes alive..

National 3 (Playoff): Last season Dorking were in the promotion hunt and narrowly missed out and will be kicking themselves this time around having lost out by the narrowest of margins to Exmouth 21-20.  Although when they look back at the season it may be the loss against Tring in the penultimate league fixture where they slipped from the head of the table that may well be the critical point for them.

London 1 (Playoff):Basingstoke will accompany East Grinstead in National 3(SE) next season as they were comfortable 27-3 winners in their playoff against Eton Manor.

Kent v Sussex (Playoff):  Kent will send two clubs into London 3(SE) to replace the two dropping down, as Beccehamians ran out easy 0-47 winners against an Eastbourne side that had been looking to return to the regional divisions at the first attempt.

Maidstone Lions (U13’s) head North….
posted: April 23 2013

With all the hard work of fund raising including boot fairs, supermarket bag packing and a race night behind them the Lions took to the road on their inaugural tour to Northampton.  As ever this was a well supported event and 22 players, 5 coaches and 25 parents (!) all managed to meet up Saturday lunch time at the team hotel looking the part in tour hoodies.

The sun gods were with us and after lunch the boys took the change to throw a ball around whilst the parents relaxed with the odd beer or two. The coaches were deep in tactical discussion which seemed to require slightly more beers but we were dedicated to the cause as ever!  A quick trip on the tour bus had us at Franklin Gardens to see the Northampton Saints secure their 4thplace league position with a crushing 47 – 7 win over Sale Sharks. What a brilliant game for the boys to see and inspiring them in their games to come.

Then it was off to 10 pin bowling for team building and to steady the nerves for the rugby to come. It great fun, with some high scores and those that lacked ability made up for it on the entertainment side (Vet & team PT guru ‘wee’ Miles Tempan to name but one!).  We made it back to the pub next to the hotel for last orders to the delight of the bar manager who gave the warm northern welcome of ‘I hate you lot!’ as 30 adults walked through the door. Still full of energy the boys kept outside for a late night game of touch!

The next day weary heads made their way to Northampton Mens Own RFC our rugby hosts. Set in a beautiful part of the word with great pitches and facilities we were given a warm welcome and it was down to business.  After a warm up the boys ran out resplendent in their new kit and it was game on against local side Olney RFC. The boys quickly blew away the tour cobwebs and played some excellent rugby on a wide and dry (hard!) pitch. It was an evenly matched game with Olney nudging a 10 – 5 win in the end.

Considering, as ever, we rotated the entire squad so everybody played at least a half it was a great result against what is considered to be one of the best teams in the area. Olney then played our hosts and after a rest we were back on.

Well if they played well in the first game this was something to behold. All those cold wet training days finally came good as the boys played a direct and quick game, moving the ball out of rucks and mauls to give the backs space to run. And did we run!!

That said Mens Own are a team to be reckoned with and many (many) a good tackle was made or ball turned over to come out with a 7 – 14 victory.

Parents and coaches were equally delighted as were the boys. When you hear the referee and their coaches say that those 2 games were amongst the best they had seen all season, with such a great display of effort and skill you can’t but be pleased.  Then it was off to the club house to enjoy the hosts company, present prizes, swap shields and shirts.

The boys had their first boat race – coke and a chocolate bar – a very close 2nd was respectable!  Then it was time for tired but very happy faces to make their way home.

The tour was a resounding success; the boys represented the club and their proud parents both on and off the pitch amazingly. Mens Own were great hosts who said we had inspired them to tour! A return fixture would be great.

So finally thanks to the boys, the amazing support of the parents, committee and those that organised so much for what was such a brilliant time.

Only one question seemed to be asked by everybody……….where do we go next year?   

Looking Ahead – Next season’s London 2(SE) composition finalised.
posted: April 23 2013

Unlike the other London & SE divisions, last Saturday’s results finalised the composition of London 2(SE) for next season.  For the second successive season, Charlton Park’s campaign ended in disappointment as they lost out narrowly in the promotion playoff to London 2(SW) club Sutton & Epsom, the result meaning they will remain in London 2(SE) next season.  In addition, Tunbridge Wells got the bonus point win they needed against Folkestone to just edge out Sheppey who had held the position for most of the season.  Sheppey had the superior playing record, but their inability to pick up the bonus point with some of their winning results was their downfall.  The impact of those results is that there will be no requirement for any ‘level transfers’ to balance out numbers; in addition to Charlton Park the following clubs remain in London 2(SE) for next season:  Aylesford, Crowborough, Deal & Betteshanger, Heathfield & Waldron, Lewes, Medway, Sevenoaks and Warlingham.  They are joined by ourselves and Tunbridge Wells moving up a division and also Old Colfeians dropping down following their relegation from London 1(S). 

London & SE Division 2(SE) - 2013/14: Aylesford; Charlton Park; Crowborough; Deal & Betteshanger; Heathfield & Waldron; Lewes; Maidstone; Medway; Old Colfeians; Sevenoaks; Tunbridge Wells; Warlingham.

Club Blazers - Latest Order (Update - 22 Apr)
posted: April 02 2013

The latest batch of blazers have arrived, I am in the process of sorting them and will be at the club from 7:30pm on Thursday 25th Apr to distribute them and collect balance payments to those who have ordered them. Carol has agreed to open the bar so you can combine collection with a beer and potentially a quick photo opportunity (light permitting).

If you have ordered a blazer then please make the effort to get along to the club to collect your blazer and pay the outstanding balance (no balance = no blazer), this is the only time I will be arranging a central distribution, if you’re not there then you will have to arrange to collect from me at a time that is convenient (we are now in the closed season, so rugby now comes second after my wife apparently!!).

PS: There is enough material left to make 2 more blazers if anyone who missed out is interested. First come first served. They will take 4-6 weeks from ordering.

Around the Grounds
posted: April 20 2013

National 1: Top v Bottom saw Ealing run out 32-64 winners at Cambridge; in the other relegation struggles Sedgley Pk were hammered 61-7 by Coventry with the other two potential relegation candidates both losing narrowly.  Wharfedale went down 32-31 in the northeast battle at Tynedale and Macclesfield lost out 22-28 at home to O Albanians.  In other results Blackheath were 44-28 losers at Fylde.

National 2(S): Whilst top and bottom battles still aren’t absolutely cut and dried yet; at the top and following a 13-19 win at Launceston it is looking like Worthing’s title to lose, Henley, seven points behind are keeping them honest after a 62-17 demolition of Dings Crusaders.  As for the other chasers, Redruth went down heavily (50-17) at Clifton with Hartpury 31-14 winners at Southend.  At the bottom end  relegated Barking lost 62=12 at fellow strugglers Bournemouth, and with Taunton’s 53-26 win at Chinnor combined with Clifton’s win the south coast side still look favourites for the drop alongside Barking and Lydney, who lost 41-18 at Shelford.

National 3(SE): After being red hot favourites for the title, Dorking’s loss to Tring last week had handed the initiative to Bishop’s Stortford and they never looked like losing as they beat Elthamians 41-13 to take the divisional title.  Despite a narrow 32-34 bonus point win at CS Rugby, Dorking will be kicking themselves as they now go on to face Exmouth in the promotion playoff. next week

At the bottom of the table Tring followed up last week’s win against Dorking with a convincing 55-25 win against already relegated Westcliff; all of which meant that the 43-45 result from what looks like a real humdinger of a match between Gravesend and Thurrock was academic, and sees Gs relegated to London 1.

In the other fixtures, Barnes lost out 23-27 to Westcombe Pk, a result that sees the Kent side finish in third spot; TJs were 38-12 winners against Hertford, meaning that apart from Gravesend, the other Kent sides finished in the top six.  In the last of the fixtures, as expected Guernsey finished big winners (78-9) against basement club Staines.

Champions:Bishop’s Stortford. Playoff: Dorking.  Relegated: Staines, Westcliff and Gravesend.

London 1(S):  It was all about who would secure the playoff and last relegation spot this week and the competition couldn't have been tighter  at either end of the table.  In recent weeks it had looked like Basingstoke were in the box seat to take the playoff spot, of course if the author had looked ahead he would have noticed that their last fixture was away at unbeaten champions East Grinstead.  So at the start of the day Chichester knew they had a real chance of pinching second spot at the line as they travelled to Dover and did all they could in posting a 15-24 win against Dover, and I have no doubt that at the final whistle there would have been texts and phone calls bouncing between East Sussex and the channel port.  Had they done enough, had the league leaders gone unbeaten?  The answer was Yes and No, but not with the outcome that was expected.  East Grinstead’s unbeaten record was intact but a 17-17 draw was not what was expected, or what Chichester needed, and left them equal on points with Basingstoke, but with the playoff spot to and face Eton Manor falling in Basingstoke's favour; so for the second season in succession Chichester just lose out in a ‘photo finish’.

At the bottom Gosport needed a win otherwise it was a return to Ldn 2(SW) after one season, Beckenham on the other hand travelled to Sidcup knowing they just needed to match Gosport’s result to be safe.  The outcome was equally as tight as the battle at the top of the division, with Gosport 32-26 winners against visiting Hove and picking up the bonus point. in the process  Beckenham also won at Sidcup (17-22) leaving them tied on points with the Hampshire club but with a better playing record and surviving for another season.

In the remaining fixtures, Colfes last match in the division ended in a 18-27 home defeat to Cobham, similarly Trojans went down 29-32  to Havant, whilst Wimbledon were 29-12 winners against  Haywards Heath.

Champions: East Grinstead  Playoff: Basingstoke.  Relegated: Trojans. O Colfeains and Gosport & Fareham

London 2(Playoff):  The majority of the playoffs are scheduled for next weekend, but with both the London 2 SE and SW division s having completed their fixtures the battle between Charlton Park and Sutton & Epsom took place a week earlier than the rest of the fixtures. Charlton Park reached the playoffs for the second successive season, last season they narrowly missed out, going down 6-18 at Wimbledon.  Unfortunately this season’s playoff brought an equally disappointing end to their campaign as the SE London club again fell at the final hurdle as they went down 12-15 to a Sutton & Epsom side that will be returning to London 1 at the first attempt. In what by all accounts was a tense battle S&E just edged Charlton Park by the odd score to take the tie and the promotion by 12-15.

London 3(SE): The outstanding fixture between Park Hse and Vigo was a ‘dead rubber’ with nothing other than club pride riding on the outcome and the honours at the end of a torrid campaign for both clubs going to Vigo with a 3-8 result.  The other fixture had much more riding on it as Tunbridge Wells hosted Folkestone knowing that with numbers of wins counting before points difference comes into consideration that a straight win was not enough, only a bonus point win would see them promoted.   In a convincing display, the visitors were never really in the contest and Wells took the match with a convincing 47-3 scoreline to snatch the promotion position that a Sheppey with a better playing record had held for most of the season.

Champions: Maidstone  Promoted: Tunbridge Wells

Kent 1: Top two v bottom two in both the outstanding fixtures and with neither result, whichever way they went affecting any outcome in the table.  On paper it looked like straightforward and probably big wins for leaders Dartfordians at second bottom Southwark and  Beccehamians as they hosted basement club Whitstable.  Predictably the matches went with form with Darts running out 15-41 winners and Beccs posting a similarly comfortable 31-7 scoreline.

County town club receive RFU President’s XV Player Welfare & Safety Award
posted: April 17 2013

The 7thround of the annual RFU President’s XV awards saw Maidstone Rugby pick up the Runners-Up award in the Players Welfare & Safety category following their work to raise funds and the profile of the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF).

The club set up a President’s XV game at the club to raise the profile of rugby within the community, but first and foremost to raise funds in support of the Injured Players Foundation (IPF). The IPF were chosen as beneficiaries as a result of a serious rugby injury, which has left one of the club’s players wheel chair bound. The player involved has been supported and cared for by the IPF throughout including when the player was at Stoke Mandeville and during his subsequent rehabilitation.

The event was to raise funds for the IPF and all proceeds went to them – there was no profit made by the Club at all on the day and raised £6.5k for the IPF. The event raised awareness of the IPF and was well supported by local rugby clubs, dignitaries and the local community on the day, with some excellent press coverage. In addition, the club has carried information about the RFU IPF in its matchday programmes throughout the season, as well as having a prominent pitchside hoarding and the IPF logo being carried on the 1st XV shirts throughout this season’s league and cup campaigns.

Mike Cordell, the Hon Secretary of Kent RFU presented the award to Deputy Chairman Bob Hayton, who had been the driving force behind the season’s initiative for the club.

An interview with the Club Captain
posted: April 16 2013

Club skipper, Ben Williams, sums up this season, in conversation with Trevor Langley immediately after the last game of the season

(TL): Ben, in my direct experience of over forty years as a member of this club, I have never known such a level of success on the playing front. How can you sum up this season for yourself and the players?

(BW): We set ourselves the goal of promotion when we started summer training and everything has been geared to this. But we didn’t expect to go undefeated in the league. Only one word can express this – fantastic.

(TL): What have been the highlights?

(BW): Undoubtedly, going undefeated in the league springs to mind, and from a playing perspective, this has been important. But so has the type of rugby we played, which is something we tried to achieve from the outset. But for me, the ‘one club’ approach is the most important. I’ve been a member of this club since I was playing in the juniors and when I was asked to take on club captain role, last year, I wanted to grow the spirit in the whole club and I think we have progressed a lot this year in achieving this goal. As well as success for the senior teams, we want the junior club to grow and to share our success. We always have a high percentage of the 1st XV made up of local players who have come through the junior teams. I want this to continue.

(TL): And the low lights?

(BW): No question – the defeat in the RFU Senior Vase to Drybrook. It wasn’t the defeat, per se, it’s that we didn’t play to our potential. But coming on top of missing out at the same point last year, it made it a hard pill to swallow, for everyone.

(TL): Compared to last season, what changes have made the difference?

(BW): Mainly the belief and attitude of the players. The numbers at training has been consistently high, even during the dark, cold nights, and this has shown through in the fitness of the squad. When games have been tight, we’ve been able to call on this fitness to pull away from sides in the second half.

(TL): How has the coaching team impacted the performance?

(BW): Massively – for a start, the experience Lee Evans has brought to the party, which has impacted on the training ground and in the games, but also the video analysis that Adrian Hogben has overseen in the second half of the season. You’ve no idea how beneficial it is to be able to see what went wrong in a game, when all the emotion is stripped from the occasion, and then work on correcting it for the next game. But it is probably the style of rugby that Andy Foley wants us to play, a high tempo, running game, that will suit us for even London 1 and National 3 that is the key to success this year.

(TL): Who have been the star performers, in your opinion?

(BW): As a member of the front five, I like to think it is this unit of the team that has provided the platform on which all else is built. But I have to say, it has been a team effort and to single out individuals is difficult. I can only refer to the top try scorers as key contributors to success, just because these are the facts: Mark Dorman was top with 23 tries, Willie Brown second with 22 and then me!

(TL): What has been the impact of our ‘overseas’ players? What, specifically have they brought to the party?

(BW): They’re all good ball players and have brought their own experience and attitudes on to the field. They all like to win and have contributed 100% to the playing effort. But they’ve also integrated into the club and become part of the fabric. Sam’s with us again next year but we’ll miss Ivan and Willie, although he might spend the start of the season with us.

(TL): You have mentioned the support the team has received from spectators in your weekly updates in the programme – what impact has this had on the team?

(BW): Seeing a band of Maidstone spectators on the touchline at away games gives the whole team a lift but, especially in the cup games, where numbers have risen into the hundreds, we all begin to get an indication of the interest in our efforts and gives us another reason to give our all.

(TL): What are your ambitions for the team next season and are you happy with the early preparation work?

(BW): Promotion is our aim for next season, as well. We think we have the basis of the squad to do this and I know the coaching staff is working on adding new players to the squad. I also hope that the players in the Mustangs will also continue to develop so that they contribute to next year’s squad. We can’t stand still and assume everything is OK: it has to be continual evolution so that every place has someone fighting to knock the incumbent off their pedestal. But I think we already have a good balance in the squad and additions will add to this

(TL): Ben, your final comments?

(BW): Fitness will be even more important next year, so we must concentrate on this but, from my perspective, I want to continue to develop the ‘one club’ approach and make Maidstone the natural choice for all players in the area because it’s successful, friendly and good fun to be involved with.

(TL): Thanks Ben. From all those who have stood on the touchline this year (and in previous years), your efforts, and those of the players, are much appreciated. The feast of rugby you have served up to us over the last nine months has been exceptional and we look forward to more of the same, starting next September.

Maidstone Rugby presented with London & SE Div 3(SE) league trophy
posted: April 15 2013

Maidstone were the only Kent side to pick up regional honours this season and the last weekend of the scheduled league programme saw the county town side host Bromley in the reverse of the opening day fixture to bookend what has been a successful campaign for the club. The 43-10 result saw Maidstone complete an undefeated league campaign, amassing 108 league points out of a possible 110 available and finishing the season 26 points clear of their nearest rivals. Kent RFU Hon Secretary Mike Cordell was on hand at the final whistle to present skipper Ben Williams with the trophy.

The squad demonstrated its strength in depth, with 43 players representing the 1st XV throughout the course of the season scoring 167 league tries and totalling over 1000 points in their league campaign, in addition to a good run in the RFU Senior Vase, where they successfully defended their London & SE Divisional title before falling at National Semi-Final level.

Photo: courtesy Ady Shaw

Around the Grounds
posted: April 14 2013

National 1: Blackheath went down 12-21at home to Richmond, but in the key battles Ealing’s 28-17 win against Cinderford will ensure they are promoted.  At the foot of the table Cambridge went down 29-19 to fellow strugglers Sedgley Pk, whilst in the battle to avoid the third relegation place, the two main contenders faced each other as Wharfedale took on Macclesfield.  The result went the way of the Yorkshire side 19-5 and sees the two clubs locked together on 52 points with two matches left.

National 2(S): Canterbury were 10-0 winners at home against Launceston, but the main interest lies elsewhere at this point in the season.  Leaders Worthing were convincing 68-0 winners against relegation strugglers Taunton, although the title race may well not be decided (at least mathematically) until the last weekend with Henley are keeping up the pressure after they beat third club Hartpury 12-16 and Redruth defeating Southend 38-22.  Basement club Barking had no fixture this week but in the battle between the two sides most likely to join them, home advantage told as Lydney beat Bournemouth 19-8

National 3(SE): A 13-19 win for Bishop’s Stortford against Thurrock  means that they move to the top of the table with Dorking slipping into the playoff spot, following a shock 14-8 defeat at struggling Tring. The result means that after having led the way for so long, Dorking may well now dip out on the title and the automatic promotion place, third placed Barnes’ 28-3 defeat at Herford mean that the early season front runners promotion challenge is over.  At the bottom Tring’s win was ominous news for Gravesend despite their own 18-20 win at Westcliff, who may not have been able to save themselves from the drop but the Essex club’s result against Tring next week will have a big bearing on who joins them and basement club Staines who lost 5-22 to CS Rugby.  In the matches affecting the county’s clubs, Westcombe Park beat Guernsey 27-0 and in the derby match Elthamians take the bragging rights with a narrow 17-15 defeat of TJs.

London 1(S): With another weekend of fixtures remaining there is still a lot to be decided in the division; champions East Grinstead remain unbeaten after they beat Havant 7-17.  The key interest lies in the playoff battle and also the last relegation place; Chichester’s match against Gosport & Fareham affected both, and a 29-0 win for the Sussex side keeps their playoff hopes alive at the same time as keeping Gosport in the drop zone.  Basingstoke still hold pole position for the playoffs after a 51-7 win against fourth placed  Wimbledon, whilst Beckenham’s 16-7 defeat at the hands of Dover means the shadow of relegation still threatens them.  As expected, relegated Colfes went down to Haywards Heath (24-12) although Trojans drew 13-13 with Hove but the result wasn’t enough to lift them off the foot of the table.  In the mid-table battle Cobham beat Sidcup 13-3.

Champions: East Grinstead. Playoff: Basingstoke or Chichester.  Relegated: Trojans, O Colfeians and Gosport & Fareham or Beckenham

London 2(SE): The only business to be resolved in the table was for the playoff spot and Brighton completed their league winning campaign on a low, with a 7-30 home defeat to Crowborough, although with Charlton Park beating Warlingham (19-3), Crowborough’s result was academic anyway and Park go on to face London 2(SW)'s Sutton & Epsom in the playoff.   Elsewhere the matches were for pride only, with relegated clubs Dunstonians and Thanet going down 51-15 and 57-7 against D&B and Aylesford respectively.  The battles between Heathfield and Medway, and Sevenoaks versus Lewes saw wins for Medway and Oaks, with the results seeing Medway secure fourth spot.

Champions: Brighton.  Playoff: Charlton Pk.  Relegated: Thanet Wdrs & O Dunstonians

London 3(SE): The league trophy was presented to Maidstone, the only Kent side to take regional honours this season, following a 43-10 win over visiting Bromley; but with the title secured five weeks ago the main interest in the table has been on who would join the county town club in London 2 next season.  Both of the contenders faced sides already destined for relegation as Tunbridge Wells hosted Pulborough and Sheppey entertaining Vigo.  Both recorded bonus point wins, 46-0 and 27-7 respectively, and all now hinges on next week’s game in hand for Wells, where having fewer wins than Sheppey  means they must post a bonus point win against Folkestone to be promoted.  Ashford were always secure in fourth spot but their 20-0 win against Uckfield means that Horsham, despite  a 3-16 home defeat against Anchorians, finish as the top Sussex club in fifth place.  In the last of the fixtures relegated Park House ended on a high in a fixture that always has a tight scoreline, with a 13-12 win over Folkestone.

Champions: Maidstone.  Promoted: Sheppey or T Wells.  Relegated: Vigo, Pulborough and Park Hse

Kent 1:Dartfordians massive 96-5 win against Kings Coll sees them take the divisional title whilst  Beccehamians equally convincing  56-0 whitewash of Cranbrook  meant that despite Hastings beating OGs (17-30)  they now can’t be caught and take the promotion playoff place against Sussex 1 club Eastbourne, who are looking to return to the London leagues at the first attempt.  In the remaining fixtures Sittingbourne nulled Shooters Hill by 50 points, whilst the basement duel saw Southwark 38-15 winners over bottom side Whitstable.  HSBC had no fixture this week.

Champions: Dartfordians. Playoff: Beccehamians.  Relegated: Whitstable and Southwark Lancers

Kent 2: Top faced bottom as divisional champions O Wills faced Dartford Valley with a predictable outcome in favour of the top side (33-5).  The key matches were for the second promotion place where despite Lordswood’s 13-28 win at Bexley, Footscray’s 15-23 result at Orpington means that they will be elevated to Kent 1 next season.  In other fixtures Ash were 24-17 winners against Askean and NAG received a walkover against Guys Hospital.

Champions: O Williamsonians. Promoted: Footscray

Shepherd Neame Kent Cups Update
posted: April 12 2013

After some creative fixture scheduling it is beginning to look like the county cup competitions are back on track, with the finals at Ashford on the 28thApril. In the main Kent Cup competition the finalists were already known when the last update was posted and this year’s final sees Blackheath take on Elthamians. Progress in the other competitions is as follows:

Kent Plate: Sunday 7thApril saw both of the semi-finals take place, as Dunstonians hosted Canterbury and following Tunbridge Wells withdrawal Sevenoaks played host to Gravesend. The match between London 2s Sevenoaks and National 3 outfit Gravesend provided a weekend of opposites; for Oaks having run in 56 points against Warlingham in the league the day before, they then ran in 62 against Gs for only 12 in response to take their berth in the final. For Gravesend the result capped a poor weekend after they had gone down to Tring the day before in a match that could well prove to have been a relegation shootout. The second of the semi-finals saw Canterbury travel to Dunstonians and after a good start the city club went into the interval with a healthy enough lead, but then things started to go ‘off script’ and a resurgent Dunstonians came back to book their place in the final against Sevenoaks with a 36-29 win. I think most people probably wouldn’t have pencilled in Sevenoaks v Dunstonians as the line-up for the final at the start of the day, but that’s the great thing about cup rugby.

Kent Vase: Both semi-finals have been completed with OGs beating Ash 31-0 back on the 17thMarch, whilst Kent 2s Brockleians and Beccehamians from Kent 1 did battle on Easter Monday with the promotion chasing Kent 1 club coming out on top 24-35. O Gravesendians face Beccehamians in the final.

Kent Salver: Lordswood’s match against Dartfordians was scheduled for the evening of Wed 10 April, whether it was played or Lordswood conceded is unknown and Dartfordians progress to the final; whilst the other semi-final between Orpington and Shooters Hill is not listed on either of their websites.  One of them must have won and you would  think that they would want to publicise a cup final appearance!

All of the finals take place at Ashford RFC on 27th April, admission is £3 (County Members free on showing their 2012/2013 Kent Handbook) and the programme of events is as follows:

12.00 pm Salver Final

Dartfordians v Orpington or Shooters Hill

1.00pm Vase Final

Beccehamians v Old Gravesendians

2.00pm Plate Final

Old Dunstonians v Sevenoaks

3.30pm Cup Final

Blackheath v Old Elthamians

Former Club Captain in 3 Peaks Challenge
posted: April 10 2013

On 11th May, former 1st team captain Jon Sargent will be part of a group of dads with children at Barming Primary School who will be walking the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge in support of Demelza Hospice Care for Children.  The route, which they are looking to complete in less than 12 hours, covers a distance of around 40km and includes 5,200ft of climbing. 

The team are aiming to raise at least £2,000 and Jon would really appreciate any support for this fantastic local charity which provides care and support to children who are not expected to reach adulthood, and also provides support to their families.

Please visit give what you can.

Many thanks

Farnham Festival - A Word of Thanks from Charlie
posted: April 09 2013

A Very Special Thankyou to all the Coaches within the Mini/Midi Section who helped put the Festival together, the Parents who helped out before & after.Bob Beney for greeting our guests from Farnham, Richard Ewence who was with us all day & helped with every job he could, Carol who helped me with so much in advance & on the day, Liz & Helen who as usual did a brilliant job manning the bar & bbq.The Vets who managed the parking, the Pitch Marshalls, Ben Court & Master Price & to the U16 parents Tony, Karen, Trina, Dave, Jo, Yve, Ellie, Ryan & Olly who kept everyone fed & watered throughout the day & me entertained & sane through the radio’s.

Shop News
posted: April 09 2013

Please see the Notice in the section below in respect of ordering a club Hoodie.

In addition for those members interested in the new design club playing shirts, please be aware of the following

We have received over the course of the season a few requests to purchase a club playing shirt. As these are made especially for us by Samurai we only place an order once a year for the playing shirts for the new season. Please note that the base shirt design can incorporate a number or name to personalise your purchase. Details of how to order a Club Shirt will be advised in the next few weeks via the website.

Also please see the New Shirt Design notice below.

A word from the President
posted: April 09 2013

As President of Maidstone Rugby it gives me great satisfaction seeing so many young rugby players from Maidstone and visiting clubs enjoying themselves at The Mote on Sunday.
Many will progress to more senior sides in the club and in time will benefit as I have from this great game,
BUT Sunday would not have been possible was it not for the tremendous planning,hard work and time spent before and during the event.  You volunteers are the life blood of the club.

With particular thanks to Charley I thank you all

Bob Beney

Mini/Midi festival Raffle Prizes
posted: April 07 2013

There were some fantastic raffle prizes available at today's festival.  Many thanks to the donors of the prizes and to all the festival-goers who bought tickets.

The results were:

1) Signed Exeter Chiefs Shirt      Yellow ticket  number 601

2) Golf Day at Cherry Lodge Golf Course     Yellow ticket number 694  (Claimed)

3) 4 Entry tickets for Disneyland in Florida, California, Hong Kong or Paris  Pink Ticket 47 (Claimed)

4) 2 Tickets for the Aviva Premiership Final   Pink Ticket 54   (Claimed)

5) Round of Golf for 4 at Bletchingly Golf Club    Yellow Ticket 600

6) Nissan Watch           Yellow Ticket 500

If you have the winning ticket for one of the unclaimed prizes, please call or text 07710 153363 to claim your prize.

If unclaimed by next Friday 12th April, they will be used again as fund-raising Prizes.





David Lloyd Fitness extends club sponsorship
posted: April 07 2013

The club is pleased to announce that following discussions between the club and David Lloyd Fitness in Maidstone, the successful sponsorship arrangement between the two parties is to be extended into the 2013/14 season.

David Lloyd Fitness will provide the club with a ‘state of the art’ environment in which to conduct their pre-season fitness programme, as they look to plan their preparations for next season’s London 2 (SE) league campaign.

Around the Grounds
posted: April 06 2013

National 1:   ‘Club’ were on the receiving end of a heavy 52-22 defeat on the road at Tynedale, but the main interest in the division lies elsewhere.  Ealing stay at the top following a 41-29 win over Loughborough Students and with only three matches remaining cannot be caught for the sole promotion spot.  Keeping them honest throughout the season Esher posted a big 12-62 win against a Macclesfield side that have been in form recently and the result means they are still flirting with the drop zone.  For the other sides in the relegation battle, already relegated Cambridge held Blaydon to a narrow 23-27 result whilst Wharfedale went down heavily 50-3 to Rosslyn Pk.  The surprise of the day was probably struggling Sedgley Park’s 23-31 win at Cinderford.

National 2(S):   Worthing stay top after a21-30 win at Clifton, although Henley can still catch them and a resounding 65-19 win against fourth club Redruth help maintain the pressure.  Hartpury stay in third spot after they were 18-39 winners at Shelford.  At the bottom end of the division already relegated Barking went down to another heavy defeat, this time 74-10 at Launceston; Lydney are looking favourites to join them after a 24-3 defeat at Dings.  Bournemouth occupies the third relegation spot but had no fixture this week, although they are more points adrift than the games in hand would accrue.  Taunton did themselves no harm in their survival battle as they beat Canterbury 31-17 and likewise Southend , who beat Chinnor by the odd point in the 36-35 scoreline.

National 3(SE): From a county perspective the big game of the day was the clash between relegation threatened Gravesend who hosted a Tring side also looking to avoid the drop; G’s now look to be in trouble as the visitors took the match 22-28 and move four points clear of the drop zone.  At the top Dorking essentially had a week off after relegated Staines failed to produce a team, whilst Bishops Stortford look favourites for the playoff spot against Exmouth or Weston Super Mare , after they convincingly despatched Westcliff 50-5, a result that consigns Westcliff to London 1 next season.  Barnes aren’t out of the promotion battle and a narrow 31-28 win over Elthamians maintains their outside chances as does Westcombe Park’s 15-38 win at CS Rugby.  In the last of the matches involving Kent clubs, TJs went down 39-41 at home to a Thurrock side on the fringe of the relegation struggle.

London 1(S):  As expected East Grinstead remain unbeaten in the table following a 46-12 win against Hove, whilst both Basingstoke and Chichester battle it out for the playoff position against Eton manor after wins against relegated clubs Colfes (10-78) and Trojans (23-57) respectively.  At the bottom end of the division, the last of the relegation places is still not decided, Gosport & Fareham still look favourites despite an 8-8 draw against Dover, whilst a loss for Beckenham at home to Cobham (3-32) sees them as the next likely candidate should Gosport survive.  In mid-table Sidcup recorded a solid 27-5 win against Haywards Heath and Wimbledon were comfortable 35-13 winners against Havant.

London 2(SE):  The only undecided aspect of this division is the playoff spot and comfortable wins for Charlton Pk at relegated Dunstonians (0-66) and Crowborough against Heathfield & W (41-15) sees Charlton Pk in the driving seat, but the issue won’t be confirmed until the last weekend of the season.  Brighton maintain their winning form with a 22-36 win at Lewes, whilst Medway recorded a comfortable 28-17 win against Aylesford, Sevenoaks had a resounding 36-56 win at Warlingham and D&B beat bottom club Thanet 33-8.

London 3(SE):  after last week’s disappointing loss in the Senior Vase, it was probably obvious that someone would catch the backlash; and unfortunately bottom club Vigo were on the receiving end of Maidstone’s vented frustration as they ran out winners by a massive 6-107.  With wins for Horsham against Pulborough (84-5) and Bromley against Park Hse (27-12) confirming the three relegation places the only battle outstanding is for the second promotion place behind Maidstone; and the battle looks to have swung in Tunbridge Wells’ favour after they posted a 3-41 win at Uckfield with Sheppey unable to pick up a much needed bonus point in their narrow 17-19 win at Anchorians.  The last of the fixtures saw Ashford 28-8 winner at Folkestone.

Kent 1:  Despite a narrow 17-15 win at OGs, Cranbrook are now excluded from the promotion battle with Dartfordians looking like taking the title after a thumping 100-10 over Shooters Hill.  Beccehamians 9-39 win at HSBC means that they look like favourites to face Eastbourne in the promotion playoff, although H&B’s 38-7 win against Sittingbourne means thay still have an outside chance.  Basement club Whitstable had no fixture and despite Southwark’s 15-17 win at Kings Coll, they will also drop a division for next season.

Kent 2:  Lordswood’s 20-15 win against champions O Wills may well be a case of ‘too little, too late’ as they are still reliant on Footscray slipping up next week to be in with a chance of promotion.  For their own part Footscray’s 22-32 win at Brockleians tends to indicate that they are in control of their own destiny.  Elsewhere Askean beat Orpington 38-12, with Darenth Valley and Bexley on the receiving end of big scores against Ash (24-65) and Guys Hosp (68-22) respectively.

Interested in Playing for THE County Town Rugby Club?
posted: April 05 2013

Current champions of London 3(SE) and National Semi-Finalists in the RFU Senior Vase competition for the last two seasons, Maidstone Rugby are already planning for the 2013-14 season  and are looking to further strengthen their senior squad for the respective league and cup campaigns.

The club has a well-established coaching structure, as well as full physiotherapy and sports science support. Additionally the club has access to broad range of 'state of the art' fitness training facilities through one of the sponsors (David Lloyd Health & Fitness Clubs).

If you are interested in joining a club that has a professional attitude on the pitch but is very sociable off it, then contact Head Coach Andy Foley via the New Players or Contacts pages of the club website.

Maidstone v Old Maidstonians
posted: April 02 2013

In what is hoped will become an annual event, what a great day at the club Easter Monday was, as Old Maidstonians took on a Maidstone Club XV ( aka The Young Westonians); although looking at the age of some of the players ‘young’ is probably stretching it a bit!.  Spectators were treated to a highly entertaining game as both sides looked to play very much in the ‘Barbarians’ style, running the ball at almost every opportunity.

With the longstanding ties between the club and the school it was great to see some old and new faces playing rugby again, amazing how the oval ball game brings people together in the spirit of the game.

For the record, the Maidstone Club XV(Young Westonians)  won the match, the final score however, remains unclear, although the real winner was the game of rugby.

A Word from the President
posted: March 31 2013

I want to thank you all for your efforts for Team Maidstone on Saturday as we hosted the Senior Vase Semi-Final.  As club captain Ben Williams said after the match, 'this was a complete club effort' of which all of you can be equally proud.

Whilst the day was a success financially and despite the obvious disappointment of the result, we must remember that had the club not played so well all season we wouldn’t have had Saturday’s opportunity in the first place!  Special thanks to the coaching & support team and in particular the players in the 1st XV squad who have made it happen.  There is still plenty to look forward to, in particular completing the league campaign undefeated; then on to next season.

Of course I should not forget those who worked behind the scenes to make the day a success, often unseen, as I said after the Regional Final these events don’t just happen and are the result of the effort and time contributed by a number of volunteers.  Thanks to the Veterans and the 5ths who manned the gates and programme selling extremely efficiently.  To Carol McKenzie and her girls plus a couple of the senior squad players who manned the very busy bars.  On the catering side thanks to Mike Laurenson and Ian Wilkinson who organised the successful bar & burger stall at pitchside.  Lastly, on the less visible catering side Peter & Diane Iles, Diane Hughes and Charlotte Goodbody who ran the operation to ensure that everybody was fed throughout the day.

Finally, to all those who came to support, your support was valued and greatly appreciated by Ben and the team, as it has been throughout the season.

Thank you all.

Around the Grounds
posted: March 30 2013

RFU National Competitions:

Intermediate Cup: Brighton will have to wait to find out their Twickengham opposition will be afyer the tie between Coalville and Bridlington was postponed.  For the Sussex  side the dream of a league and cup double, plus the completion of a unique treble  goes on, as they defeated Cornish club St Austell by 31-19.

Senior Vase:  An indifferent Maidstone performance saw the county town club suffer its first defeat in a year as they struggled to contain a potent Drybrook side with a dangerous rolling maul, which the home side never came to grips with, but also failed to close out their own numerous opportunities as they went down 6-16 to the Forest of Dean club.  Drybrook will face Selby at Twickenham, with the Yorkshire club running out comfortable 8-36 winners in their tie against Stourbridge Lions.

Junior Vase:  Newent’s 10-29 win over Wymondham will see them join near neighbours Drybrook at Twickenham where they will take on the defending Junior Vase champions in Baildon, who just edged a tight contest against O Yardleians by 15-14.

National 1:   Blackheath went down 12-32 on Friday night to the in form Macclesfield, who look like realistically playing their way clear of relegation trouble.  For the other sides that have been struggling sedgley Pk went down 7-62 to league leaders Ealing, whilst bottom club Cambridge lost out 50-12 at O Albanians.  Wharfedale’s match against Coventry was postponed.  Blaydon drop to third after another narrow defeat, losing out 32-34 at home to Cinderford, they are replaced in second spot by Esher who were 32-19 winners over fourth placed Rosslyn Pk.

National 2(S):   Canterbury just shaded the scoreline as they were 27-26 winners against visiting Clifton.  In the promotion battle Worthing had to work surprisingly hard to run out 30-28 winners against Southend and are seveon points clear at the top of the table.  Henley stay second with Hartpury in third spot after 9-41 and 64-17 wins over Chinnor and Dings Crusaders respectively.  Fourth club Redruth fell to their third straight loss after they went down 28-36 to Cambridge based Shelford.  At the foot of the table Taunton did their chances a power of good with a convincing 0-65 hammering of bottom club Barking.  Second from bottom Lydney had no fixture and Bournemouth dropped into the bottom three after a 35-22 defeat at Launceston.

National 3(SE):  The matches of interes here were those affecting the relegation and promotion battle.  At the bottom end of the table Tring received a HWO against basement side Staines and leapfrog Gravesend and out of the bottom three on points difference. TJs 24-38 win at Westcliff sees the Essex club still in deep relegation trouble.   At the top end Dorking beat Westcombe Pk 11-17 to move back to the head of the division, with the result effectively ending any outside chance of promotion for Combe. In the last of the fixtures Elthamians stay in sixth spot after a solid 42-17 win against Guernsey

London 1(S):  The outstanding fixtures in this division were largely ‘dead rubbers’ although Cobham’s 23-28 win at Dover will ease any worries they may have of getting dragged into the fringes relegation danger.  In the other fixture played Havant were convincing 16-36 winners at Sidcup.

London 2(SE):  In the only fixture in the division, Charlton Pk move above Crowborough and back into the  playoff spot after a 27-17 win at Deal & Betteshanger

London 3(SE):  Vigo entertained Folkestone in a fixture that they have attempted to fulfil twice previously since it was original scheduled in January.  Since the original date Vigo’s relegation has been confirmed and any remote possibility of a reprieve effectively went with a 17-40 home defeat.

Kent 1:  The tie between league leaders Dartfordians and relegated Southwark was postponed, elsewhere Beccehamians moved into the box seat in the promotion race behind Dartfordians, as they ran out comfortable 20-0 winners against OGs.  Their cause was also helped by nearest rivals Hastings & Bexhill’s 23-17 defeat at the hands of Shooters Hill, a result that sees them drop to third place and four points behind Beccs, who also have a game in hand.

RFU Cups Update
posted: March 26 2013

Being as the club still very much has a vested interest in the RFU Competitions, here is a quick preview on where they all sit from a national perspective.

RFU Intermediate Cup:  London 2 (SE) Champions Brighton are striving for a unique treble after they won the Junior and Senior Vases in consecutive 08/09 and 09/10 seasons; they will face Cornish club St Austell who currently top Western Counties West and beat Wimborne 14-8 to reach this stage, the other semi-final is between Midland 2 (East) leaders Coalville who will host Bridlington who currently sit in lower mid table in Yorkshire 1.

RFU Senior Vase:  In our own semi-final we know that we will be playing Gloucester club Drybrook, the other semi-final features Stourbridge Lions who made this stage last season and they take on a Selby outfit currently going well in Yorkshire 2.

RFU Junior Vase:  Norfolk based Eastern Counties 1 club Wymondham host Gloucester 1 leaders Newent in their semi-final, whilst the other will see Yorkshire Div 3 club and defending Junior Vase Champions Baildon entertain Warwickshire based Midland Div 4 club O Yardleians, who just beat Harbury in their regional final 9-11 with a penalty that was the last kick of the match.

Shepherd Neame Kent Cups Update
posted: March 26 2013

There were a number of fixtures in the various county competitions scheduled over the past couple of weekends, although the wet weather intervened to see some fixtures postponed, following last weekend’s postponements which are almost certain to be scheduled for this weekend; and with the deadline for the completion of the Semi-Finals being Easter Sunday. it will need some creative scheduling for the respective clubs and the competition committee to get them all completed. As we sit only the Kent Cup has reached the stage where they have two finalists.

Kent Cup:Both Cup Semi-Finals beat the weather with 16th March seeing Westcombe Pk entertain Ldn1 club Old Elthamians, on the day the Elthamians side came out on top in preventing Combe from breaching their defence to run out 6-15 winners. They will face a Blackheath in the final, although ‘Club’ may consider themselves fortunate to have beaten Dover at The Crabble. It took a penalty with the last kick of the match for Blackheath to tie the game at 19-19 after 80 minutes; three further penalties in extra time against a Dover try saw the visitors through by 24-28 in a tight contest.

Kent Plate:Dunstonians had been due to play Canterbury on Saturday 16th March, but a waterlogged pitch prevented the match going ahead. The other semi-final is yet to be scheduled as Tunbridge Wells have still to play their Quarter-Final tie against Sevenoaks that was postponed from 23rd Feb; the winner will host Gravesend.

Kent Vase:A number of sides still have postponed league fixtures to fulfil so it needed some creative programming by their respective FixSecs to fit their cup fixtures in; Bexley finally got to play a Beccehamians side that had a backlog of league and Jnr Vase fixtures and despite that difference in their league positions gave good account of themselves, losing out by a single point in the 23-22 scoreline. Beccehamians now travel to face Brockleians who beat Footscray 8-12 in the previous round. The other Semi-Final sees OGs host Ash (17th Mar).

Kent Salver:Dartfordians had a bye into the semi-final where they will travel to face Lordswood, whilst the other Semi-Final sees Orpington host Shooters Hill after both sides received walkovers against Dartford valley and Footscray respectively.

Outstanding Semi-Finals for the Plate, Vase & Salver competitions are scheduled to take place on or before Sun 31st March, so it looks like being a busy Easter for rugby.

Kit Sponsors Happy with Team’s Performance
posted: March 27 2013

Maidstone Rugby’s official Kit Supplier is more than happy with the club’s onfield record and are on a bit of a role in the London &SE area.  With Samurai clubs Brighton and Maidstone in the National Semi-Finals of the Intermediate Cup and Senior Vase respectively this weekend, the Samurai family has also spent March in title clinching mode; Dorking remain favourites to take the National 3(SE) crown whilst East Grinstead's 'G-Force' and Bury St Edmunds have secured both of the London 1 titles with Brighton taking the London 2 (SE) crown.  Maidstone, the London 3(SE) Champions were way ahead of the game having clinched promotion and their league title with 5 matches remaining at the beginning of March. As it currently stands, between them they have played 130 league fixtures with 125 wins and three of the five clubs still unbeaten in their respective leagues.

Around the Grounds
posted: March 24 2013

The weather had some impact on this weekend’s fixtures with a number of postponements, all of which makes next weekend an interesting time, as while Easter Saturday is generally a free weekend for most clubs, it is what the RFU term a ‘Next Available Weekend’ (NAW), so matches that were unable to be fulfilled this week will feature next weekend.  That should make availabilities interesting for the teamsheets!  Clubs at Nat 3(SE) and below should see the London RFU website for up to date details affecting the county’s/region’s sides.  No doubt it will make life interesting for the sides with outstanding ties in the various Kent Cup competitions, as Easter Sunday is the deadline date for those fixtures!

National 1:  Only three survivors of the weather in National 1, and it looks like it has affected lines of communication with the RFU results showing that leaders Ealing lost out by a single point to their nearest rival Blaydon 12-13 in the top of the table battle; however, press reports and the club’s own websites show that the scoreline was in fact 12-11 to the league leaders.  Third placed Rosslyn Pk stay closed to within five points of the northeast club after a solid 29-9 win against Blackheath.  The only other match to take place saw Tynedale as 20-15 victors over Richmond, despite going a man down to a red card in the first half.

National 2(S):   Only two matches survived the weather, in the first Redruth’s promotion challenge took another knock after last week’s loss they went down 18-14 to Dings Crusaders, in the other fixture Canterbury were brought back down to earth after last week’s win, with a 19-11 defeat at struggling Southend.

National 3(SE):  A 7-26 win for Bishop’s Stortford at Gravesend sees them move to the top of the table, with Dorking’s trip to Westcombe Pk being lost to the weather.  Barnes remain in third place after a 16-27 win against Thurrock, the only other fixture to survive saw Hertford jus have enough to beat CS Rugby 22-19.

London 1(S):  Last season, having set the pace for much of the season, Chichester faltered in the final furlong and missed out on both the title and playoff spot.  This season is very much looking like a case of déjà vu, as a 15-29 home defeat allowed winners East Grinstead to clinch the title and also handed the initiative for the playoff spot to rivals Basingstoke who were convincing 38-3 winners against Sidcup.  At the bottom of the table the third relegation place is still not confirmed, and whilst Gosport remain the favourites to join Trojans and Colfes, a 20-9 win against Trojans keeps their survival hopes alive at the same time as leaving Cobham,  and also Beckenham after a 20-17 loss at Haywards Heath, on dangerous ground. In the only other match to survive the weather, Hove went down 0-25 to Wimbledon.

London 2(SE):  Brighton’s convincing 45-9 win over Warlingham clinched the league title for the south coast club who are looking for a league and cup double this season. With Charlton Park’s fixture against D&B postponed, Crowborough edged into second spot after they beat Aylesford 12-25.  At the bottom of the table the relegation issues were confirmed as following on from last week’s win, Sevenoaks defeated Dunstonians 25-0, a result that guarantees Oaks survival and consigns Dunstonians to relegation alongside Thanet who went down 10-47 to Medway. In the other fixture that beat the weather, Heathfield beat Lewes 20-2.

London 3(SE):  Champions Maidstone fielded a much changed side against Anchorians ahead of next week’s cup match, but still had enough to pick up 19-10 win, but failed to collect a bonus point for only the second time this season.   Tunbridge Wells’ fixture at home to Folkestone fell foul of the weather, although they may feel the advantage has swung their way as Sheppey crucially failed to pick up a bonus point in the 20-3 win against Horsham.   At the foot of the table the battle between  Park Hse and Vigo was postponed and Pulborough went down 0-22 to visiting Uckfield.  In the mid-table battle Ashford beat visiting Bromley 25-19.

Kent 1:  None of the fixtures that survived ahd any significant bearing on the promotion or rlegation issues as OGs recorded a 34-21 win over HSBC whilst Sittingbourne went down 17-23 to visiting Cranbrook

Kent 2:  With the leaders O Wills posting a big 53-8 win against Guys Hosp, the key results really affected the battle for second spot.  With Lordswood tripping up 7-0 at Ash, that advantage for the second promotion place is firmly with Footscray after they beat Askean 10-5.  In the other fixtures NAG went down 0-17 to Brockleians whilst at the foot of the table Orpington came out on top 19-5 against Darenth Valley.

Club launches Trade Directory
posted: March 18 2013

In response to requests and suggestion from members, the club is launching a new Trade Directory service on the website. We think you may feel you would prefer to use other members of your club rather than suppliers you know nothing about at all. Members listed within this register are there because they have asked to be included. 

The aim here is twofold:

To keep business within the club family.

To provide good service/value to our members.

At the very least we would expect Maidstone Rugby members on the directory to offer good service and value for money to their fellow members.  Inclusion on the directory is free to members, for non-members who wish to be included there is a nominal annual fee.

If you would like to be added to the directory then please contact either Dave Tugwell or Bob Hayton.

Note: Access to the directory is through the navigation button located at the bottom left of the website homepage.


RFU Senior Vase Regional Final, 16th March – A Word of Thanks from the President
posted: March 17 2013

Notwithstanding the best efforts of the weather to contrive against us, Saturday’s Senior Vase Final was a great success off the pitch as well as on it.  These events don’t just happen and are the result of the effort and time contributed by a number of volunteers.  In particular I would mention the 5th XV who manned the gates & car parking in somewhat inclement weather; and also Carol McKenzie and her girls who manned the bars which were busy throughout.  I would however particularly mention Peter & Diane Iles, Diane Hughes and Charlotte Goodbody who ran the operation to ensure that everybody was fed throughout the day, unseen by most of us; they did a remarkable job under great pressure given the somewhat ambitious timetable for the day.

I should add that some valuable logistic lessons have been learnt from the day and will be noted for future events to ensure that valued volunteers do not have to operate under the same pressure in the future.

Once again to all who contributed to the day on behalf of the club, many thanks.

Tom Hughes drops in on Twickenham – Literally
posted: March 17 2013

It’s not just the 1st XV that have been flying high lately; at the recent RBS 6N match between England & Italy Tom Hughes demonstrated his head for heights and showed that he has lost none of his spirit for adventure.  Doing his bit to help raise awareness for the RFU Injured Players Foundation (the club’s charity for this season) and with a bit of assistance  from the Royal Marines Commando Display Team, Tom dropped into the stadium  by abseiling from the roof of the stands to deliver the match ball.

Around the Grounds
posted: March 17 2013

RFU Knockout Competitions:  In the RFU competitions the London & SE Regional Finals were held, with all three going ahead despite the weather. In the RFU Intermediate Cup Nth Walsham went down 18-28 to  a Brighton side looking to complete a unique triple having won both the Senior and Junior Vases in previous seasons.  In the RFU Senior Vase Maidstone had too much firepower for a dogged Cantabrigians outfit as they ran out comfortable 57-7 winners whilst in the Junior Vase, Norfolk based Wymondham took the regional title with a close fought 25-20 scoreline against Farnham.

National 1:  A comfortable 53-7 win for Blackheath sees their opposition Sedgley Pk in deep relegation trouble, especially with fellow strugglers Macclesfield posting their sixth win on the bounce as they beat Coventry 16-13.  Bottom club Cambridge went down heavily 64-14 at Tynedale whilst at the top end of the table Ealing tripped up against Fylde, going down 22-15 at the Lancashire club.  Rosslyn Pk may still harbour some slim hopes of promotion as they remain fourth despite going down by the odd point to Loughborough Students 36-35.

National 2(S):  The city club put a serious dent in Redruth’s promotion hopes as they put in a good performance to beat the Cornish club 20-12, Henley’s 64-14 mauling of relegation threatened Taunton sees the Hawks consolidate their second place in the table.

National 3 (SE): No Fixtures

London 1(S): In a mid-table battle the points went to the visitors as Hove downed their hosts Haywards Heath 15-21.  The other scheduled fixture between Sidcup and Havant was postponed for the second timeIn London 2(N) Eton Manor defeated rivals Colchester and look favourites for the playoff spot behind Bury St Edmunds to face either Chichester or Basingstoke.

London 2(SE): Sevenoaks v Aylesford 32-11 Oaks now have 8-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone thanks to a home and away double over Aylesford this season.  After inflicting Aylesford’s first defeat of the season back in October, Oaks really needed to repeat the result on home turf, and a 32-11 win was just what they required to provide some breathing space before they face Dunstonians next week.

London 3(SE):  Sheppey leapfrog Tunbridge Wells and back into second place in the table after a 50-5 win over a Pulborough side that looks like dropping back into Sussex 1 next season.  With the top spot already sorted and the relegation places pretty much confirmed, it is the battle for the second promotion place that holds the interest in this division

Kent 1:Dartfordians stay top after a 47-0 hammering of OGs with Beccehamians now in second spot with game in hand but 11 points behind Dartfordians and only a point ahead of H&B. Realistically Cranbrook are out of the promotion battle despite a 50-0 thrashing of Kings Coll, whilst Sittingbourne’s draw with Beccehamians certainly didn’t help their cause and was probably less than Beccs would have wanted.  At the bottom of the table Whitstable went down 3-13 to visiting Shooters and that would appear to consign them to Kent 2 next season.

Kent 2:  Only one fixture played here as promotion chasing Footscray moved back into second spot behind O Wills after a 3-43 win at Darenth Valley; it looks now like the fight for second spot is between Footscray and Lordswood who are just a point behind in third place.

Old Maidstonians Rugby
posted: March 11 2013

Maidstone Rugby and Maidstone Grammar School have agreed to work together to create an Old Boys Rugby Squad.

Jonathan Davies is looking to raise two teams for fixtures at Easter. The first of ex-MGS boys aged 19, 20 or 21 to play on Wednesday 27th against the school First XV (KO 4.15pm) and another of Old Maidstonians of any age to play on Easter Monday (1st April). Both games will be played at the Club.

Anybody interested in playing in either or both game please contact Jonathan, either via email through the Old Maidstonians page on this website, or he can also be contacted via Facebook

For more information see the Old Maidstonians page by clicking on the icon at the bottom left on this website homepage

Around the Grounds
posted: March 10 2013

National 1:  Blackheath lost out 8-30 to visiting Coventry; in the fixtures affecting the top of the table Ealing just overcame hosts O Albanians 29-32 to stay 13 points clear at the head of the table.  Second placed Blaydon beat struggling Sedgley Pk 32-6, Esher are third after a 43-26 win against relegation favourites Cambridge, whilst Rosslyn Park lost out 35-10 at Fylde.  Richmond fell to a Macclesfield side that are working hard to avoid the drop and picked up another narrow but useful win (15-17)  

National 2(S):  Canterbury entertained third placed challengers Henley and went down 5-31 to a solid display by the visitors.  At the head of the table Worthing weren’t made to work too hard for their 47-3 victory over visiting Shelford whilst in second spot Redruth slipped up against Hartpury, going down 18-25 and drop to third below Henley.  For the sides at the foot of the division, Barking’s fate seems to be sealed as they lost out 10-28 to fellow strugglers Southend,  Lydney still look candidates for the drop despite a 19-17 home win to Launceston whilst Bournemouth’s 35-26 win against Clifton keeps them clear of the drop zone.  Taunton weren’t in action this week and have work to do to move out of the drop zone.

National 3 (SE):Another round of top versus bottom fixtures this week although leaders Dorking hosted mid table Hertford and continued their charge towards the title with a resounding 64-14 victory. Second placed Bishop’s Stortford dropped a point last week but keep up the pressure on the leaders after they beat Tring 37-13. Barnes could not afford to slip up if they were to retain any promotion hopes, and whilst opponents Westcliff hopes of survival received a boost last week, they remain in trouble after going down 26-17 to the third placed club. That result did Combe no favours despite their convincing 10-45 win over already relegated Staines. TJs playoff hopes probably ended last week and they did nothing to help Gravesend’s survival hopes as they beat the north Kent side 20-14 to keep them in the danger area, although despite a losing bonus point and with both Tring and Westcliff losing they still hover above the relegation zone. Elsewhere CS Rugby hosted Elthamians in a mid-table battle that went the way of the Kent club 22-29

London 1(S): E Grinstead’s charge to the title continues with a 58-10 win against struggling Gosport, a result that does them no good at the bottom end of the table, especially given Cobham’s 16-10 win against Haywards Heath.  Chichester stay in second  place after a narrow 23-24 result at Wimbledon, with Basingstoke still a couple of points behind following their 7-36 win at Beckenham. At the foot of the table Trojans are relegated by the loss to visiting Dover (16-29) and Colfes went down 8-16 to visiting Hove, a result that also sees their relegation confirmed. Sidcup’s match against Havant was postponed.

London 2(SE): This week’s battles were very much top v bottom affairs as favourites for the title Brighton travelled to face a struggling Dunstonians in desperate need of a win and put the relegation threatened side to the sword 5-59,  In the battle for the playoff spot a 25-18 for Charlton Pk against Sevenoaks keeps them in the box seat and did nothing to help Sevenoaks survival cause, whilst Crowborough despatched relegated Thanet 53-0. In mid-table D&B and Medway played out an 18-18 draw, whilst Warlingham beat H&W 31-9, finally Lewes lost to visitors Aylesford 20-27

London 3(SE): Having secured the title last weekend Maidstone travelled to face second placed Sheppey, and they offered no favours as they ran out convincing 3-33 winners in muddy conditions. That result in the short term helps Tunbridge Wells in their challenge for the second promotion spot as they were 13-31 winners at  Bromley, the result sees wells move up to second spot and four points clear of Sheppey although the ‘Islanders’ have a match in hand against Pulborough next week.  Losses for the bottom three clubs confirmed their relegations, as bottom Vigo’s 0-17 loss at home to Ashford sees their relegation confirmed and Pulborough’s 28-8  defeat to Folkestone also confirms their drop to the county leagues a result that combined with Park House’s 38-3 loss to Anchorians also sealed their fate*.   In the mid-table Sussex derby between Horsham and Uckfield, two clubs locked together on points, saw honours even, as they fought out an 11-11 draw.

*Assuming 3 teams are relegated, as only 2 went down last season despite 3 coming up.

Kent 1:Some key battles here and at the top Dartfordians took a major step to the title with a 49-0 hammering of second club Hastings & Bexhill, although Beccehamians with games in hand keep up the pressure after they beat Kings Coll 0-41. Sittingbourne are now out of the equation as they lost heavily (49-7) at HSBC. At the bottom of the table, after years of narrow escapes, Whitstable’s relegation is all but confirmed after they narrowly lost out 12-14 to OGs, elsewhere Cranbrook’s losing streak ended as they beat by Shooters Hill 24-19. Southwark had no fixture this week.

Kent 2: Leaders O Wills had no match this week but have sufficient of a cushion to still remain favourites for the title.  On paper the two sides vying for second spot had straightforward although Footscray’s match at bottom club Darenth Valley fell foul of the weather, Lordswood played host to Orpington and racked up a half-century of unanswered points (50-0) to move into second spot.  In the other fixtures Guys Hosp beat Ash by a point in the 27-26 score and NAG were 15-11 winners over Bexley.

A word from the skipper
posted: March 04 2013

Wow, well what can I say.....

Saturday 2nd March will certainly be a date that I’ll remember for the rest of my playing days. It was a day where everything came together. Weeks.....months of planning, hard work, grit, determination as well as a collective desire. A day where you could literally feel the darker times being banished even more and a weight being lifted from the clubs shoulders.

When I say the club, I mean the club. From the guys on the pitch to the amazing volunteers. The support staff, the mini’s, other senior sides and of course the loyal supporters. Saturday was all about THE CLUB.

The easy thing to do now would be to relax and pat ourselves on the back, however this would be such a waste. We must push on to better ourselves. We must keep focused on our short and long term goals. We are doing well, but we still have so much more to give. I for one cannot wait.

Ben Williams

Objective 2 - Mission Accomplished "CHAMPIONS"!!
posted: March 02 2013

London 3(SE) Champions 2012-13

Whilst both Head Coach Andy Foley and the team themselves weren’t happy with the level of performance in Pulborough as they secured promotion to London 2(SE) for next season; they can have no such reservations about an outstanding performance against another Sussex club, as they ran in 15 tries to collect the bonus point win that was needed to claim the league title for the season. Tries for skipper Ben Williams, Mark Dorman and Willie Brown amongst others gave the county town club a storming 95-12 win, a result that despite second placed Sheppey’s 20-52 result at Park Hse, sees the team 26 points clear of the islanders, with only 25 points available to them from their last five league fixtures.

The county town club travel to face Sheppey next week and will be offering no favours as they look to go through the league season unbeaten, especially with the North Kent club vying for the second promotion place with Tunbridge Wells.

Around the Grounds
posted: March 02 2013

National 1: Club were solid 26-58 winners as they took on basement club Cambridge, a result that does Cambridge no favours after fellow strugglers Macclesfield beat Tynedale 31-29.  At the head of the table Ealing were 41-13 winners against Wharfedale to stay top, with Blaydon still in second spot despite going down 27-42 at home to Loughborough Students.  Third placed beat Cinderford 37-41, with Rosslyn Pk in fourth spot after a 28-20 win against Richmond.

National 2 (S):  City club Canterbury lost out 40-31 on their trip to Cambridge based Shelford; at the top of the table Worthing beat Dings Crusaders 26-45.  Second placed Redruth were convincing winners as they hammered Lydney 69-0 and third placed Henley were equally as convincing as they beat Barking 65-7with fourth club Hartpury were also in the points as they beat Chinnor 52-7.  In the relegation danger struggling Taunton’s woes weren’t helped by a 17-22 defeat by Launceston, whilst Southend lost out 22-23 to Bournemouth.

National 3(SE):All the Kent clubs had fixtures that had a direct impact on the promotion and relegation battles; sixth placed Elthamians may be out of the promotion mix but took on leaders Dorking with the Surrey club convincing  3-29 winners.   TJs travelled to second club Bishop‘s Stortford knowing a win was essential if they were to retain even an outside chance of a playoff spot, in the end they lost out by a single point in the 26-25 scoreline but still came away with two bonus points.   The battle between Barnes and Gravesend was  an interesting  clash, with Barnes needing a win to realistically stay in the promotion mix, whilst for G’s a win was essential to pull clear of the relegation battle just below them;  the result went the way of the promotion challengers as they won out 23-26 in a tight  match, although the result increases the buffer between Gs and Tring just below them.   Westcombe Pk travelled to relegation threatened Tring and an 18-32 win keeps their outside chances alive as well as doing Gravesend a favour.  Elsewhere, bottom side Staines went down heavily to Hertford 79-11 whilst fellow strugglers Westcliff put in a good performance against visiting Guernsey to run out 29-8 winners.

London 1(S): East Grinstead look to have just about sewn up the title after a 5-93 win at Trojans, a result that would seem to have sealed the Eastleigh club’s fate at the foot of the table.  Second placed Chichester maintain a two point margin over Basingstoke after they stuttered to a 4-5 win over visiting Colfes; Basingstoke meanwhile were 66-21 winners against Cobham. That result combined with Gosport & Fareham’s 26-20 win against Wimbledon means that the battle to avoid the last relegation spot is still not settled.  In the mid-table contests, Dover were 16-0 winners against Haywards Heath, Havant were convincing 53=19 winners again Beckenham and Hove overcame Sidcup 40-17

London 2(SE):  In the battle at the head of the table Charlton Park lost out to leaders Brighton 36-17, a result that means that Crowborough close the gap on the playoff spot after they beat Medway 25-28 in a tight battle at Priestfields.  Fourth placed Lewes stuttered to an 11-20 win at bottom club Thanet whilst their fellow relegation strugglers both lost out, as Dunstonians just missed the losing bonus point as they went down 27-19 at Heathfield & W and Sevenoaks fell to a visiting D&B side 6-19. The mid-table battle went the way of the home side by the narrowest of margins as Aylesford beat Warlingham 32-31.

London 3(SE):  L3SE are the first of the relevant regional leagues to have their title decided as Maidstone clinched the league title and now can’t be caught with 4 matches to spare, the county town club secured the title with a resounding 95-12 win in front of a home crowd against Horsham at The Mote. The other key results at the top of the table involved Sheppey and Tunbridge Wells. Both sides were facing relegation candidates in Park Hse and Vigo with both posting winning results with Sheppey 20-52 winners and Well sposting a  46-0 result.  In the mid-table fixtures, Ashford beat Anchorians 25-17 whilst Bromley posted a 5-40 result at Pulborough. In the last of the fixtures Uckfield are still vying for top spot out of the Sussex clubs, as they ran out 19-5 winners against visiting Folkestone.

Kent 1:  With leaders Dartfordians having no fixture it as a chance for the chasing pack to close up, with all the leading contenders posting winning results; second club Hastings & Bexhill posted a 36-12 win over a Cranbrook side whose early season promise has dissolved away.  A 46-18 win for Beccehamians over Southwark moves them into third place whilst Southwark look destined for the drop.  Sittingbourne lay in fourth spot after they recorded a narrow 22-19 win against relegation candidates Whitstable.  In the remaining fixtures, OGs eat Kings Coll 46-19 and Shooters Hill were 20-17 winners against HSBC.

Kent 2:  A 46-0 win against visiting AG keeps O Wills in top spot with Footscray moving into second place after they beat Lordswood 8-5 in a hard fought contest. At the bottom Darenth Valley lost out heavily at Askean (49-5) and Orpington suffered a similar fate against Guys Hosp as they went down 14-59.  The remaining fixture was between Bexley & Brockleians, and went the way of the visitors as Brocks took the spoils in a hard fought 9-11 battle.  Ash had no fixture this week.

Shepherd Neame Kent Cups Update (Updated 28 Feb)
posted: February 25 2013

As the second half of the season is well underway, clubs have been looking to fit in their respective fixtures in the various strands of the Shepherd Neame Kent Knockout competitions, although the weather is still having its say in procedures.

In the Kent Cup the Sunday 24th Feb saw Westcombe Park entertain Medway, in fact due to the requirement to clear postponed league fixtures at 1st XV level on what were originally free weekends, both clubs honoured the fixture by fielding their respective 2nd XVs, something which to their credit Aylesford and Charlton Pk did last season when they had a similar fixtures backlog. As was probably expected Combe’s second string proved much too strong for Medway’s Extra 1sts, taking the tie by a resounding 72-0. The Wednesday prior saw Aylesford host Elthamians under lights and go down heavily in a 7- 47 defeat.  Blackheath and TJs also took the opportunity to play their fixture in midweek, with Blackheathens having just a bit too much for TJs as they ran out 28-16 winners after only leading narrowly 10-9 at the break.  Information on the Dover v Ashford fixture appears non-existent as Dover don’t show cup matches on their website fixture schedule, and Ashford’s website also doesn’t list cup fixtures and also hasn’t been updated since mid-January.

In the Kent Plate, Canterbury hosted Ldn 2 side Deal & Betteshanger; given their national league status the city club has certain limitations placed on it and the competition is competed by their Pilgrims XV, although in the end the 22-20 scorline was a bit closer than the city club would have liked. Tunbridge Wells were due to host Sevenoaks in their plate fixture but the match was postponed due to unplayable pitch conditions at St Marks.  Another match played in midweek was the fixture between Gravesend and Anchorians with the difference between Nat 3(SE) and Ldn 3(SE) showing as Gs eased past Anchorians by 45-8 Gravesend   The last of the ties saw a Sunday fixture as Dunstonians hosted Sheppey in what was a very tight battle with ODs just getting the edge on the visitors and winning by the odd point in the 15-14 scoreline.

In the second tier competition the Kent Vase, the first of the fixtures saw Cranbrook elect to play their match against OGs in midweek at Aylesford’s ground; and on a chilly evening they went out of the competition 19-29 despite looking quite comfortable at the half-time interval.  Askean travelled to take on an Ash side that had a good run in the competition last season and with a 29-7 win are probably looking for the same again this time round.   In the outstanding matches to be played, Footscray went down 12-8 against Brockleians on the evening of Wed 27thFeb, leaving just the Beccehamians against Bexley outstanding due to Beccs good run in the RFU Junior Vase.

In the first round matches from  the Kent Salver competition Orpington received a walkover against Dartford Valley  whilst Greenwich hosted Kent 2 side Lordswood, however trying to find any trace of a result from clubs that seldom update their websites is a bit like looking for ‘hen’s teeth’!  The remaining two fixture line ups were dependant on the outcome Kent Vase matches and see Dartfordians with a bye as a result of Ash defeating Askean, whilst Footscray's loss to Brockleians means they will face Kent 1 club Shooters Hill,

Are you ready for ‘Mad March’?
posted: February 24 2013

With promotion secured the ‘Mad Hatter’ himself, club captain Ben Williams leads us into Mad March, and what a month it could be.  To kick us off we entertain Sussex club Horsham in a league fixture that could see the 1stXV clinch the London 3(SE) league title.

As if that wasn’t enough, after a brief sojourn on the 9th March in windswept Sheppey, who are also chasing promotion, we then host the Regional Final of the RFU Senior Vase.  The match is on the 16th March which is St Patricks weekend, so no doubt  there’ll be plenty of the ‘black stuff’ to drink, with the ‘Little Leprechaun’ himself, Jim Tinsley mobilising the ‘Old Boys’ for the day, not to mention organising a jazz band to help things along.  Of course not forgetting the rugby as a young Mustangs XV will face Maidstone Grammar School 1st XV before the main event, when the 1st XV take on Cambridge based London 3(NE) club Cantabrigians for a place in the National Semi-Final on the 30th March, for which the winners have a home draw.  Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, we have the little matter of hosting Gillingham Anchorians on the 23rd March for their first visit to The Mote in a competitive league match.

So get yourself down to the club and support the ‘Mad Hatter’, not to mention the 1stXV as they continue their quest for glory.

Objective 1 – Mission Accomplished.
posted: February 24 2013

The first of the objectives set out for the senior squad by DoR Andy Foley in the run up to the 2012/13 season was accomplished this weekend, although not perhaps with as much panache as he would have liked, as the 1st XV’s 17-37 bonus point win at Sussex club Pulborough means that they are now 27 points ahead of third placed club Tunbridge Wells and therefore cannot be caught for one of the two promotion places.  Sadly, the result may well also consign Pulborough to county rugby next season, as relegation is looking more and more likely for what has been one of the most welcoming and friendly clubs the 1stXV have visited on their travels during this campaign.

Polish U20 Internationals Trial with the club
posted: February 24 2013

Thanks to the assistance of Maidstone player and former Polish U20 international Michal Majcher, the club has been hosting two current Polish players from the SKRA Warsawa club.  Polish U20 2ndRow forward Pawel Poniatowski and National 7s player Maciek Matusewicz have spent the past three weeks with the club. Unfortunately player registration limitations have meant that they have been restricted to playing for the Mustangs XV on a trial basis for both parties, with the club looking at their potential for next season as well as giving them the opportunity of an extended taster session in English rugby. They have both acquitted themselves well in fixtures against Bromley, O Colfeians and Pulborough, ably demonstrating their potential; and whilst Maciek still has to complete his university studies back home in Warsaw, 6’7” Pawel looks like returning to join the senior squad for pre-season training in the build-up to next season.

Photo (L to R):  Maciek Matusewicz, Pawel Poniatowski & Michal Majcher

Around the Grounds
posted: February 24 2013

National 1: The only fixtures at this level involved the relegation candidates with bottom club Cambridge hosting fellow strugglers Macclesfield, the result went the way of  the visitors (24-27) but they will need more positive results if they are to survive. Fellow strugglers Sedgley Pk hosted Fylde with the visitors having too much firepower on the day and running out convincing 20-59 winners to leave the Manchester based club still in deep trouble.  In the last of the fixtures Wharfedale took on visiting Loughborough Students with the Yorkshire club coming out on top 33-22.

Nationals 2(S): A number of matches here that affected both the top and bottom of the table.  Leaders Worthing were convincing winners as they posted a 53-0 scoreline against visitors Lydney.  Redruth stay in second spot after a 46-17 win over Barking whilst Hartpury’s 57-32 win over Bournemouth confirms their fourth spot.  At the bottom of the table wins for both Southend (48-24 v Clifton) and Taunton (28-12 v Shelford) mean the Essex side can still avoid the drop and Taunton were able to move out of the drop zone.

National 3(SE): TJs and Westcombe Pk were only separated in fourth and fifth place by points difference at the start of the day, however, following a 16-11 defeat at Guernsey, TJs have now fallen behind, with ‘Combe’  posting a convincing 35-18 win over Thurrock to stay in touch with the top three.   Elthamians 6-31 win at Hertford moves them above CS Rugby and into sixth place

London 1(S): Results from both ends of the table as East Grinstead confirmed their title credentials as they moved 15 points clear at the top of the table, despatching Colfes 0-76. Bottom club Trojans and fellow relegation candidates Gosport & Fareham both fared badly as they went down 38-0 and 15-13 to Sidcup and Beckenham respectively; although Gosport’s bonus point may yet be useful as fourth from bottom Havant aren’t out of the woods yet, although a19-15 win against  visitors Hove will go some way to keeping them out of danger.

London 1(N): A quick look at who the London 1 (S) playoff contenders may face at the end of the season; Bury St Edmunds are the clear leaders in the division with Eton Manor in second spot and with clear space between them and third placed Letchworth.

London 2(SE):  Interest at both the top and bottom ends of the division in these rearranged fixtures. At the top leaders Brighton travelled to take on Aylesford and in a one sided match inflicted Aylesford’s second heavy defeat in a week as the league leaders ran out 10-55 winners. Charlton Pk now look like the favourites for the playoff spot following a convincing 49-5 win against bottom side Thanet, although Crowborough could still have a say in the matter after they won 12-25 at Warlingham. Dunstonians’ couldn’t produce a repeat of last week’s home form as they went down 12-27 to Medway and remain in relegation trouble at the bottom end of the table.

London 2(SW):  At the top the battle looks like being between Chobham and a Sutton & Epsom side looking to go straight back up the London 1.  In addition Guildford and Tottonians are not out of the battle for the playoff spot with 5 matches to go.

London 3(SE):Folkestone’s visit to bottom club Vigo was postponed again, this time due to frozen pitches.  Elsewhere, Pulboroughwere unable to halt what looks like being Maidstone’s march to the league title, with the county town club securing promotion with five matches remaining after a disappointing performance in their 17-37 win at the West Sussex club, which they summed up as a ‘bad day at the office’.   Park House’s woes continued as they suffered another defeat, this time going down by the more modest score of 26-0 at the hands of Ashford.  Whilst mathematically any one of the bottom three could still survive, realistically it is extremely unlikely and to quote a Pulborough source “the fat lady having cleared her throat is now running up and down a few scales”.  However, what is not clear is how many clubs will go down, in the end it was only two last season, although three came up; so there is still possibly something to play for yet.

Kent 1: Early in the week after being ruled out of the Junior Vase,and according to their website Dartfordians were scheduled to play OGs, come Saturday all traces erased, so what’s happening there I’m not sure.  In the matches that did take place Hastings & Bexhill overcame Kings Coll 17-31 to maintain their promotion challenge, Shooters Hill only just beat Southwark 18-20 to stay in with an outside promotion chance whilst what looked like a promising season for Cranbrook on several fronts at the season’s mid-point, appears to have fizzled into mediocrity with a 14-5 defeat at the hands of Whitstable.

Kent 2:The two fixture played in this division went with form as league leaders O Wills thrashed Ash 56-0 whilst Footscray maintained some promotion hopes after they beat NAG 15-22.

RFU Senior Vase:

Ldn & SE S-Final: Maidstone now know they will face Cambridge club  Cantabrigians in the Regional Final of the RFU Senior Vase at The Mote on 16th March, after they beat Beccles for the third time this season 12-13 in a tight contest in their semi-final postponed from earlier this month. The winners of that match will host Drybrook after the Gloucester club beat Marlborough 7-39 in the SW Regional Final.  Elsewhere in the regional element of the competition Manchester club Trafford will face Yorkshire based Selby in the Northern final whilst Stourbridge Lions take on O Leamingtonians in the Midland final.

Junior Vase:  This competition is a round behind the other two RFU knockout competitions, hence the extra date of fixtures for the Regional Semi-Finals.  In recent seasons the Kent sides have tended to fall by the wayside fairly early in the competition but this season things been different and saw three surviving clubs from an extremely competitive Kent Div 1 in the last round, unfortunately two were drawn against each other meaning one was lost, more of that later.  In the first of the Regional Semi-Finals Beccehamians travelled to face Norfolk side Wymondham who currently top Eastern Counties 1.  Unfortunately the last of the county’s sides fell to a heavy 50-10 defeat to the Norfolk club.

In the other Kent 1 leaders Dartfordians were due to host Farnham who are currently top of Surrey 1, however, matchcard issues from their tie against Cranbrook saw them disqualified and ironically the place couldn’t be taken by Cranbrook either for similar reasons, leaving Farnham with a bye to the Regional Final where they will face Wymondham.

Situations Vacant - Volunteers Required **UPDATED**
posted: January 17 2013

As  the club continues to develop, a number of roles have been identified that require volunteer support as listed below.  Whilst there has been some interest in some of the roles outlined below there is still a need to fill other roles and also to identify understudies and assistants for the more challenging or diverse positions.

1st XV Manager:  Due to a house move away from the immediate Maidstone area, Fin Davis will be standing down as 1st XV Manager at the end of the current season and a volunteer is required to take on this key role with the club’s senior squad.  As 1st XV Manager, you will represent the team to the club management, including the Director of Rugby, the Fixture Secretary and Coaching Team. It’s up to you to keep the 1st XV up to date on club requirements as the team's key administrative figure, ensuring the smooth running of team affairs.

Anyone interested in this role should contact Andy Foley either by email of phone via the website contacts page.

Grant Manager:  As the Grants Manager for the club you will be responsible for identifying, applying for, and following up, grant applications. There is a vast array of opportunities to increase investment in the club, and it is the role of the Grants Manager to identify and make the most of these opportunities.  A successful Grant Manager has the opportunity to make a massive difference to the club’s resources.

Anyone interested in this role should contact Bob Beney either by email of phone via the website contacts page.

Credit Control: In liaison with the club Treasurer, the Credit Controller is responsible for chasing outstanding invoices to the club and plays a vital role in the cash-flow of the organisation, ensuring that any credit applied is monitored and controlled.

Anyone interested in this role should contact either  Andy Golding, Bob Beney or Ben Court either by email of phone via the website contacts page.

Fundraing Manager:  The Fundraising Manager is member of the Rugby Committee and is directly responsible to the Chair of House. The post-holder’s primary responsibility is to plan and organise fund raising activities, so that monies can be raised to maintain and grow the Club.

Anyone interested in this role should contact either Andy Golding either by email of phone via the website contacts page.

Detailed role descriptions for all three positions are available to download from the Role Descriptions section of the Policy page of the club website (click here)

A point to consider:

When calling for volunteers to step forward, have you considered that your club may just be run by those who stood still, when you all took one pace back!!!

Around the Grounds
posted: February 17 2013

National 1:  Blackheath won 36-22 against visiting Cinderford to move into seventh place.   At the top, four of the leading five clubs were pitched against each other, with leaders Ealing 33-36 winners at Esher.  Second placed Blaydon were solid 14-28 winners against O Albanians, a result that effectively puts Albanians outside the promotion battle in sixth place. Whilst third placed Rosslyn Pk’s promotion hopes took a knock as they went down 38-34 at Tynedale.   At the foot of the table there were wins for all the bottom three clubs as Macclesfield, Sedgley Pk and Cambridge all ran out winners against Loughborough Students (19-22), Wharfedale (22-26) and Fylde (4-27) respectively.

Nationals 2(S):  Canterbury hosted Dings Crusaders in a mid-table battle and ran out convincing 41-12 winners to sit in eighth place in the table.   At the top of the table Worthing faced Hartpury and ran out 27-22 winners to stay at the head of the table.  Second placed Henley overcame the challenge from Bournemouth 33-54, a result that does nothing for the south coast club in their battle to stay out of the relegation battle.  Redruth stay very much in the hunt despite a narrow 35-34 reversal at Chinnor.  At the bottom, Barking’s 5-54 defeat at home to Shelford sould seem to have them destined for the drop, in the battle between two of the other relegation candidates Lydney took the a narrow one pint win (25-24)  against Taunton, a result that now sees the Somerset side drop into the relegation zone.  Struggling Southend had no fixture this week.

National 3(SE):  The big battle was at the top between Barnes and Bishop’s Stortford with the 24-29 result in favour of the Essex based side putting a major dent in Barnes’s promotion bid, as the Essex club is now 5 points clear in second spot.  An equally close contest between Dorking and Thurrock ended 16-12 in favour of the league leaders and consolidates their place at the head of the table.  In fourth spot Westcombe Pk keep up the pressure for their outside chance of promotion with a 41-7 hammering of visiting Hertford.  In fifth spot, TJs did fellow Kent club Gravesend a favour as they downed struggling Tring 46-20, although G’s could have done with more than just the losing bonus point, as they lost out on their trip to Guernsey 22-17.  Bottom club Staines went down heavily to visiting Elthamians (10-80) whilst the other relegation candidates Westcliff also lost out 27-17 at CS Rugby.

London 1(S): No change at the top as East Grinstead look bound for a second successive league winning campaign after beating visiting Dover 48-10.  Second placed Chichester were 21-38 winners at Sidcup and Basingstoke kept up the pressure for the second promotion spot with a stunning 0-35 win at Haywards Heath.  At the bottom Trojans went down to fourth placed Wimbledon 49-28 whilst basement club Colfes recorded their first win of the season with a 29-22 result against a Gosport side also fighting to avoid relegation, a result that moves the Kent club off the foot of the table. In the largely mid-table ‘dead rubbers’ Beckenham were 25-13 winners against Hove, whilst Cobham beat Havant 36-21.

London 2(SE):  Brighton remain top after a 13-36 win at Sevenoaks  and whilst the result does the Kent club no favours, especially with  Dunstonians convincingly beating Aylesford 29-3 whilst Warlingham were handsome 55-8 winners against Thanet.  That series of results drops Sevenoaks very much back in the relegation dogfight.  Realistically Charlton Pk are the favourites for the play-off spot and they consolidated that position with a 31-10 against Heathfield &W.  Just off the pace Crowborough won at D&B (12-24) whilst Lewes’s challenge really looks to have faded despite a 29-25 win against visiting Medway.

London 3(SE):  At the top Maidstone continued their march to what inevitably looks like being the league title as they racked up triple figures with a 114-3 scoreline at The Mote against a struggling Park House outfit.   The margin between them and chasing Sheppey widened as despite overcoming Ashford (18-3) the island side were unable to collect the bonus point.  In third spot by Tunbridge Wells beat Anchorians 18-25 and remain a point adrift of second place, although Sheppey have a game in hand but are still to host the league leaders.   At the bottom end of the table the ‘shoot out’ between the bottom two went the way of the Kent club as Vigo were solid 34-10 winners over Pulborough   The only other side in any marginal relegation danger is Folkestone, and despite their 25-8 loss at Horsham it would appear that they have enough of a safety margin unless things go really off the rails and other results contrive against them.  In the mid table battle, Bromley hosted Uckfield and ran out 26-15 winners to move into fourth spot in the table

Kent 1:  Its tight at the top of the table but Dartford are beginning to look like the favourites after they convincingly beat a Cranbrook (22-0)  side that is a bit off the pace but has games in hand.  With Beccehamians having no fixture, Sittingbourne could have moved moved into second spot but lost out 22-3 at Kings Coll, whilst H&B kept up their challenge with a 17-22 win at HSBC.  At the bottom, relegation favourites Whitstable’s match against Shooters Hill was postponed whilst Southwark were surprisingly big winners (42-22) against an OGs side probably still suffering a hangover from their midweek Kent Vase win.

Kent 2:  O Wills stay top after a 19-47 win at Bexley,  Lordswood are probably favourites for second spot after their 36-17 win against Askean whilst Footscray went down heavily (57-7) at Guys Hosp. In the remaining fixtures Brockleians were big 61-7 winners against Dartford Valley, whilst NAG won 221-3 against a visiting Ash side. 

Around the Grounds
posted: February 09 2013

National 1: ‘Club’ are still influencing the promotion battle after they inflicted a narrow one-point defeat on Blaydon as they edged the second placed North-East club 20-21; a result which combined with top club Ealing’s 34-17 win over Richmond sees the leaders move nine points clear at the top.  Esher stay in third spot despite going down in another tight scoreline as they lost out 21-20 at fifth club O Albanians, with Rosslyn Pk in fourth place after a 3-16 win at Coventry.

 National 2(S):  Canterbury lost out 31-18 to Chinnor whilst at the top Worthing stay in the lead after they won comfortably 15-43 at Bournemouth. Henley are second and eight points adrift, even after their 15-25 win at Lydney, with Redruth a point behind after a tight 9-10 win in the Cornish derby with Launceston.  Hartpury are in fourth spot a further three points behind after they won 11-27 at Taunton

National 3(SE): All change at the top as Barnes’ 39-21 defeat at TJs sees them drop from first to third; Dorking take over at the head of the table after they were 12-39 winners at struggling Westcliff, with Bishop’s Stortford now second after they beat Guernsey 38-20.  Westcombe Pk stay fourth despite losing out 20-8 at sixth placed Ethamians.  Gravesend are still dangerously close to the drop zone after an 11-31 loss to visiting CS Rugby, fortunately for them, all of the bottom three lost with nearest rivals Tring going down 15-27 to Hertford.

London 1(S):  Yet again the top three all won, with East Grinstead having the toughest task as they beat fourth club Wimbledon 24-5 to stay 10-points clear at the top.  Chichester and Basingstoke remain in second and third spot respectively after wins against Beckenham (31-10) and Dover (0-22).  At the bottom it remains no change, with Trojans and Colfes playing out a rare 0-0 draw, whilst there is still hope for Gosport after they defeated Sidcup 28-15.  In the mid-table battles Havant went down 5-22 to visiting Haywards Heath, whilst Hove were convincing 43-20 winners against Cobham.

London 2(SE):  Brighton’s 30-17 win against D&B plus Charlton Pk’s narrow 23-25 win at Aylesford sees them as the clear favourites for the promotion and play-off spots, whilst Crowborough’s 25-16 win against Lewes sees them move into third and effectively ends any realistic aspirations Lewes’ held. In mid table, Medway’s 45-35 defeat of Warlingham sees them edge clear of the Surrey club, Sevenoaks’ 40-5 defeat by Heathfield, combined with Dunstonians 17-28 win at basement club Thanet means that the relegation battle is still very much alive.

London 3(SE):  Another key weekend at the top end of the division as fourth placed Ashford entertained leaders Maidstone, with the hosts knowing that they needed a positive result to maintain any realistic promotion hopes; in the end in a niggly match, where neither side quite came to grips with the referee, Maidstone came out on top 3-33 to stretch their lead at the top of the roster to 20-points.   The other key match in the division was at St Marks, where Tunbridge Wells needed a winning result to do a season’s double over rivals Sheppey and also to keep alive any promotion hopes they still harboured, a 14-10 win closes the gap on Sheppey but Wells will realistically need results to go their way, if they are to make a return to L2SE at the first attempt.  Uckfield remain in fifth spot  after a 27-7 win against bottom club Vigo, although Horsham closed the gap on them after inflicting Park House’s  second 70 point hammering  as many weeks.  Bromley lost but stay seventh after Folkestone finally managed to put themselves on the winning side of a narrow scoreline as they edged the visitors by the odd point in the 18-17 score.  Pulborough, who remain relegation favourites alongside Vigo & Park Hse, went down 7-27 to visiting Anchorians.

Kent 1: Things in Kent 1 are not as clear as they might seem, with a number of sides having games in hand; however, at the moment Dartford remain clear leaders despite going down 19-12 to promotion rival Beccehamians.  Sittingbourne move into third spot after a 21-3 win against Southwark Lancers, with H&B in fourth following their convincing 35-18 win against Whitstable.  Despite games in hamd, Cranbrook may be beginning to fall off the pace a bit, after they lost out 10-11 to HSBC butdo have more games in hand.  In lower mid table Shooters Hill beat Kings Coll 17-12.

Kent 2: A 36-0 defeat of Brockleians by leaders O Wills, sees them move eight points clear at the top.  Lordswood move into second spot after they beat Dartford Valley 25-32, Footscray sit third just a point behind and despite having no fixture this week.  Elsewhere, Askean stay fourth following a 36-19 win against Guys Hosp, with Ash in fifth place after they inflicted a 26-5 defeat on visiting Bexley.   In the last of the fixtures, NAG’s 25-25 draw at struggling Orpington sees them slip to eighth in the table.

Kent RFU 'In Touch' Newsletter
posted: February 04 2013

The February 2013 edition of 'In Touch' the Kent RFU newsletter is now available and the club feature in several articles.  click here to get your edition.


'Lions' Fundraiser a roaring success
posted: February 04 2013

Maidstone's U13s aka the 'Maidstone Lions' raised over £1000 towards their end of season tour at a fundraising afternoon/ evening on Saturday 2 February at the New Line Learning Academy, Boughton Lane. The event incorporated the England v Scotland Six Nations game on a big - even huge - screen, a barrel of Goachers, copious amounts of fizz (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and a race evening.
Key to the success of the event was the great team spirit demonstrated by everyone involved, whether as part of the fundraising committee, but also those who attended, donated gifts, made or supplied props (including the horses) and mucked in on the night.
Special mentions should, however, go to Richard Jenkins who arranged for the facilities to be available (is this really a school!?) and Dave Grice, the chair of the fundraising committee who's drive and enthusiasm kicked this project off in the first place.

Around the Grounds
posted: February 03 2013

RFU Intermediate Cup: Given North Walsham’s league form and despite being away from home, they started as favourites against an Aylesford Bulls side that are no strangers to the business end of this competition.  Whilst the tiew probably went with form, the visitors were made to work hard for the win as they overcame a dogged Bulls side 0-13.  They now go on to host Brighton who coasted to victory against Hampshire side Portsmouth by a convincing 52-12 margin.

RFU Senior Vase: The fixture between Beccles and Cantabrigians fell foul of the weather and was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch; however, from acounty perspective the tie of key interest was the battle between the London division’s only undefeated sides at this level, as Maidstone hosted L3(NW) club O Priorian at The Mote.  In the end the visitors couldn’t cope with the home sides high tempo offloading game as the county town club ran out convincing 38-0 winners.

RFU Junior Vase: What a shame that at least one of the county’s clubs was guaranteed to fall by the wayside in the Junior Vase as two of the county’s leading sides at this level this season were drawn against each other, with Dartfordians travelling to the Tomlin Ground to face Cranbrook.  It was the visitors that took the honours (7-21) and will go on to face a Farnham side who beat O Cooperians 12-17 in their tie.  The other tie with county interest was due to see Beccehamians travel to the coast to take on an Eastbourne side that currently sit 2nd in Sussex 1, again this tie was postponed due to the waterlogged pitches.  In the other tie between Wymondham and Billericay went the way of the Norfolk club (15-10) and they will have to wait for the outcome of the Eastbourne/Beccs tie  for their opposition iin the semi-final.

National 1: Ealing stay top of the table after a 21-14 win over visiting Blackheath, a result that sees ‘Club’ drop to ninth spot.  Blaydon are second after they posted a 36-31 win against visiting Wharfedale, whilst Esher’s 22-34 win at Sedgley Pk sees them in third place.  Rosslyn Pk are in fifth spot following a resounding 46-10 result over Macclesfield whilst Richmond move above Albanians following their win over Cambridge (7-9) and loss to Loughboro Students (40-42) respectively.

National 2(S):   Canterbury put a serious dent in Hartpury’s promotion hopes with a narrow 29-31 away win.  Leaders Worthing stumbled to defeat by Redruth as they went down 26-22 to the third placed club, Henley remain in second place, despite having no fixture.

National 3(SE): Things tightened up at the top of the table as third club Bishop’s Stortford beat leaders Dorking24-6, a result that closes the gap on the top two sides to just three points with barnes taking over top spot after a 48-15 win against Guernsey.  Westcombe Pk stays fourth after their 12-29 win at Westcliff.  TJs remain in fifth spot after a 40-29 win against CS Rugby and Elthamians round out the top six despite going down 27-15 at Tring; a result that does nothing for Gravesend at the bottom end of the table regardless of their 47-0 thrashing of bottom club Staines.

London 1(S):  No change at the top as the leading three clubs all posted big wins against their respective opposition.  Leaders East Grinstead were 40-0 winner against Sidcup, whilst Chichester posted a 31-5 win over Haywards Heath; Basingstoke recorded a 5-52 win on the road at Hove.  The biggest result of the day came as Wimbledon thrashed bottom side Colfes 78-3.  Gosport & Fareham could yet escape the drop after they posted a solid 25-10 win over Cobham, and Trojans were unlucky to lose out by the odd point, going down 6-7 to visiting Beckeham.  In the only mid-table affair, Dover beat Havant 22-12.

London 2(SE):  With Brighton in cup action, there was an opportunity to close the gap and apply a bit of pressure on the league leaders.  Second placed Charlton Pk closed the gap with a 16-22 win at Medway, whilst Sussex clubs Lewes and Crowborough both posted solid home wins against Warlingham (44-15) and Dunstonians (22-0) respectively.  In the remaining matches Deal & Betteshanger held Heathfield to a 13-13 draw in mid-table, in the relegation battle Thanet recorded their first match points of the season with a 22-22 result against visiting Sevenoaks.

London 3(SE):  After last week’s loss Tunbridge wells needed a positive result to stay in the promotion race as they hosted a struggling Park House side that were looking for a positive result top avoiding falling adrift in the relegation zone.  In the end the St Marks side ran riot, posting a 72-0 rout of Park Hse to narrow the gap by a point on Sheppey who despite winning 5-19 at Uckfield, could not pick up the bonus point win.  Elsewhere Ashford were 19-7 winners over Horsham  whilst an Anchorians side that has held its own in the division this season took on a faltering Folkestone and posted their second draw in as many weeks with a 20-20 scoreline.  At the bottom Vigo travelled to face a Bromley side that they had pushed all the way in the reverse fixture, but on home turf the Sth London side were much more comfortable, running out 37-10 winners

Kent 1: With three clubs involved in Junior Vase fixtures only two league matches took place, whilst neither had any real impact on the top of the table, they certainly held influence over the foot of the division.  With mid-table Hastings beating Southwark 42-0 and HSBC also overcoming Whitstable 17-8 things are beginning to look ominous for the two losing sides who occupy the bottom two places as we start to approach the last quarter of the season.

Kent 2: A resounding 3-65 win for O Wills at Orpington keeps them in top spot, with Footscray in second after they beat Bexley 17-13.  Lordswood move into third place following a 36-5 win over Guys Hosp.  The remaining fixtures were close affairs, as just one point separated Askean and NAG with Askean taking the honours; in the last of the fixtures ash were 14-10 victors over Brockleains.

Dan Caprice extends stay with London Welsh
posted: February 01 2013

Maidstone ‘old boy’ Dan Caprice is now staying with London Welsh until the end of the current season.  Dan joined the Exiles from Northland in New Zealand  in November of last year, originally on a short term deal up until the end of last month.  His first run out for Ldn Welsh was against Gloucester in the LV Cup and he has appeared another five times since then in the Aviva Premiership.

Dan apparently is enjoying his time with the Oxford based club saying "There's a relaxed environment at London Welsh - it's different to any club I've ever been at. Lyn's created a really positive environment and I've learnt a lot since I've been here. You play your best rugby when you're happy and enjoying yourself, and that shines through."

Hopefully we’ll see him back down at the club in the near future.

Around the Grounds (Nat 2(S) Scores Updated)
posted: January 26 2013

Not surprisingly, and despite the improvement in the weather conditions locally, a number of fixtures still fell to postponements as a result of ice or snow bound pitches, waterlogged pitches from the thaw, and in some cases travel disruptions due to the adverse weather further afield. 

National 1: Esher move up to third place after  they posted a 29-14 win over second placed Blaydon, reducing the gap between the sides to a single point, Richmond’s 53-20 win over visiting Cinderford was the only other fixture to survive, with the matches involving Blackheath and the other leading promotion protagonists all being postponed.

National 2(S):   With Canterbury’s match against Redruth postponed, only four matches survived the conditions, according to the RFU's results the biggest surprise of the day was basement club Barking’s resounding 45-12 win against promotion chasing Hartpury; in fact the scoreline is actually the reverse with Hartpury making a rapid start to the match to secure the bonus point in the first 20 minutes to run out 12-45 winners and maintain their challenge in fourth spot.  With second placed Henley going down 19-15 away at Launceston, leaders Worthing stretched their advantage to six points following a 31-15 win at home to Chinnor.  Clifton's 6-13 win at Lydney lifts them into mid-table, leaving their hosts still flirting with the relegation zone.

National 3(SE): With Westcombe Pk, TJs and Elthamians fixtures all falling foul of the weather, Gravesends match at leaders Dorking was the only one of the fixtures affecting the county’s clubs to survive.  However, not good news for the north Kent side as they went down 20-3 in the icy conditions, a result that still sees them flirting with relegation.  In the promotion hunt Barnes did G’s a favour as they beat third from bottom Tring 15-10 whilst Bishop’s Stortford stay in third place after they beat CS Rugby 20-29.  Elsewhere the only other fixture to survive was a battle between the bottom two clubs, as basement club Staines went down 19-35 to fellow relegation candidates Westcliff.

London 1(S):  Only three matches survived the weather in this division, with both promotion chasing clubs Basingstoke and Chichester posting winning results against Havant (38-18) and Cobham (15-31) respectively.  In the other match played Wimbledon overcame visitors Dover 36-12. to consolidate fourth spot in the table.

London 2(SE):  Only two fixtures survived here as leaders Brighton extended their lead to 7 points with a convincing 40-7 win over Heathfield & Waldron.  Elsewhere D&B did themselves a power of good plus put a serious dent in Lewes’s promotion aspirations with a hard fought 13-12 win at the Drill Field.

London 3(SE):  Only 50% of the  fixtures survived the weather leaving just 3 matches taking place; without doubt the key fixture was the battle at The Mote between leaders Maidstone and a Tunbridge Wells side that at the start of the day were vying with Sheppey in the promotion race.  On  a snow covered pitch where the attitude of the players was very much "this isn't the round ball game", the county town side ran out convincing 29-6 winners, putting a serious dent in the visitor’s promotion aspirations and extending their lead at the head of the table to 20 points.  The other fixtures played were tight contests, with both results tied as Anchorians drew 10-10 with fifth placed Uckfield and in mid-table Bromley forced a 19-19 draw at Horsham

Kent 1: Only leaders Dartfordians match against HSBC survived the weather and they extended their lead at the head of the division with a comfortable 34-17 win over the visitors.

Kent 2: Both of the top two sides, O Wills and Footscray’s matches were postponed; nevertheless Guy’s Hosp closed the gap on the top two with a crushing 73-15 victory over Dartdford Valley.  Lordswood dented fourth placed Brockleians outside chance of promotion  with a 14-22 win on the road; in the last of the fixtures that were played Bexley were convincing 49-23 winners over visiting Orpington.

Looking forward:  Originally a spare weekend for most of the London & SE divisions, next week now sees a mix of fixtures, with a combination of the normal programmed fixtures at more senior level and rescheduled matches that were postponed from last weekend.  Additionally the RFU Cup matches are scheduled, with the RFU Intermediate Cup, Senior & Junior Vases now getting towards the business end of the regional element of their respective competitions.

Club Blazers
posted: January 23 2013

The order for the latest batch of 24 club blazers has now been submitted to the tailors, the target date for delivery is by 26th April to ensure they are available for the annual awards dinner.

The following still need to pass their sizing details to Bob Hayton as soon as possible:

Andy Foley & Ben Williams.

Please note that it has taken c2-years since the last batch of blazers to assemble this order, another order is not envisaged in the forseeable future, so if you haven't ordered one, you have missed the boat!!

Around the Grounds - Update
posted: January 19 2013

Well, this weeks summary was pretty simple, with rather predictably all of the league matches affecting the county's clubs being postponed.  The only real point of note that came out of the weekend, was how many people and clubs across both the county and the country, don't know the difference between a cancellation and a postponement!!!

Rescheduled fixtures for clubs at National 3(SE) level and below have now been published on the London & SE RFU website (click here).

Sponsor drops in to watch League Win
posted: January 19 2013

Prior to last weekend’s league fixture against Uckfield, Kevin Hollingsworth from club sponsors KH Engineering Services Ltd dropped in to receive one of the 1st XVs shirts from Head Coach Andy Foley as a memento, and by way a saying thanks for the support that KH Engineering provides.   Kevin has been following the 1st XVs progress this season with great interest, and stayed to watch the side register another convincing league win as the side overpowered Sussex based Uckfield in the last quarter of the match, to run out convincing 50-7 winners.

**Sad News**
posted: January 17 2013

It is with great sadness that the club has been informed of the untimely passing of Ellis Powell, daughter of Neil and Sharon Cole.  Many of you will know Neil and Sharon through Neil’s involvement with both the Veterans XV and also with the Under 16s age group.  The thoughts and sympathy of all at Maidstone Rugby are with the Neil and Sharon and their family at this sad time.

Neil has asked that we pass on his thanks to friends  at the club for their support at this difficult time;  Facebook and text messages are welcome, but in the short term Neil has requested that they don’t receive phone calls.  Visitors are welcome and Neil and Sharon will be at the family home over most of Saturday and Sunday should anyone wish to call to see them.

Josh Pankhurst returns to the County Town Club
posted: January 15 2013

In addition to the recent signing of Adrian Hogben to the coaching and playing staff, the senior squad received another boost this week with the return of back rower Josh Pankhurst to the club. 23 yr old Josh played youth rugby with the club as well as making the transition to senior rugby through the Mustangs XV and then representing the 1st XV. He is a former Kent U20 player and the past two seasons has seen him looking to test himself at a higher level with National 3 club Westcombe Pk, and although having represented their 1st XV in the early part of what has been an injury interrupted season with some appearances in his alternate position of hooker, he has decided on a return to the county town club.  A key factor in his return to his hometown club was the vision of coaches Andy Foley and Lee Evans and the obvious ambition that the club is now displaying and he is now looking forward to completing successful 2012/13 season with the club.

Around the Grounds
posted: January 13 2013

National 1:Club went down narrowly at the Rectory Field to fourth placed O Albanians (27-32)but remain in fifth spot although quite a bit off the pace of the leading contenders.  Ealing continue to lead the way after they won 22-25 at Tynedale, with Blaydon still second despite going down 23-19 at Fylde.  Rosslyn Pk demolished bottom club Cambridge as they got into triple figures with a 106-5 scoreline. Esher stay fourth after they were convincing  64-20 winners against visiting Wharfedale

National 2(S):  Canterbutry were unable to check Worthing’s progress as they went down 17-38 to the league leaders, although Henley remain hard on their heels after a 15-63 win at Clifton.  With Hartpury  having no fixture, Redruth consolidated third place after a 3-24 win at Bournemouth.

National 3(SE): Dorking still head the table after a 16-7 he win over TJs at The 'Big Field', whilst Barnes remain in second spot after they overcame CS Rugby 30-38.  Bishop’s Stortford remain third following a predictable 3-66 win at bottom club Staines and Westcombe Pk stay in fourth place after their 38-20 win did nothing to ease Gravesend’s relegation worries, especially coupled with Tring’s narrow 21-22 win on the road in Guernsey.  Elthamians did their bit to prevent Thurrock edging away above Gravesend as they ran out  28-25 winners against the Essex club.

London 1(S): With East Grinstead winning 5-31 at Beckenham they are now beginning to look like champions elect, especially as Chichester lost out to fellow challengers Basingstoke 26-16, a result that now leaves just one point separating the two playoff contenders.  Sidcup closed the gap on third placed Wimbledon with a 17-10 win over their competitors, whilst Dover are fifth after a 9-15 win at basement club Colfes.  Trojans are beginning to look relegation favourites along with Colfes, after they lost 30-13 at Cobham, with Gosport & Fareham also looking very much like they will go down after only one season following their 12-0 loss at Haywards Heath.  In mid-table the match between Havant and Hove was postponed.

London 2(SE):  As expected the top two sides both won, with Brighton convincing 66-5 winners against visiting Thanet, whilst in a slightly more surprising scoreline, Charlton pK were 28-0 winners against Crowborough.  Lewes leapfrog Crowborough into third spot after they beat Dunstonians 22-36 whilst both Medway and Warlingham remain in fifth and sixth spot despite both losing out; Medway 24-17 at Sevenoaks and Warlingham 27-18 at D&B.  Both were results that ease the pressure on the winners in respect of the relegation battle where Dunstonians now look in real trouble alongside Thanet.  Heathfield also eased any worries they may have had at the same time as effectively ending any playoff ambitions that may have remained with Aylesford, as they ran out 15-6 winners.

London 3(SE): Perhaps the key clash here was that between Ashford and Tunbridge Wells where an adverse result would put a dent in one club’s promotion challenge; in the end in a tight contest it was visitors Tunbridge wells that took the honours by the odd point in the 15-16 scoreline to consolidate third spot in the table.  After last week’s mauling Folkestone put up a much better show at Sheppey, and although the home side took the win, the 18-10 scoreline was enough to deny them a bonus point.  At the top Maidstone hosted the pick of the Sussex based clubs as they took on fifth placed Uckfield, and whilst the visitors defended like Trojans for the first hour, the county town club had too much organisation and firepower, running out 50-7 winners to extend their lead at the head of the table to 15 points.  At the other end of the table Vigo are still waiting for their first win as they went down 24-0 at Horsham, whilst Park House switched places with Pulborough in the bottom three after they made amends for their early season reversal with a hard fought 27-24 win.  In the last of the fixtures, visiting Bromley proved too strong for Anchorians as they ran out 16-23 winners at Darland Ave.

Kent 1:Dartfordians remain at the head of the table by six points after they were 20-10 winners at bottom club Whitstable; Beccehamians are second on points difference from Cranbrook after both sides posted winning results against Shooters Hill (25-16) and Southwark (10-15) respectively.  Sittingbourne keep up the pressure in fourth spot with an 11-17 win at OGs, whilst Kings Coll sit fifth after they won 24-0 against HSBC.  At the foot of the table it is now beginning to look like Whitstable and Southwark are the relegation favourites unless there is a real change in form.

Kent 2:In the battle between the top two, the result went the way of Footscray with an 11-23 away win, a result that narrows the gap on O Wills to just three points.  Brockleains sit third after a 25-14 win over Guys Hosp whilst fourth club NAG were 60-15 winners against Dartford Valley.  In mid table Bexley went down 15-36 to Askean with Ash taking the points 23-12 against Orpington.

RFU Intermediate Cup News:  Brighton will now host fellow south coast club Portsmouth in the regional Semi-Final, after they beat Chelmsford 8-16 in a tight match at the Essex based club.

Kent RFU Support Event – Mon 28 Jan 2013
posted: January 09 2013

Kent RFU will be running another of their extremely informative Support Events on the Monday 28th January at The Village Hotel in Maidstone.  The event will take place between 6-10pm and will include a number of informative presentations as follows:

Revised Rules of Play for Mini Rugby for 2013/14 – 7:00-8:00pm

Gary Townsend, Player Development Manager, RFU

An introduction to the new rules of play being introduced in Kent for 2013/14 for the first time.

O2 Touch Centres – 8:00-9:00pm

Alastair Markes, Head of Rugby Growth, RFU

As the RFU enter an exciting new contract with their longstanding partners O2, they are looking for clubs to help them establish an all new blueprint for running Touch Rugby across England.

RWC 2015 Lead Up & Legacy Capital Funding Programme & Funding for Community Sport post London 2012  – 8:00-9:00pm

Rick Bruin, Facilities Manager, RFU

An introduction to the RFU’s Lead Up & Legacy Plans that recently outlined a £10m investment into Better Facilities in more than 500 clubs nationwide.

Andrea Murphy, Business Development Manager, Kent Sport and Physical Activity Service

Information on current funding opportunities for clubs, coaches and performers. It will also provide some suggestions to help applicants produce a successful funding application.

In addition there will be also professional development staff from the RFU on hand as well as Kent County RFU officers available to chat to.  A buffet and tea/coffee will be available

Attendance at the various presentations needs to be registered in advance; those persons wishing to attend are requested to let Andy Golding know via email, so that a coordinated list can be submitted to Kent RFU to allow them to plan accordingly.

Around the Grounds
posted: January 05 2013

National 1:A solid 15-25 win on the road at Wharfedale moves Blackheath up to sixth in the table, but still a fair way of the pace of the leaders.  At the top Ealing still lead after a 34-13 win against struggling Macclesfield with Blaydon still second following their 24-22 win against visiting Richmond.  There is now quite a gap to third, especially with Rosslyn Pk going down 36-21 at Cinderford, whilst the rest of the chasing pack all won, with Esher defeating Loughborough Students 45-26 and Albanians downing Fylde 31-10.

National 2(S): The city club posted a 22-9 win over struggling Lydney, a result that keeps them in mid-table and does nothing to help their opponents survival cause.  At the top end both leaders Worthing and second club Henley recorded big wins, with Worthing running riot to run out 61-0 winners at bottom club Barking, whilst Henley routed second bottom Southend 81-12.  Third placed Hartpury went down 18-26 at home to visiting ‘Cornish All Blacks’, Launceston, whilst their fellow Cornwall club Redruth had no fixture this week but remain in fourth spot.

National 3(SE): In the top of the table battles, Dorking moved six points clear of Barnes at the head of the division following a 14-22 defeat of the second placed club.  Third placed Bishops Stortford lost ground after they went down 7-20 at home to Westcombe Pk in fourth spot.  For the rest of the Kent clubs, TJs stay fifth after an 81-0 hammering of bottom club Staines, Elthamians stay in mid table after a 10-28 win at Westcliff, whilst Gravesend drop into the bottom four, being leapfrogged by a Hertford side that beat them 20-24; only Tring, Westcliff and Staines sit beneath them and the north Kent club will need to post some positive results soon if it is to stay out of danger.

London 1(S): The leading contenders both won as East Grinstead’s G-Force maintained its unbeaten record with a 40-5 win against Cobham, whilst second club Chichester ran out 36-3 winners against Havant.  Basingstoke remain in third place after they beat struggling Gosport & F 14-57; fourth placed Wimbledon beat Beckenham 19-6 with Sidcup less than comfortable 3-10 winners at bottom side Colfeians.  In the mid table battle at The Crabble, Dover took the honours 23-16 against Hove, whilst Trojans 13-14 loss at home to Haywards Heath still sees the Eastleigh club in real relegation trouble.

London 2(SE):  This division remains a tight contest with any of the top seven clubs in with a shout of promotion, likewise at the bottom any of the remaining five clubs could end up making the drop.  Brighton remain the narrow frontrunners in the division following an 8-20 win over Medway, Charlton Pk move into second spot thanks to a convincing 14-41 win at Lewes and also Crowborough being held to a draw by visiting Sevenoaks (16-16), a result that sees the Sussex club slip to third.  In mid-table, but not yet out of the promotion battle, Aylesford were 16-9 winners over D&B in a tight contest, Warlingham are also still not out of the battle and they kept themselves in the hunt with a narrow 12-8 win against Dunstonians, a result that puts ODs in serious trouble at the bottom end of the table; especially with Heathfield & W running out convincing 12-32 winners at basement club Thanet.

London 3(SE): Maidstone stretched their advantage at the top of the table to 14-points following an 80 point demolition of Folkestone (0-80) and Sheppey failing to pick up a bonus point in their 15-18 win at Bromley.  Third placed Tunbridge Wells were 22-10 winners over visiting Horsham whilst fourth club Ashford struggled to an 8-11 away win at Pulborough.  Uckfield look the form Sussex side in the division after their 45-0 win over a struggling Park House side, whilst Anchorians move above Folkestone after posting a 20-28 win at bottom club Vigo.

Kent 1:It is very much ‘nip & tuck’ in Kent 1 amongst several potential promotion challengers; with Cranbrook having no fixture this week, Dartfordians moved 5-points clear at the top following a 19-48 win at fellow promotion challengers Sittingbourne, Beccehamians move up to third spot behind Cranbrook after a narrow 17-19 win against H&B, although OGs failed to capitalise as they went down 17-12 at Shooters Hill.  At the bottom HSBC gave themselves some breathing space as they beat fellow strugglers Southwark 36-19, whilst bottom club Whitstable went down 12-34 to Kings Coll.

Kent 2:Guys Hosp had no fixture this week and drop to third place following Footscray’s 22-7 win against Ash, leaders O Wills maintained their title challenge following their 16-24 win at Askean.  Both Brocleians and Lordswood lost ground as they both fell to defeats; Lordswood 20-26 at home to NAG and Brocks narrowly 9-7 at Orpington.  At the foot of the table and although still bottom, Dartford Valley recorded their first win in the county leagues with a 37-21 win over visiting Bexley.

RFU Intermediate Cup News:  Brighton will finally have their opponents for the next round finalised as the twice postponed 3rd round fixture between Chelmsford and Portsmouth will take place next week, an alternative venue at Southend is also being arranged just in case Chelmsford’s ground is waterlogged again.

Have your say on how English rugby is governed
posted: January 04 2013

The RFU would like to hear the views of its members via the RFU Corporate Governance Review Consultation Document (click here). Your feedback is important and both Bill Beaumont (Chairman) and Ian Ritchie (CEO) will be travelling around the country in January and February to a series of 13 meetings so that they can hear the views of the grassroots game.

The RFU wants opinions on how best to update the constitution and for you to be part of the process. They want to ensure that they are an efficient, accountable, forward thinking governing body that is ready to meet all challenges and opportunities as they look towards the Rugby World Cup 2015 and beyond.

It is important that the RFU’s decision making is trusted, understood and supported by its members, sponsors, Government, other partners, sports bodies and all across the game. This is why they want to hear from the grassroots; either as individual members, member clubs or Constituent Bodies and are inviting you to be part of the discussion as they prepare for a future that will give the RFU the chance to be the best it can be in all areas.

The nearest local meeting to put forward your views is at Tunbridge Wells RFC on 19th February, 7:00pm for 7:30pm.  No tickets or notification are required, simply turn up and take part.  At each consultation meeting there will be a presentation of the main points, with plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions and express your views on any subject.

Maidstone Rugby 1st XV are Rugby World’s Team of the Month
posted: December 31 2012

The impressive unbeaten run by the club’s 1st XV in both the league and cup competitions have seen them selected as Rugby World’s grassroots rugby Team of The Month for the February 2013 edition.  The magazine will be available on sale from 3rdJanuary.

This is the second time the club has been selected for the accolade, with the last occurrence being back in 1999 when the club had a promotion winning campaign as well as reaching the national quarter finals in the RFU knockout competitions.  Incidentally, it is first time a ‘Head Coach’ has had a team selected with two different clubs, as Andy Foley was coach with Dorking a few seasons ago when they were also selected.

Veterans XV v 5th XV Memorial Match: 5th's Triumph at last!!
posted: December 23 2012

The weekend saw what has become the traditional staging of the annual Veterans v 5th XV Memorial Match which remembers those players who as our Fixtures Sec aptly put it "failed to outlive their boots".  The fixture has never been won by the 5th XV and the nearest they have come was an 18-18 draw several seasons ago; this year however, they have managed to turn the tables.  In a fixture that suffered a long delay through an injury to one of their number (we wish him a speedy recovery) and was completed in near darkness, the 5th XV came out on top in a tight and tense battle by 12-10.  5th XV skipper Ian Ausher was on hand to receive the trophy after the final whistle from Sally McCabe and Brenda Sharples.

500 Club Draw
posted: December 23 2012

The traditional Xmas draw for the 500 Club was conducted by our esteemed 500 Club organiser Dave 'Tuggy' Tugwell prior to this last weekend's fixtures and the winners were announced prior to the carols following the matches.  The winners were as follows:

£200 - Bob Hayton

£100 - Jack McFarland

£50 - Trevor Langley

£20 - Keith Newman

The hon Treasurer will be sorting out payment by cheque for the winners.

Merry Christmas

'The Presidents Christmas Message 2012'
posted: December 22 2012

As we come to the end of 2012 we can look back and see so many good things. There have been so many you can forget!  The national ones have been well publicised but I must mention the Olympics in which myself and Fin Davis were very lucky to be part.  A never ever to be forgotten experience.

I am immensely proud to be your president and to be part of 'this sleeping giant'.  You will see advances on many fronts, playing, in house and ground.  We will be building on all of those in 2013.  With the agreement to unite the Cricket and Rugby under the Mote Sports Federation, it now gives both of our clubs something really concrete to build on.  We can take it and am sure we will.

We are a large club and endeavour to cater for all tastes, sometimes very challenging, you come to play rugby and enjoy yourselves at all levels from the very young to the old.  NONE of this would be possible but for the help, support and time of all the volunteers who make it happen.

I thank you Parents, coaches, helpers, supporters, as well as in particular our sponsors and advertisers without whom we would not be able to function.

I have a new year’s resolution for 2013 and that is to make this whole place an even better place. With some TLC and loads of help this will be possible.

Finally, I must mention the wonderful winning run the 1st XV are having.  A great credit to the whole squad, coaching and background staff for achieving this.  The future looks bright!

It is also the time as well to reflect on those not so fortunate and to remember those of you who have lost loved ones, as this can be a very difficult time.  May God give you strength.

I wish you all of you, your families, friends and loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Bob Beney

Maidstone Rugby

Rugby: A game for all ages!!!
posted: December 22 2012

Saturday December 22nd, 2012 saw Maidstone Rugby’s  Veterans XV take on their 5th Team counter-parts in the annual Memorial fixture.  Whilst primarily being an occasion to celebrate, and remember, those instrumental in the founding of the Veterans XV and past players this year’s fixture offered an opportunity for a current Veteran to take to the field with several members of his family.

Paul Ehrhart (70), although having retired from rugby, aged 69, during the Veterans tour last season will join his son Andrew (49), and two grandsons – Callum (20) and Ollie (18) in what was believed to be the first time three generations of the same family have represented Maidstone Rugby in the same match.  In fact, not only was Paul able to take the field with his son and grandsons, but son-in-law Dave Eiffert also played as part of the 5th XV to make it a real family affair.

Veterans skipper Steve Vincent commented that …”the Memorial Match provides an opportunity for current players and surviving family members and friends to remember those who have given much to the Veterans side, and being a match between the ‘elder statesmen’ of the Club and younger members as represented by the 5ths, demonstrates how rugby is game for all ages. This is particularly apt this year, by having Paul being able to play the game with his son and grandsons”.

Oh, and by the way the 5th XV recorded their first ever Memorial Match win with a 12-10 result.

Around the Grounds
posted: December 22 2012

National 1: Blackheath move up to sixth in the table, just behind O Albanians after a good 24-3 win against promotion chasing Esher; meanwhile leaders Ealing drew 16-16 with Rosslyn Pk, a result that drops Park to third place with Blaydon moving into second spot after their 13-19 win at Tynedale.

Nationals 2(S): After a week off last weekend, Canterbury travelled to basement side Barking and came away with a convincing 10-43 win to sit comfortably in mid-table at the halfway stage.  At the top all of the matches involving the top four clubs fell foul of the wet weather, with the only other fixture in the division to be played being that between Clifton and Dings Crusaders, with Dings coming out on top 15-21.

National 3 (SE):  Maidstone moved 13 points clear of Sheppey at the top of the table after a 36-7 victory over Folkestone in what were greasy conditions to say the least at  The Mote.

Kent 1: An 8-41 home defeat for Whitstable was not the sort of Christmas present they were looking for as they stay anchored to the bottom of the table, whilst the win moves victors Beccehamians up to fourth in the division.

RFU Intermediate Cup: Chelmsford were due to host Portsmouth in the Intermediate Cup with the winners to travel to Brighton for the next round, unfortunately the fixture fell foul of the wet weather for a second time and will be rescheduled at a date to be announced.

With no fixtures now scheduled until the 5th Jan it only remains to wish you all a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

Maidstone Rugby feature in Rugby Club Magazine
posted: December 21 2012

Maidstone Rugby have featured yet again as one of the clubs profiled in Rugby Club magazine.  The Rugby Club website is owned by Mulligan Dufrane LLP and is part of a portfolio of websites and magazines which also includes other sports such as cricket and football.

The Rugby Club website provides up to date information, news, fixtures, results, league tables across all areas of the sport – both nationally from Premiership rugby to local grassroots; including women’s rugby. Additionally, you are also able to view one of the industries leading rugby magazine Rugby Club (which is in its fifth year of print) on this website.

The club is featured in Edition 30 of 2012 on pages 83 & 84, click here to go direct to the magazine.

Cricket and Rugby unite at The Mote
posted: December 20 2012

MAIDSTONE’S top cricket and rugby clubs are uniting to form a federation which will run the 25-acre sports ground at The Mote.

Maidstone Rugby and The Mote Cricket Club have set up the new Mote Sports Federation to manage and fund the high-profile site.  They will still run their sports clubs independently. The clubs have agreed to share site costs and income.  They will work together to improve the ground and facilities and to increase its profitability.

Both clubs have appointed three members each to serve on the federation committee with Glen Aukett, the cricket club Chairman, the first chairman.  Sub-committees will be responsible for the ground, pavilion and finances. If the pilot first year is successful, the clubs then plan to run the federation as a limited company.

The site is held by a trust formed, in 1929, by the then owner, Lord Bearsted.  The cricket club plays on the ground by right and rugby has a 50-year lease, which the clubs have agreed to renew. Discussions to provide improved facilities, including a new pavilion and a possible 3G pitch, have already begun

Rugby chairman Andy Golding said: “We shall both use our strengths and talents to improve this wonderful ground for the benefit of our clubs and people of Maidstone.”

Cricket chairman Glen Aukett said: “Both clubs will be stronger working together and I am confident we can now achieve so much more working in close partnership.”

Sponsor drops in with a promise to find out more about the game.
posted: December 20 2012

Prior to last Saturday’s big win against Vigo, Geert Struyven from club sponsor Crowe Clark Whitehill was on hand to receive one of this season’s 1st XV shirts as a thanks you for the support that the company has given to the club, not only in the current season but over an extended period.  Although unable to stay to watch the outstanding 1stXV performance, Geert has promised to return and get to know a bit about the sport, being from Belgium he has had little exposure to rugby but is keen to find out more; which is probably just as well when the Managing Partner for the company is a keen and longstanding player.

Club makes addition to coaching team and playing squad
posted: December 17 2012

The club is pleased to announce the signing of Adrian Hogben. Adrian joins the club in a player/coaching capacity, with the coaching emphasis on providing technical and video analysis. On the playing side Adrian is a scrum half of considerable experience, apart from being a former Army 'A' player, he was also part of the wider training squad of the Dutch national side. At domestic level he most recently played for East Grinstead and was a key part of their side that won London Div 2(SE), the RFU Intermediate Cup and the Sussex Cup last season.

Head Coach Andy Foley commented. “It’s very exciting that a player with Adrian’s ability/enthusiasm has joined Maidstone Rugby.  Video analysis is a part of the game that is extremely important as we develop not only as a team, but as we strive to give individual players effective feedback on their performance.  Adrian is also a highly experienced scrum half, who will add to the current strength in depth the club has at 9”.

Around the Grounds
posted: December 16 2012

National 1: After a good result last week Blackheath fell to a 14-27 defeat on the road at Fylde, at the top Ealing are four points clear of Blaydon after a 47-11 win over Cambridge, with Blaydon also winning as they beat promotion rivals Rosslyn Pk 28-22.  Esher round off the top four despite a 19-23 defeat at home to Richmond.

National 2(S): Canterbury had no fixture this week, a situation caused by the loss of Rugby lions during pre-season.  However, elsewhere results see a bit of a reshuffle this week as leaders Henley went down 25-22 to Dings Crusaders; Worthing move to the top after a 28-12 defeat of Launceston with Hartpury now second after they beat Southend 39-8.  Redruth stay in the top four after their 39-11 win at home to Clifton.

National 3(SE): The top three all won with leaders Dorking posting a 50-5 result against visiting Guernsey, whilst second placed Barnes posted an even bigger score as they ran out 12-88 winners against bottom club Staines.  Bishop’s Stortford stay third after they were 3-18 winners at Hertford.  After a dodgy start to their campaign Westcombe Pk reach the halfway stage in fourth spot following a 23-14 win over fellow Kent side and fifth placed TJs.  Elthamians sit comfortably in mid table following a convincing 45-9 win against Gravesend who still sit uncomfortably close to the drop zone.

London 1(S): East Grinstead’s G-Force closed out the first half of the season with a convincing 8-34 win at Haywards Heath and now sit 10 points clear at the top following Chichester’s second defeat of the campaign, this time at Hove 26-5.  Basingstoke are a further five points behind in third spot following their 48-5 defeat of struggling Trojans. After Basingstoke there is a significant gap to Wimbledon who had a narrow 17-18 win at Cobham.  In mid-table Sidcup went down 17-23 at home to Dover whilst were 27-17 winners against visiting Gosport & Fareham.  Colfes remain winless at the foot of the table after a 28-20 loss to Beckenham.

London 2(SE): In the least predictable of all the divisions things are beginning to shake out now with three Sussex sides battling for the top spot.  Brighton stay top on points difference despite a 15-22 loss to visiting Lewes, who sit in third spot.  Crowborough stay second after they won 0-12 at Heathfield & Waldron.  Medway are the highest placed Kent side in fourth place after a tight 14-19 win at Aylesford who slip into mid table, with Charlton Pk fifth after a 26-0 defeat of Dunstonians.  Sevenoaks went down 15-20 at home to Warlingham, whilst bottom club Thanet picked their first point of the season with a losing bonus point as D&B struggled to a 12-16 win at the basement club.

London 3(SE): Sheppey failed to collect a bonus point in their 19-5 win over Anchorians allowing Maidstone to stretch their lead to eight points at the top of the table after a 71-14 demolition of Vigo and still have a match in hand which is programmed for next week.  Ashford drop into fourth spot after they lost 16-19 at home to inconsistent Folkestone, Tunbridge Wells move up to third place after they were narrow 6-0 winners against Uckfield.  At the foot of the table, whilst Vigo remain bottom, Park House drop a place following a 16-16 draw with neighbours Bromley, whilst Pulborough pulled off the result of the day, as they completed a woeful month for visiting Horsham with a 22-15 win.

Kent 1: Cranbrook slipped off top spot on points difference following their 15-15 draw at OGs, with Dartfordians now at the head of the table after their 12-34 win at Shooters Hill.  Sittingbourne posted a good 38-14 win over visiting Hastings & Bexhill and after a good start to the campaign HSBC now look in relegation trouble after they went down 34-0 at Beccehamians, with fellow strugglers Southwark posting a solid 17-8 win at King Coll, bottom club Whitstable had no fixture this week.

Kent 2: O wills 40-5 win against Lordswood sees them seven points clear at the top, with Footscray moving into second place after their 22-12 win at Brockleians and Guys Hospital’s 15-10 defeat at Bexley.  Orpington’s narrow 21-20 win over Askean was enough to lift them of bottom spot and they are replaced by Darenth Valley who went down heavily (70-0) at Ash

Bill 'Jimmy' Corbin DFC
posted: December 14 2012

It is with great sadness that the club has been informed of the passing of club Vice President, Bill "Jimmy" Corbin DFC. A long standing member and Vice President of the club, Bill was one of the last of the 'few' that fought as fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain.  One of the 'Ten Fighter Boys' whose wartime experiences were told in a book of the same name published in 1942, Bill went on to write his own book 'Last of the Ten Fighter Boys' which was published in 2007.

A local boy all his life, Bill attended school in the county town before WW2, returning after the war as a teacher at the then Maidstone Technical School.  Bill was made a Freeman of the Borough of Maidstone in 2011.

The club's sympathies and condolences go out to Bill's wife Jeanne and their familly.

Bill's funeral will be held on Friday 21st December at All Saints Church in Maidstone at 2:00pm.

Further details will be added here as they become available

Around the Grounds
posted: December 08 2012

National 1:A solid 21-30 win away at Richmond in what is the world's oldest club fixture, keeps Blackheath in a steady mid-table position; at the head of the table Ealing stay top after a tight 10-11 win at Cinderford, whilst second club Rosslyn Pk were more convincing 36-19 winners against a visiting O Albanians.  Blaydon and Esher both won on the road against Coventry (8-17) and Tynedale (26-29) respectively.  At the foot of the division Macclesfield are now bottom despite a 20-17 win over Wharfedale, largely in part to Cambridge’s 52-17 thumping of Sedgley Pk.

National 2(S):Canterbury collected a bonus point loss (34-27) on their travels to Cornish club Launceston.  At the top of the table the battle between the top two went the way of Henley, who overcame the challenge of visiting Hartpury 22-20. Worthing now move into second spot,  thanks to a 40-57 win at struggling Taunton, with Redruth still in fourth spot despite a 32-23 loss at Southend.  The result still keeps the Essex club in the ‘drop zone’, but with Lydney also winning at Bournemouth, the sides in the bottom three need to start recording some positive results to avoid the drop, particularly barking who now look to be well adrift of the rest and had no fixture this week.

National 3(SE):The top three all had convincing home  results with leaders Dorking 44-5 winners against strugglers Tring, second placed Barnes 45-20 winners over Hertford and finally Bishop’s Stortford 30-10 winners against Thurrock.  TJs stay in fourth spot after a 46-16 win against visiting Elthamians with Westcombe Pk fifth following their 9-30 win in Guernsey. At the bottom end of the table a 20-5 win against Westcliff by Gravesend sees the north Kent side start to put some space between themselves and the bottom three sides, with Staines firmly anchored to the foot of the table.

London 1(S): Both East Grinstead and Chichester recorded winning results with the ‘G-Force’ racking up 67 unanswered points against Havant, whilst Gosport & F proved a stiffer proposition for Chichester in their 24-33 scoreline.  Wimbledon’s challenge looks to be falling away, but they are determined to have a say in the promotion battle as they put a dent in Basingstoke’s aspirations with a 14-5 home win.  At the bottom Colfes remains winless after another defeat (12-18), this time at the hands of visiting Haywards Heath.  Trojans also remain in trouble following their 3-66 thrashing by Hove.  In mid-table Beckenham edged Dover by a point (18-17) with Sidcup posting a good 38-5 win against Cobham. 

London 2(SE):In what is probably the least predictable of the divisions, Brighton remain at the top after a 12-19 win at Warlingham, with Crowborough now in second spot after a 29-23 win over visiting Aylesford.  Lewes sit in third place after their 34-16 win against Heathfield & W with Medway moving into fourth place after they inflicted another defeat (57-14) on a Thanet side still looking for its first win. Whilst Thanet may look a certainty for relegation, there is a four way battle to see who will take the other relegation spot and Dunstonians did themselves some good with a convincing 36-7 win over fellow strugglers Sevenoaks, whilst D&B look like getting drawn into the battle following their 15-22 home defeat to Charlton Pk.

London 3(SE):Maidstone moved seven points clear thanks to a convincing 3-48 win at Anchorians and Ashford’s 24-19 loss at Bromley.  Sheppey were narrow 17-19 winners as they visited Horsham, whilst Tunbridge Wells were also narrow victors on the road, as they took the points against a struggling Folkestone side by 22-23.   At the bottom end, Park House’s recorded their first win with a 8-29 result at Vigo to move them above Pulborough who lost 18-0 at Uckfield.

Kent 1:The top of the table remains the same as Cranbrook overcame a difficult fixture against Sittingbourne to run out 22-15 winners, whilst second placed Dartfordians were 40-8 winners against struggling Southwark.  H&B sit third after they won 25-10 at home to Shooters Hill whilst OG’s tripped up, going down 27-21 at HSBC.  At the foot of the table Whitstable’s fixture against Beccehamians was postponed and kings Coll had no fixture this week.

Kent 2:In the battle of the top two clubs, O Wills beat Guys 21-27 to go back to the head of the table, with Lordswood  in third spot after they beat Ash 10-6 in a tight contest. Brockleians sit in fourth spot after a 26-10 win against NAG.  In mid table Askean went down 23-30 to visiting Footscray, whilst at the bottom Orpington recorded their first win of the season as they defeated Darenth Valley 12-26, Bexley had no fixture this week.

RFU Senior Vase - A Home Draw at Last!!
posted: December 06 2012

The draw for the Regional Semi-Finals of the RFU Senior Vase has been announced and after three rounds 'on the road' Maidstone are drawn at home against the currently unbeaten L3NW club Old Priorians.  The other semi-final is an all L3NE affair with Suffolk club Beccles at home to the Cambridge club Cantabrigians who narrowly defeated Folkestone in the last round.

In the other RFU competitions; the Intermediate Cup is also at the Regional Semi-Final stage and near neighbours Aylesford yet again find themselves with a home draw as they face Norfolk club North Walsham.  L2SE club Brighton are also at home and will face the winners of the Chlemslford/Portsmouth fixture that was postponed last weekend.

In the Junior Vase, which is a round behind the other two competitions, the draw has been a bit unkind for the county's clubs and sees Cranbrook hosting fellow Kent club and league rivals Dartfordians.  Beccehamians have an away draw and will travel to face Eastbourne.  In the other two fixtures Essex 1 club O Cooperians face Hampshire's Farnham, with Wymondham from Norfolk drawn against Essex club Billericay.

All fixtures are programmed to be played on Saturday 2nd February 2013.

WWW Keeping people in touch
posted: December 01 2012

Whilst there is a raft of social networking websites, quite often it is just the normal club websites that keep people in touch, or re-establish links.  Following the Scotland v S Africa match a former member from long ago was minded to ‘Google’ Murrayfield, this led to Rugby Clubs and eventually Maidstone Rugby.  As a result the club received the following email from Dave Campbell who played at The Mote in the 1950s.

 “Whilst at Rochester Math School, I played for the Club 3rd & 4th XV's on Saturday afternoons. Over Christmas, I played for Mid-Kent School Boys - it was thirteen Maidstone GS boys, one from Sutton Valence and me!! Whilst at Bristol University, I played during the vacations.

I am delighted to read at the Club's ongoing success. Apart from Blackheath, it was the strongest side in Kent during my days 1954~57. The Club Captain, Don (surname forgotten), made a rule "Anybody who kicks to touch when he could run the ball, will be dropped for the next game." At the start of the next game, a County player hoofed the ball into touch and was immediately told "You're dropped for next week." - and he was!! That set the tone and the Club really propsered that season.

Giving Servicemen free entry harks back to its founding days. I was told the original club included Officers from the Royal West Kent Regt in the Invicta Barracks.

When my Father was transferred to Canterbury, I played for the local Club over vacations; two seasons in Canada where I helped start a University side and a local side; thre seasons with London Scottish FC; and finally two seasons with Zomba in Malawi. A totally undistinguished but enjoyable rugby career.

At London Scottish, I travelled with Bob Challis, the Scotland hooker. Any relation??

Best wishes for this season”.

Dave Campbell

Around the Grounds
posted: December 01 2012

National 1:  Blackheath were solid 21-14 winners against Tynedale at the Rectory Field to stay in mid table, but at the top of the division there is a reshuffle afterRosslyn Pk went down 33-24 at Wharfedale and with Ealing hammering Loughborough Students 5-41 to go back to the top.  Rounding out the rest of the top four, Blaydon were comfortable 39-12 winners against basement club Cambridge whilst Esher were 35-3 winners against second from bottom Macclesfield.

National 2(S): andy Pratt’s Canterbury side needed a good win to keep their season going and a solid 29-10 win against Taunton keeps them comfortably in mid table.  At the top Henley went down 17-11 to fourth placed Redruth, whilst Hartpury were 42-7 winners against Shelford.  Third placed Worthing ran riot as they won 58-3 against Clifton.  At the bottom of the table Barking look well adrift of the table with Lydney and Southend in the other two relegation places.

National 3(SE): Two of last weekend’s abandoned fixtures were replayed today with both going the way of the clubs that were leading when last weekend’s premature whistles sounded.  Gravesend again travelled to Tring for what was very much a basement battle with the home side coming out on top 23-17, a result that doen’t change any positioning in the bottom four, but a win for Gravesend would have really helped their cause.  Westcliff’s task was much more difficult as they hosted promotion chasing Bishop’s Stortford, going down 8-18 to the side that now sits third in the table behind Barnes and Dorking.

London 1(S):  In the match between Havant and Wimbledon, the Hampshire side perhaps surprisingly came out on top 23-14, a result that puts a big dent in any promotion hops Wimbledon had as it leaves them 11 points adrift of third placed Basingstoke, whilst havant now sit comfortably in mid-table.

Lomdon 3(SE):  In a tight battle at Frant Rd, Tunbridge Wells just came out on top against Bromley in their match rearranged from last week, with the home side taking the win by the odd point in the 16-15 scoreline, a result that moves Wells up a place to fourth spot in the table.

RFU Intermediate Cup:  The result of this round of the Intermediate Cup rather makes a mockery of the competition; with four ties to be played the fixture between Chelmsford and Portsmouth was postponed due to Chelmsford’s pitches being waterlogged.  However in the other three ties, all three clubs that were drawn away from home withdrew leaving Aylesford, Brighton and Nth Walsham with walkovers.

RFU Senior Vase:  A somewhat rejigged Maidstone side travelled to Hertfordshire to face Hitchin from L3NW and despite a number a players missing or playing out of position had enough to run out solid 13-39 winners in what at times was a niggly battle.  In the battle between the L3NE & NW table toppers, Beccles from NE entertained Twickenham and just came out on top 17-15.  Folkestone went down by a similar score (11-15) to Cambridge based Cantabrigians. From looking at league form, perhaps the mosty predictable outcome was the visit of struggling Wisbech to L3NW front runners O Priorians, the scoreline ran true to form as the ‘Twisters’ as they are known ran out 55-5 winners against the Fenland side.

Junior Vase:  Cranbrook knew they had progressed to the next round as early as Thursday evening when O Wimbledonians withdrew; Beccehamians also progressed when Hampshire side Farnborough withdrew.  Dartford did have to take to the pitch but ran out solid 10-36 winners at Uxbridge.  In the other ties, there is some confusion as to the status of Eastbournes match against Bank of England with the London RFU showing it as postponed, whilst Eastbourne’s site show BoE withdrawing.  Elsewhere, Farnham hammered Streatham & Croydon 74-12,  Hackney went down 17-24 to O Cooperians and Billericay beat OMT 18-14.  In the last of the fixtures Wymondham beat Maldon 25-19.

Dan Caprice calls in to present England Shirt to club
posted: November 25 2012

In a week that seems to have thrown up a number of club connections, another of the clubs former players also dropped in on the club.  Following the announcement about Piers Francis move to Edinburgh, Dan Caprice a team mate of his from their days in the youth section of the club dropped in on Sunday morning to make a presentation to the club.  Dan was coached at the club by the late Dave Hughes and after running a short training session with the U16s Dan presented one of his England 7s shirts to club; on hand to receive the shirt on behalf of the club was Ann Hughes along with son James a former team mate of Dan's and current member of the senior squad.

Dan has recently been playing his rugby in New Zealand for Northland in the provincial ITM Cup competition.  Although at the moment he is back in the UK until January and appearing for Aviva Premiership side London Welsh, and had played in the fixture against Northampton the day before calling in at the club.

Around the Grounds
posted: November 24 2012

National 1: 'Club' ended their recent slump as they convincingly beat visiting Tynedale 31-14, at the top of the table Rosslyn Park slipped up, going down 33-24 at Wharfedale and drop to second spot with Ealing back at the top following their 59-17 win over Sedgley Pk.  Blaydon’s 39-12 win over Cambridge keeps them in third spot with Esher in fourth place after a 35-3 win over visiting Macclesfield.

National 2(S): The city club posted a much needed win as they beat visitors Taunton 29-10, leaders Henley slipped up, as they were beaten 17-11 at fourth placed Redruth whilst Hartpury closed the gap on them with a 42-7 win against Shelford. Third placed Worthing thrashed Clifton 58-3.

Nationals 3(SE): A couple of abandoned matches here due to poor light and weather conditions; both matches were abandoned before the 60min point and may therefore have to be replayed.  In the first, a relegation zone battle, Tring were 16-13 up against visiting Gravesend when the match was abandoned at 58mins, whilst in the other Westcliff were 5-17 down to third placed Bishop’s Stortford on the 57min point.  Elsewhere the remaining fixtures were completed with leaders Barnes going down heavily (37-8) at Elthamians.  Combined with Dorkings’s AWO at Staines, they now move to the head of the table, Bishop’s Stortford remain in third spot with TJs in fourth following their narrow 19-21 win at Thurrock.  Westcombe Pk sit in fifth place after a 43-0 thrashing of CS Rugby.  At the bottom Staines look destined for the drop, but there is a long way to go and a number of other clubs could potentially join them.

London 1(S):  The leading two both won, with east Grinsteadbeating Hove 5-30 and Chichester thrashing Trojans 65-0, a result that sees the Eastleigh side adrift at the bottom with only winless Colfes below them after they went down 20-5 at third placed Basingstoke. Fourth club Wimbledon’s match at Havant was postponed whilst Haywards Heath and Sidcup served up a real rarity in modern rugby, a 0-0 draw. Dover and Cobham sit in mid-table after home wins against Gosport & Fareham (24-0) and Beckenhasm (46-3) respectively.

London 2(SE):  There are no clear front runners in this division and any of the top SEVEN are in with a shout of the title or playoff spot.  Current leaders Brighton stay top after a 39-0 win against visiting Dunstonians, with Crowborough move up to second following their 6-29 win at bottom club Thanet.  Aylesford move into third spot as the leading club of three on 29  pts following a tight 23-22 win over Lewes who slip to fifth on points difference.  Charlton Pk are fourth after they beat Sevenoaks 14-22 at Knole Paddock.  Warlingham, were 10-20 winners at Heathfield whilst D&B went down 26-5 at Medway, a result that surprisingly sees them potentially being drawn into the danger zone after a bright start to the season.

London 3(SE):  Without doubt the key match in the division was that between the top two clubs as they did battle at The Mote;  and whilst Sheppey were able to exert a lot of second half pressure Maidstone’s  have the greater penetration and took their chances when they came to run out 31-14 winners and establish a clear gap at the top of the table.   Other key fixtures were the all Sussex battle as Uckfield hosted Horsham with the hosts on the back of a good win last week and the visitors looking to get back on track after last weekend’s reversal; home advantage told and Uckfield took the points with a  solid 19-3 win. Ashford were clear winners as they trounced Vigo 41-3 and now move above Sheppey in the table. At the bottom end of the table park House can’t seem to buy a win as they went down 0-3 at home to Anchorians whilst Pulborough just lost out to visitors Folkestone by the odd point in the 12-13 scoreline.  Tunbridge Wells’ fixture at home to Bromley was postponed due to waterlogged pitches, and given that neither are involved in the RFU Cup matches next weekend it is likely that the fixture will be played then, on what the RFU deem the ‘next available weekend’.

Kent 1:  Cranbrook stay top after a 12-15 win at Shooters Hill, with Sittingbourne second following their 25-18 win over visiting HSBC.  OGs have moved into third spot after a 30-10 win against bottom club Whitstable.  Beccehamians concincing 33-0 win over Kings Coll sees the hospital club starting to fall of the pace at the top end of the division as they slip to sixth.  Dartfordians remain in the mix following a hard fought 0-7 win at Hastings & Bexhill.  Southwark Lancers had no fixture this week.

 Kent 2:  Leaders O wills had the week off and with it surrendered top spot to Guys Hosp despite them losing 10-8 at Ash.  Lordswood are third after a 6-20 win against basement club Orpington, Brockleians stay in fourth place despite losing 20-12 at Askeans and Footscray stay in the mix following their convincing 38-3 win against Darenth Valley. NAG drop back into mid table after they lost 9-0 at Bexley.

Piers Francis signs with Edinburgh in the RaboDirect Pro12
posted: November 21 2012

Rabo Direct Pro12 side Edinburgh have boosted the depth and competitiveness of their inside backs with the recruitment of 22-year-old Waikato Chiefs and former Maidstone stand-off Piers Francis on a two-season deal.

Whilst at Maidstone Piers was also part of the development academy of English Premiership side Saracens, he also then played 1st XV rugby for two seasons with the county town side before moving to New Zealand aged 18 to fulfil his ambition of playing top-flight rugby.

After a season with the Auckland Marists, he progressed into the provincial Auckland Academy, where he was named young player of the year in an unbeaten season for their under-20 side. He then made seven 
ITM Cup appearances for the Auckland province in 2011 before signing for the 2012 Super Rugby winners at the turn of the year.

A groin injury and fierce competition for places disrupted his chances of Super Rugby action in a Chiefs side that featured Rugby World Cup winning All Black duo Aaron Cruden and Sonny-Bill Williams.

However, he was able to come back to the fore in the end-of season-ITM Cup competition and he lifted the historic 
Ranfurly Shield with Waikato in October.

Edinburgh head coach, Michael Bradley, said: “We’re very pleased to secure the services of Piers Francis, as his introduction will strengthen and increase the competitiveness of our squad across a number of positions. He’s a very talented individual who is quick, skilful, and has a fantastic eye for breaking the line. He’s a very good fit for Edinburgh Rugby.”

With the 2012 southern hemisphere season now at an end, Piers was due to arrive in Scotland today and will begin full training immediately.

Piers commented: “Coming from the UK, I was very excited by an approach from Edinburgh Rugby and it moved very quickly from there. It’s a new challenge in two great competitions [RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup], where I can test myself and integrate some of the southern hemisphere ways in my game into a club that’s packed with internationals”.

“I believe that I have the skills and the attitude to enjoy success with Edinburgh Rugby and I see this as another great opportunity for me to develop my 
game even further as part of a very professional set-up alongside great players and great coaches.”

Now that Piers is back in the UK, hopefully we will see him down at the club on a more regular basis than his time in New Zealand allowed.

Club Connection Contributes to England Downfall
posted: November 19 2012

England stumbled in the second of their Autumn Internationals at Twickenham as the Man of the Match, Australian openside flanker Michael Hooper turned in an excellent display.  Michael is the son of Dave Hooper (pictured right) who played on the flank for Maidstone in the early 1980s under the captaincy of Simon Knight where he played alongside the likes of Dave Catt and Andy Trotter.  Dave then had a short stint with Blackheath before emigrating to Australia where he went on the play for the well-known Sydney based Manly Rugby Club.

Picture: Maidstone’s 1981-82 1st XV.  Dave Hooper 3rd from right, back row.

NB:  Will another club connection be involved in an England defeat next weekend, as Jack McFarland’s son John, who is defence coach with the Springboks, visits Twickenham?

Around the Grounds
posted: November 18 2012

National 1:  Blackheath went down to hosts Macclesfield by 20-13, a result that sees the Kent club drop into the bottom half of the table.  Leaders Rosslyn Pk won 20-14 against challenging Esher whilst Ealing remain on their coat tails after a 59-3 demolition of Sedgley Park.  Cinderford lost 10-24 to visitors Blaydon, who complete the top four in the table.

National 2(S):  The city club dominated in the forwards at Bristol club Clifton but it was the home side that snatched the win in the closing minutes, by a single point in a high scoring contest to run out 37-36 winners. A result that sees the Kent club in the midfield pack halfway down the table.  At the head of the division Henley were solid 32-9 winners against Chinnor, with Hartpury Coll in second spot also winning as they downed Dings Crusaders 25-35.  Worthing and Redruth keep up their respective challenges with wins at Southend (29-43) and Shelford (6-28) respectively.

National 3(SE): Leaders Barnes won 41-15 against visiting Thurrock, with both Bishops Stortford and Dorking maintaining their chase with wins against Gravesend (48-25) and Westcombe Pk (20-15) respectively.  For Gravesend the result was no help although TJ’s 47-25 win against Westcliff, where they had to come from behind, sees the Essex side drop below Gs into the third relegation spot. Elthamians lost out to Guernsey by the narrowest of margins, going down 19-18 to the Channel Island side.  The results mean that at the top of the table the leading three are unchanged but the pack shuffles slightly behind them, with TJs now the leading chasers in fourth spot.

London 1(S):  The big game here was between the so far unbeaten top two clubs with East Grinstead hosting Chichester, home advantage told, and convincingly so as the mid-Sussex side ran out clear winner 45-10 to go clear at the top.  Behind them  Basingstoke were 10-15 winners in a hard fought contest at Sidcup, with Wimbledon also recording a solid win as they overturned Hove 33-15.  In mid-table Cobham beat Dover 19-15 with Havant also moving up the table following a 17-24 win against a Colfes side that still occupy bottom spot, just above them Trojans fared no better as they went down 5-30 at home to Gosport & Fareham.  Beckenham were narrow 25-22 winners over Haywards Heath.

London 2(SE):  This division looks like it could shuffle the pack for the leading promotion contenders each week; Brighton top the table following a hard earned 14-18 win at Charlton Pk where they demonstrated some impressive defensive play against the hosts, whilst Lewes take over second spot after their 64-7 demolition of bottom side Thanet, Crowborough drop to third after they lost 23-26 at home to Medway.   Given Warlingham’s recent form against the leading sides, they probably expected to beat visiting Aylesford, but went down 13-20, a result that moves the Bulls into fourth spot.  Sevenoaks topsy turvy season continues as they were solid 12-24 winners at D&B whilst Heathfield’s narrow 12-14 win at struggling Dunstonians gives them some breathing space between themselves and the bottom two clubs.

 London 3(SE):  The main contest here was the meeting between Maidstone and a Horsham side that have been going well in recent weeks; in the end the county town club had too much power and penetration for the Sussex side as they ran out 24-45 winners.  The result sees them now a point clear at the top following Sheppey’s failure to pick up the bonus point when they were made to work hard for their 23-13 win against Park House.  Ashford move above Horsham into third spot following their 7-15 win at Anchorians.  At the bottom of the table Vigo made a remarkable comeback in the final third of their match to come from 7-24 down to draw 24-24 with Tunbridge Wells, the result moves them of the foot of the division with Park Hse now bottom.  Pulborough lost out 33-15 at Bromley, a result combined with their five point deduction that drags them very much back into the relegation battle.  In mid table Folkestone’s poor form continued as they went down 20-22 to visitors Uckfield.

Kent 1:  Cranbrook top the table after a good 17-12 win against third placed Hastings & Bexhill with Sittingbourne in second spot after they ran out winners (12-21) at basement club Whitstable.  Early season table toppers Kings Coll drop to fourth place after a 17-26 defeat at the hands of OGs who sit one place below them.  Southwark still sit second from bottom despite a narrow 19-17 win against Beccehamians, although their cause isn’t helped by a points deduction.  In mid-table HSBC recorded a good home win (16-12) over Shooters Hill.  Dartfordians had no fixture this weekend.

Kent 2:  Old Wills remain top after a key result in beating challengers NAG 21-25, Guys Hosp are now in second spot and a 45-7 win against bottom club Orpington keeps them in touch.  Brockleians move into third after a 34-6 win against Bexley, with Lordswood also chasing after they recored a solid 39-7 result against Footscray.  League newcomers Darenth Valley went down 7-29 at home to Askean, whilst Ash had no fixture this weekend

RFU Knockout Competition Draw Announced
posted: November 15 2012

The draw for the 3rd round of the RFU competitions has been announced and the fixture as far as the club is concerned see the county town club with yet another away draw as they travel to take on a Hitchin side that currently sit in fourth spot in L3NW (W4, L3) and disposed of the L3NE leaders Norwich in the last round. Other fixtures in the draw see fellow Kent club Follkestone (who according to their website forum were concerned they would draw Maidstone) drawn at home against Cambridge based L3NE club Cantabrigians.  All of the remaining clubs in the regional element of the competition are from the L3NE & NW clubs and unbeaten L3NW leaders O Priorians are drawn at home to Wisbech who sit in mid-table in L3NE;whilst Beccles who sit in fourth spot in L3NE host a Twickenham club currently in second place in their division.

In the other competitions Aylesford are drawn at home against Essex club Braintree who sit in mid-table in L2NE in the Intermediate Cup, whilst fellow L2SE club Brighton face league rivals Warlingham . In the Junior Vase Beccehamians will host Hampshire club Farnborough, with Cranbrook are also drawn at home and face O Wimbledonians.  The last of the county’s representatives in the competition are Dartfordians  who have been drawn away from home and travel to Uxbridge.

The full draw for the RFU competitions can be found on the London RFU website (click here).

Kent Cup News - Updated (23 Nov)
posted: November 15 2012

The deadline for second round fixtures was the weekend of 10/11 Nov although Aylesford and Sheppey were way ahead of that schedule having played their fixture in preseason with Aylesford narrowly coming out on top 5-15.  Sidcup and Maidstone withdrew from their fixtures against Elthamians and Dover respectively, the county town club in particular felt that the competition was one step too many being as they are still going well in both the league and the Senior Vase.  In the other fixtures Gravesend went out to Blackheath’s Heathens by 3-26 in a match played under lights on the 7th Nov.  TJs ran riot, particularly in the second half as they beat Tunbridge Wells 55-0 at The Slade, whilst in a repeat of last year’s final Westcombe Pk faced holders Canterbury at Goddington Dene, winning 39-12 to progress.  On Tuesday night Medway played O Dunstonians under floodlights at Priestfields with the hosts running out convincing 42-12 winners.  The Ashford v Anchorians, fixture was scheduled to be played last Saturday, but the result still hasn’t surfaced on either of their websites.

Update - 22 Nov 12:

The result from the Ashford v Gillingham fixture finally surfaced with Ashford taking the tie 22-0 and proceeding to the next round. The draw for the 3rd Round has also now been made and is published on the Kent RFU website (competitions page) and is as follows; Dover will host Ashford whilst Westcombe Pk host L2SE club Medway. Elthamians travel to face Aylesford and in what looks like being the fixture that catches the eye, Blackheath entertain TJs.

The draw for the 1st Round of the Plate competition has also been announced and sees Canterbury drawn at home to Deal & Betteshanger, Sevenoaks will host Sheppey whilst Anchorians travel to take on Dunstonians. Tunbridge Wells have a bye in the first round.

SHOP NEWS - New Design Shirts
posted: April 22 2013

It would appear that their is some interest around the club in obtaining  one of the new design shirts by individuals for leisure wear.  The shirts will be the same design (colour scheme as the new 1st XV shirts) but without the sponsors logos and with a more conventional 'grandad collar'.

Shirts are likely to cost c£40 per shirt (subject to confirmation), a £20 deposit required & if there is sufficient demand an order could be placed by mid August with the shirts available towards the latter half of September.  A name and / or number can be incorporated onto the shirt at no additional cost

A minimum of 12 shirts being ordered from Samurai will apply.

Anybody wishing to place an order please contact either Kevin or Sam Bailey with your details (shirt size) and a £20 deposit please. 

Sizing:  32"= SB, 34"= MB, 36"= LB, 38"= XS, 40"=S, 42" = M, 44" = L, 46" = XL etc.  Smaller sizes may be available so please contact Kevin Bailey for further information.

Around the Grounds
posted: November 10 2012

National 1: Blackheath lost out narrowly at home to leaders Rosslyn Park, going down 15-20 to the visitors.  Elsewhere Ealing lost out by a narrow margin for the second week running, going down 35-34 at Blaydon; with Esher keeping up the pressure with a 27-10 win at Coventry.  Other results didn’t go the way of the Kent side and they now drop to ninth in the table. Although there is little to separate the midfield bunch of seven clubs below the top four.

National 2(S): A storming 51-14 win for the city club at home to Southend keeps them comfortable in mid table, with Henley still heading the table despite a 49-5 loss at Worthing.  Hartpury sit in second spot following a solid 16-46 win at Lydney with Shelford third despite a 28-22 reversal at Chinnor.

National 3(SE): Gravesend did themselves the power of good in their postponed fixture at Staines as they consigned the basement side to another defeat (15-37) to keep them anchored at the foot of the table.  Gravesend aren’t out of the woods yet as they still lie third from bottom, only separated from Westcliff above them on points difference.

RFU Intermediate Cup:  For the London 2(SE) clubs, two of this rounds scheduled fixtures were repeats of last week’s league confrontations as Aylesford travelled to take on Dunstonians after having won convincingly in the league at home 7 days ago, this weeks wencounter was a different affair with Aylesford just coming out on top by 24-27.  Warlingham were scheduled to make the trip from Sth London down the Thanet Way again this week, and after  last week’s 10-46 league defeat of the east Kent club again this was a much tighter battle with Warlingham just coming out on top 16-19   In the matches that concerned the other SE clubs, Charlton Pk hosted Portsmouth and went down 18-27 whilst Brighton made the trip to Hampshire to take on a Tottonians side that had disposed of Medway in the last round and proceed to the next round after an 11-28 victory.  Elsewhere last year’s regional finalists Enfield Ignations surprisingly went out of the tournament in a heavy 30-0 defeat to  Hammersmith & Fulham.

RFU Senior Vase:  Key matches in the Senior Vase were Maidstone’s trip to Pulborough with the county town side taking a calculated risk to rest a number of players, in the end they had too much power for the Sussex side as they ran riot for a 0-88 scoreline.  Bromley took on Folkestone for the second time in three weeks with the south coast side taking the honours (8-13) this time in another close fought battle, after their previous league defeat.  Horsham had perhaps the most unenviable task as they travelled to take on a Twickenham side going well near the top of London 3(NW) and went down 23-11. Other matches in the draw that caught the eye were Sth Woodham Ferrers from L3NE fixture against undefeated L3NW leaders O Priorians with the honours going to the NW club 22-32,  another key matchup was L3NE leaders Norwich who hosted Hitchin with the L3NE side surprisingly coming unstuck 17-27.  Beccles against Welwyn was another interesting contest, with both sides going well in the top half of their respective Ldn 3n divisions, in the end Beccles were solid 27-8 winners to proceed to the next round.   The last of the 2nd round fixtures were all L3NE battles, with mid-table sides Cantabrigians hosting Canvey Island whilst Wisbech took on Sudbury; in the former the Cambridge based Cantabrigians were 17-12 winners, with Wisbech beating Sudbury 17-7

RFU Junior Vase: In the Junior Vase Beccehamians faced O Millhillians (Herts Midx 1) winning 31-21 whilst Dartfordians hosted O Emanuel (Surrey 2) also running out solid 27-14 winners, Cranbrook also go into the next round after a 16-6 win against Sussex based Seaford.  Sittingbourne travelled to Hampshire to take on a Farnborough side currently near the bottom of Hampshire 1, obviously the Kent side don’t travel well as they lost out 37-26  The last of the county’s sides in the competition saw Shooters Hill entertain Streatham & Croydon (Surrey 2) who also saw their cup hopes ended as they lost out 12-36 to the visitors.

A full round up of all of the competition’s results can be found on the London RFU website at:

NB:Website Match Reports – I think I mentioned this last season, the subject of ‘News Management’ particularly in respect of match reports. It is noticeable how certain clubs manage the publication and posting (or not) of match reports on their websites. There are those that have a report posted the same day (Folkestone are a good example), others by the following day or certainly on the Monday.

There are those clubs that post a report come win, lose or draw; whilst some club’s reports only appear intermittently (regardless of results) and others only post a match report when they win, leaving a void when they don’t and that in itself tells a story and to the casual observer it’s easy to see the gaps in the fixture schedule. Also noticeable is how some club’s reports are normally always up quickly except when they lose, and then their appears to be a two or three day hiatus, normally followed by report containing a host of reasons why they lost and normally missing the key point of ‘the other team scored more points on the day’! Normally it’s because they had an injury crisis or a host of unavailability on other occasions it is poor defence and missed tackles, but seldom because the opposition play or creativity stretched or breached the defence with the opposing player fending or breaking the tackles.

Some reports are written in an informal manner whilst others tend to be very much match summaries; in large part because they double as submissions to the local press. In contrast, some read like a weighty novel and contain a ‘blow by blow’ account where everybody gets a mention. Although to be fair the overwhelming majority of reports are fair and objective and written with probably as much impartiality as one should expect from the club writing it.

Of course there are those websites where nothing seems to appear, and one wonders why they have a website. After all, a website’s value is its content and its currency.

Around the Grounds
posted: November 04 2012

This week’s blog is a bit late largely to wait for the result of Blackheath’s Sunday fixture at Coventry to ensure a complete round up of events.

National 1:  Blackheath travelled for a Sunday fixture to face eighth club Coventry needing a win against the Midland side who have suffered only one home defeat so far this season in order to maintain their hopes of a serious challenge this season.  In the end a losing bonus point was all Club came away with after a tough contest saw them on the wrong side of the 13-10 scoreline.   In the Saturday fixtures, above them Cinderford took on Wharfedale and recorded a win by 36-23, whilst Esher defeated basement side Cambridge 29-51.   Blaydon beat Sedgely Pk 17-37; whilst the result of the day was Albanians victory at leaders Ealing by 25-37 whilst Rosslyn Pk continued their good form with a 52-29 win at home to Fylde to take over top spot on points difference.

National 2(S): The city club’s losing streak continued as they travelled to league leaders Henley and went down 46-31 but made the league leaders work for the points, with Bournemouth also winning on their visit to Clifton (0-12)  and Dings also winning the result s drop them further into the bottom half of the table.

National 3(SE): Gravesend hosted TJs in the Kent derby with Gravesend knowing they needed a positive result to stay clear of the relegation battle and TJs needing to regain some momentum in their campaign.  The 14-36 scoreline in favour of the visitors helps TJs challenge by will do nothing for any worried faces with the host club.  Likewise Elthamians who hosted a CS Rugby side that have been difficult to beat this season, in the end and again proved to be a handful as they ran out 14-29 winners to continue their move p the table  Combe’s rise up the table continued as they crushed bottom club Staines 66-0 and no sit comfortably in 4th spot.  At the top Barnes were narrow winners on the road at Essex based Westcliff (39-45), with Dorking and Bishop’s Stortford also posting solid wins over Hertford (24-29) and Tring (27-48) respectively, to keep up their challenges.

London 1(S):  At the head of the division the clash between leaders Chichester and Wimbledon was always likely to provide a stern test, although they held of the challenge of the SW London club to  run out 23-13 winners, whilst East Grinstead’s G-Force  piled up the points as the beat Gosport & Fareham 5-66 to take over top spot in the table on points difference.  Third placed Basingstoke are by no means out of contention as they hammered Beckenham 65-7 to maintain their challenge.  Colfes woes continue as they are still searching for a first win after they went down 65-14 at Hove, with Sidcup just above the Sussex club following a 16-20 result at Havant.  Dover stay in the top half after their convincing 56-15 win against visiting Trojans whilst Cobham went down 36-12 at Haywards Heath to  move the Sussex away from the relegation battle.

London 2(SE):  On paper the matches at the head of the table looked like they should be comfortable results for the top two club’s although Medway’s cause wasn’t helped by a well-publicised injury epidemic at Priestfields whch isn’t helping their cause although they proved to have enough to defeat visiting Lewes 29-19, Sevenoaks are back flirting with the relegation zone after a 53-21 mauling by a Brighton side that now head the table.  Third placed club Charlton Pk overcame the challenge of hosts H&W (14-23) whilst Crowborough keep up the pressure after a hard fought contest with D&B where they came out on top by 18-16.  Aylesford hosted struggling Dunstonians in a rehearsal for next week’s cup battle and were convincing 38-10 winners.  At the foot of the table Thanet remain without a point after a seventh straight defeat (10-46) at the hands of a Warlingham side who are still very much part of the promotion battle in the top half of the division.

London 3(SE):  Two of the top three met again this week as both Ashford and Sheppey were keen to put last week’s defeats behind them, in what was a hard fought and tight contest, just the one try separated the sides with visitors Sheppey 0-5 winners.  Another of the leading contenders are Horsham who travelled to take on a Folkestone side that have hit form in recent weeks despite last weekend’s loss, although even on home turf the Sussex side  proved too much of an obstacle as they took the points, running out 10-27 winners to put another dent in Folkestone’s campaign.  Knowing the Ashford v Sheppey match was likely to be a tight affair, unbeaten Maidstone travelled to a struggling Park Hse knowing a good result could see them head the table at the final whistle, in what was the county town side’s poorest performance of the season, they still had enough to run out 15-42 winners and move to the top of the table.   In mid-table Anchorians travelled to Tunbridge Wells and will look at the 17-10 defeat from a positive angle with the losing bonus point, although they felt that the match was very winnable.

 Bromley’s visit to Uckfield looked like it would be a close battle, and so it proved as the two sides shared the points in a 22-22 draw.  At the bottom end of the table Vigo are still looking for a first win after home side Pulborough registered their second victory of the campaign (30-9) to stay in 10th place in the table but with a handy 8-point buffer to the bottom two clubs who will both be beginning to worry now we are well into the season.

Kent 1:  Dependent on results the top of the table could see a bit of a reshuffle in what looks like being a tight battle for the promotion places in this division.  Third placed Cranbrook hosted second club Dartfordians in a match that ended up honours even and an 8-8 draw; a result that sees both clubs drop a place despite leaders Kings Coll going down 28-0 at fifth placed Sittingbourne.  H&B move into second spot after a 41-5 hammering of HSBC,   the banks club’s results this season  seem to have swung from  convincing wins to crashing defeat. At the bottom end of the table both Whitstable and Southwark Lancers lost out with the ‘Oystermen’ going down 25-5 at Shooters Hill whilst the Lancers lost out narrowly (30-27) to OGs.  Beccehamians had no fixture this week.

Kent 2: Leaders O Wills kept up their momentum with a convincing 41-3 win over Bexley, with Guys in second spot after their 17-28 win at Footscray.  NAG were 12-24 winners at league newcomers Ash and stay in third spot; in mid table Lordswood were narrow 7-14 winners at Askean whilst Darenth valley went down heavily at home to visiting Brockleians (0-45).  Basement club Orpington had no fixture this week.

Next week sees Cup duty for those sides still left in the RFU competitions and the possibility of some league fixtures for those clubs that have postponements and no cup commitments.  The blog may also be a bit late being posted as the author is on a road trip into deepest Sussex, so it will be a late return and some time before the hangover wears off!!

Club signs up to Movember – In aid of The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC)
posted: October 31 2012

The Mo, slang for moustache, and November come together each year for Movember.

Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month.  The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men.  Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.

This year after 1st XV skipper Ben Williams cracked the whip; all of the club’s senior squad have commited to support the campaign (so the look for the home match against Horsham on the 24th should be interesting)and we will be looking to add a little bit of extra spice to the Movember campaign with some internal competition, plus to opportunity at the end of the month to have some photos in true Victorian sepia tinted style.  Last time the club took part we had a range of styles floating around the clubhouse, from the military ‘Rourke’s Drift’ look to the Seth Armstrong (Emmerdale), The Gringo and the Lemmy from Motorhead looks.  No doubt there will be another wide variety this time,  Will Alex Hadi end up looking like 1960s TV character Jason King!!?

The funds raised through Movember’s UK campaign will benefit the The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC), the UK’s leading prostate cancer charity

A number of the players already have their Mo Spaces listed on the club Facebook page so click on the link on the homepage to go and support your chosen player

Around the Grounds
posted: October 27 2012

Last week in my apology for the delay in posting this weekly summary I made the assumption that there are actually some readers out there.  Apparently I was not mistaken as I was informed by a colleague that the whole edition was cut and pasted onto O Elthamian’s website (with a slight expansion on the details for their own division) but attributed to Kent RFU as their summary of what happened where.  Well, at least I know someone’s reading it!!!

National 1:  With most of the top sides all winning there was not much change at the top end of the table except for some minor reshuffling.  Leaders Ealing were convincing 17-41 winners against Wharfedale and stay top.  Rosslyn Park are in second spot after a 17-37 win at Richmond with Blaydon moving into third place after their 18-37 win at Loughborough.  Esher lead the next group of four and move above Cinderford following their 19-12 win over their visitors. Blackheath remain in contention after they returned to winning ways with a 35-18 over struggling Cambridge

National 2(S): Henley stay at the top of the division following a 3-84 hammering of basement side Barking, Shelford stay on their heels as they beat Canterbury 12-30, a result that sees the city club drop into the bottom half of the table.

National 3(SE): The big question was could Gravesend do themselves and the other Kent clubs a favour by toppling the league leaders at Barnes?  Unfortunately not; as they went down narrowly in a 27-22 scoreline. The matches involving two of the other Kent clubs would however have a real bearing on the chasing pack.  Elthamians travelled to take on second placed Dorking whilst TJs hosted third club Bishop’s Stortford.  In another tight context Dorking consolidated their second spot in the table as they overcame the SE London side 28-15, meanwhile TJs and Stortford fought out a tryless draw (6-6) with two penalties apiece the only trouble created for the scoreboard.  Elsewhere Westcombe Pk continued their rise up the division with a solid 41-3 win over Tring sees them leapfrog Elthamians & TJs into fourth place.  Thurrock’s 39-26 loss to CS Rugby also sees them fall off the pace.

London 1(S): As expected East Grinstead had too much firepower, especially on home turf for Hampshire side Trojans, as they put the visitors emphatically to the sword by 95-5.  However Chichester stay top despite having to work much harder for the result when they travelled to winless Colfes, running out 13-30 winners and leaving Colfes anchored to the foot of the table.  Basingstoke remain third following a 20-47 win at Cobham with Wimbledon moving back into fourth spot after they beat Gosport & Fareham 61-19 Sidcup’s 13-0 win over Hove sees the two sides switch places in fifth and sixth place.  In the mid table battles Beckenham beat Havant 13-8 and Haywards Heath edged another narrow scoreline as they beat Dover 19-9.

London 2(SE): The battle between the top two sides was the clash that caught the eye in this division as Lewes hosted fellow Sussex club Crowborough and at the end of the 80 mins they couldn’t be separated as they recorded a 17-17 draw.  In the chasing group Brighton had too much for hosts D&B as they ran out 8-20 winners, whilst Charlton Park’s clash with visiting Aylesford went the way of the hosts by 20-14.  At the foot of the table Thanet look to be in dire trouble as they went down 22-0 at Dunstonians and are now looking like the cast iron favourites for relegation.  Having looked to have started to pull clear of the early relegation dogfight last week, Sevenoaks were pulled back into the battle after they went own 12-18 at home to Heathfield & Waldron.  In mid table Warlingham were narrow winners over visiting Medway by 20-17.

London 3(SE): Week 6 at last saw a clash of some of the promotion candidates in the table with on paper Horsham probably having the easiest task as they faced basement side Park Hse and ran out 24-7 winners.  Second placed Ashford travelled to Maidstone and went down 27-13, leaving the county town club the only undefeated side in the division as Tunbridge Wells took on table toppers Sheppey at ‘The Ditch’ and ran out 26-35 winners to close up the gap at the head of the table to just one point separating Sheppey, Maidstone & Ashford.   At the foot of the table Vigo are still looking for their first win as they went down 3-15 to visiting Uckfield, whilst also in the bottom half Anchorians hosted Pulborough with the home side taking the points 41-20.  In the last of the fixtures Bromley hosted a Folkestone side that has hit form in recent weeks, but the hosts put the brakes on their progress as they were winners by the odd point in the 20-19 scoreline.

Kent 1: Both of the top two clubs at the start of the day lost, with Kings Coll beaten 20-24 at home to Shooters Hill,  whilst Cranbrook  lost out by a single point as they were beaten 32-31 by a HSBC side whose results are blowing ‘hot & cold’ at the moment.  Those results combined with Dartfordians 15-10 win over Beccehamians sees Darts move into second spot.  Whitstable stay bottom after a 22 point loss to visiting Hastings & Bexhill, Southwark are second from bottom after a 12-20 reversal to visiting Sittingbourne, a result that wasn’t helped by a 5-point deduction from their league total by the RFU.

Kent 2:  O Wills stay top despite going down 34-10 at Brockleians, a result that benefits Footscray who remain second by a point but with a game in hand having had no fixture this weekend.  NAG are third after a 31-5 win at bottom club Orpington with Guys Hosp in fourth spot after their 29-10 win at Askeans.  League newcomers Ash posted a 15-20 win at Bexley, whilst Lordswood got back to winning ways as they outgunned Darenth Valley 36-0.

Kent RFU's In Touch Newsletter
posted: October 22 2012


The lastest version of the Kent RFU newletter is now available online and the club is mentioned in a couple of areas, please click on the link below to go to the relevant webpage.





Around the Grounds
posted: October 21 2012

Firstly apologies to any avid readers (I am assured there are some!) for the delay in posting this week’s summary, but the author had some domestic family duties to fulfil which meant that he spent Saturday evening in a pub in Lincolnshire and not sat at his computer as normal.  However he did still get to watch some rugby on a Saturday afternoon as he dropped in on his hometown club for the match between Market Rasen & Louth v Newark in Midland 1(East).  The result was MR&L 15 Newark 22 by the way.

National 1: Blackheath drop to eighth in the table after a disappointing 34-19 loss at Cinderford, at the head of the table Ealing stay top after a close fought 26-21 win over Esher.  Rosslyn Pk sit in second place after a 63-20 demolition of Tynedale, with Blaydon, Esher and Cinderford five points behind and only separated on point difference.

National 2(S):  Canterbury also lost out on the road as they went down 40-20 at struggling Dings Crusaders, a result that sees them also in eighth spot but now needing a couple of positive results to ensure they steer clear of any relegation dogfight.

National 3(SE):  The big game this weekend was the clash of the top two in the table as Bishops Stortford hosted Barnes with the visitors taking the spoils 20-32 to go top of the table again.  Stortford’s loss combined with Dorking’s 20-25 win at Thurrock sees them drop to third in the standings with Dorking moving into second spot.  TJs and Elthamians sit in fourth and fifth spot following wins over Tring (10-17) and Staines (58-17) respectively, whilst Combe are moving up the division following their poor start and now sit in seventh spot following a 13-36 win at Hertford.  Gravesend still sit third from bottom despite a 33-20 win over a Guernsey side that have struggled of late.

London 1(S):  The top three all won although Chichester take over top spot following their 27-7 win over Sidcup with East Grinstead dropping in to second despite a convincing 12-44 result at Dover.  Basigstoke’s 49-15 win over Haywards Heath sees the Sussex side drop into the bottom three in the table.   Colfes stay anchored to the foot of the table following a 44-7 defeat at Gosport & Fareham, a result that lifts the Hampshire side above Beckenham following their 51-8 hammering by Hove.  Havant eased some of their worries with a solid 43-27 win over visting Cobham whilst Trojans  went down by a similar score 27-44 to visiting Wimbledon, a result that keeps them very much in the drop zone.

London 2(SE):  This week’s scoresheets threw up a couple of interesting results; amongst them Sevenoaks’ trip to Aylesford where they demonstrated that if they can get enough ball they have the back division to run in the points as they posted a 20-27 win.  Another potential upset was league leaders Crowborough’s 16-29 loss at home to mid table Warlingham, a result that sees them drop to second in the table with Lewes taking over top spot after a 29-10 win over visiting D&B.  with Sevenoaks’ win easing their immediate worries, both Heathfield and Dunstonians remain in the danger zone as they both went down to defeats; Heathfield by 8-20 to Brighton and Dunstonians 34-17 at Medway.  Thanet remain pointless at the foot of the table after an 8-36 home defeat to Charlton Pk.

London 3(SE):  The front runners all won again this week with leaders Sheppey posting a 0-31 result at Pulborough, second placed Ashford defeated a struggling Park Hse side still looking for their first win by 29-10, whilst Maidstone will look on the 12-19 win at Tunbridge Wells as potentially a bonus point dropped.  Folkestone continued their return to form with a 38-0 win over visiting Vigo and after a series of defeats to the top three sides Uckfield posted a 27-17 win over Anchorians.  Bromley went down 17-26 at home to Horsham, a result that moves the Sussex club above T Wells into fourth spot

Kent 1:  Kings Coll remain in top spot despite a 27-8 defeat at Hastings & Bexhill, although Cranbrook have a game in hand and sit in second place following their 26-7 win over Whitstable.  Despite a stuttering start to the season Dartfordians now occupy third spot following a 12-18 win at bottom club HSBC. In mid-table OGs drew 19-19 with visiting Beccehamians and Shooters Hill were convincing 20-0 winners over Southwark Lancers.

Kent 2:  The top two both won and O Wills stay at the head of the table following their 19-31 result at Ash, whilst Footscray posted a convincing 45-15 result against visiting third placed club NAG.  Guys Hosp move into fourth spot after a 0-12 win at Darenth Valley, Lordswood’s poor form continued as they lost out 25-30 to Brockleians and bottom club Orpington are still looking for their first win after they drew 15-15 with Bexley.

RFU Knockout Competition Draws Announced
posted: October 19 2012

The draw for the 2nd Round of the RFU Senior Vase has been made and sees Maidstone with another away fixture to a Sussex based club, although it is likely that Pulborough won’t be too happy with the draw after the 43-0 league defeat they suffered at the Mote in early October.  For the other Kent based and London 3(SE) clubs, Bromley host Folkestone whilst Horsham travel to take on Twickenham, currently second in L3NW.  Of the remaining matches probably the pick of the fixtures is between L3NW leaders O Priorians who host a South Woodham Ferrers side currently in second spot in L3NE.  The full draw for the 2nd Round is as follows:

Beccles (L3NE) v Welwyn (L3NW)

Bromley v Folkestone

Cantabrigians (L3NE) v Canvey Island (L3NE)

Norwich (L3NE) v Hitchin (L3NW)

Pulborough v Maidstone

Sth Woodham Ferrers (L3NE) v O Proarians (L3NW)

Twickenham (L3NW) v Horsham

In the RFU Intermediate Cup the draw sees Charlton Pk at home to Portsmouth, whilst near neighbours Aylesford face fellow L2SE club O Dunstonians in their second round clash.  Thanet who had a bye in the first round have a tough proposition as they take on a warlingham side that had disposed of L2SW leaders Sutton & Epsom in the last round.  In other key fixtures, Medway’s victors Tottonians host a Brighton side currently going well in L2SE whilst last season’s regional finalists Enfield Ignations travel to Hammersmith & Fulham.

In the Junior Vase Sittingbourne may finallyt get to take the field as they have an away draw to Cranleigh with the rest of the Kent clubs receiving home fixtures.  Beccehamians host O Millhillians with Cranbrook entertaining Sussex based Seaford who defeated OGs in the last round.  Dartfordians take on O Emanuel and Shooters Hill are drawn against Streatham & Croydon.

A full list of the draw for all competitions can be found on the London RFU website (click here)

Another video on You Tube (OB Day 6th Oct)
posted: October 19 2012

Jim Tinsley, the club's self styled 'Man with the Cam' has produce yet another video record  of events.  This time covering the events of the day for the Old Boys day on 6th Oct for the league fixture against Pulborough.

Click here to view.

Sponsors attend first home fixture
posted: October 15 2012

In addition to the presentations to Oliver Ralph from Cornwallis Academy and the RFU's Injured Players Foundation, the club's first home fixture against Pulborough on 6th Oct  was alos attended by a number of the club's sponsors.  Amongst them were Alan Parnell from L&G Forest Products accompaniede by the company's Managing Director Jeff Foot.  The club took the time to present Jeff with a 1st XV shirt and on hand to make the presentation was  5th XV skipper Ian Ausher who is also an employee at L&G Forest Products to make it a real company affair.

Around the Grounds
posted: October 13 2012

National 1: Club remain in fourth spot following a narrow one point loss in a high scoring contest at the Rectory Field as they went down 41-42 to table toppers Ealing who took the win with a last minute penalty.  Elsewhere Rosslyn Pk and Esher both won to stay in second and third places with Blaydon just behind Blackheath following their local NE derby 28-32 win at Wharfedale.

National 2(S): Henley stay at the head of the table despite not playing today but Hartpury Coll move into second spot following a resounding 7-41 win at Canterbury, a result that drops the city club into seventh spot following wins for Chinnor, Shelford and Worthing.

National 3(SE):  Bishops Stortford stay top after a convincing 59-0 winning scoreline at Guernsey with Barnes level on points after they beat TJs 32-12, Dorking are third following a 21-14 win against visiting Westcliff.   CS Rugby move clear of the danger area after defeating Gravesend in a high scoring match which ended 53-37.  Combe put a dent in Elthamians challenge as they ran out solid 33-19 winners and move up to seventh in the table, just behind the SE Ldn club in sixth, with TJs in fifth spot, Thurrock are fourth following a 15-49 win at basement club Staines.

London 1 (S):  Both the front runners recorded wins, with E Grinstead solid 22-0 winners at third club Wimbledon, a result that drops the SW London side to fourth, whilst Chichester also won on the road with an 11-26 victory at Beckenham.  Beneficiaries of Wimbledon’s loss were Basingstoke who demolished visiting Dover 73-0, Sidcup stay fifth after a 24-7 win against Gosport & F with Hove moving up to sixth spot after a close 31-33 win at Cobham. At the bottom end of the table Haywards Heath beat Havant 33-21 whilst in the battle of the two winless sides Trojans narrowly took the honours 27-28 to leave Colfes anchored to the foot of the division.

RFU Intermediate Cup: A number of late withdrawals in this competition left Charlton Park with a walkover against KCS Old Boys, Chelmsford (L2NE), Grasshoppers(L2NW) and Braintree(L2NE) also progress without having to take the field.  For those sides that did need to play their fixtures, Aylesford secured a comfortable 17-38 win at Guildford, although they had to come from behind with 14 men to secure the result, with both Dunstonians and Warlingham also recording good wins.  ODs won by the odd point in the 18-19 scoreline at Teddington whilst Warlingham evicted L2SW frontrunners S&E from the competition by a 17-8 margin.  Elsewhere Medway went down 26-40 to Hampshire based Tottonians and Brighton recorded a convincing 0-32 win at Ldn Cornish.  In some of the other fixtures, last season’s beaten regional finalists Enfield Ignations convincingly disposed of Hemel Hempstead 24-54 and Stowmarket beat UCS OB 54-34.  Thanet Wdrs had a bye in the first round along with Portsmouth, Nth Walsham and Hammersmith & Fulham

RFU Senior Vase: Of the 48 clubs eligible for the regional element of this competition there were 31 entries, leaving Twickenham with a bye and 15 ties to be completed.  By far the greatest entry came from north of the Thames as London 3NE & NW had 21 entries between them and bulk of the remaining 10 entries being from L3SE although four of the SE teams were drawn against each other. For the L3SE clubs, the results pretty much went according to league form when compared to their opposition, although with only 3 or 4 league fixtures played so far, league position can sometimes give a distorted picture.  Maidstone were due to visit a Bognor side currently at the wrong end of L3SW but progress to the 2nd round with the Sussex side conceding the fixture as early as the Tuesday prior to the match.  Bromley on the other hand had a different proposition as they hosted the league leaders from that division in Weybridge Vandalsand pulled off a great 8-5 win to progress.  Folkestone faced Anchorians for the second time in a week, this time on home turf but the outcome was much the same as the south coast side appear to have got their act together and were comfortable 31-3 winners.  Another repeat of last week’s league fixtures should have been Ashford’s trip to Horsham but the home side conceded the fixture.  The last of the L3SE sides in the draw was Pulborough, who hosted a lower mid table London Exiles side from L3SW and posted a good win, running out narrow 29-26 victors.

As previously mentioned, at this early stage in the season league position is often distorted due to the limited number of fixtures played. However, notwithstanding this there were a number of other fixtures across the draw that caught the eye. Harlow who are struggling this season and went down heavily (50-0) in the Snr Vase last season to Maidstone were due to host L3NW leaders O Priorians but gave the visitors a walkover.  Another NW club going well is Finchley as they travelled to take on the NE strugglers Sudbury but they went down 25-18 to the Essex club,  L3NE leaders Upminster faced NW strugglers Hitchin and in another match going the way of the underdog, lost out 17-5.  L3NE second placed side Sth Woodham Ferrers faced Cheshunt and ran in 56 points for only 15 in reply; whilst Wanstead, also going well in NE travelled to take on a Welwyn side currently in the bottom half of the NW division and lost heavily by 41-7.  Elsewhere Canvey Island hammered Haringey 66-12, Datchworth narrowly lost out to Norwich 10-15 and O Brentwoods went down 10-34 to Cambridge club Cantabrigians.

RFU Junior Vase: Match card issues from the 1st round meant that Sittingbourne were one of three clubs that received byes in the second round, for Bourne this puts them in the 3rd round without having had to put their boots on yet.  For the Kent based clubs Beccs received a walkover against Aldershot & Fleet (one of 10 walkovers due to withdrawals in the Junior Vase), whilst HSBC conceded their fixture to Burgess Hill.  Cranbrook were comfortable 5-29 winners at Sussex club Holbrook and Dartfordians hammered hosts Newick 0-62.  Shooters beat Rye 18-12 in a tight contest, with OGs going down 17-5 at Seaford.  The only other scoreline of note was Harrow v Battersea Ironsides who drew 33-33, with the Ironsides progressing by virtue of tries scored under the competition rules

Full results from all three of the RFU competitions can be found on the London RFU website (click here)

RFU Senior Vase: Maidstone progress to Rd 2 as Bognor concede
posted: October 08 2012

Maidstone campaign in the RFU Senior Vase starts with a Walkover as West Sussex club Bognor RFC from London 3 (SW) concede their 1st Round fixture.  We await the draw for the 2nd round which should take place during the latter half of next week.

Whilst the club's 1st XV are disappointed that there will be no fixture this weekend, although the spare weekend has provided an opportunity for an additional week's rest for the inevitable bumps & bruises, before they look to pick up the momentum again in their league fixture at Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 20th Oct.

The Mustangs XV league fixture at home to Charlton Park 2nd XV is still happening and support for this key home fixture in Invicta Div 2 would be most welcome.

Competition Winner receives his Reward.
posted: October 08 2012

1st XV captain Ben Williams was on hand with David Simon, Principal of Cornwallis Academy to present Oliver Ralph with his shirt and a framed copy of his design as the winner of the competition to design Maidstone Rugby’s new change strip.  A judging panel consisting of David Simon, Ben Williams and Samurai’s Mark Thompson selected Oliver’s design from over 500 entries to the competition by students from Cornwallis Academy.  In addition to being the club’s change strip shirts will also be the new school strip for Cornwallis Academy.

In addition to receiving his award, Oliver was also on hand to see the club wearing the new strip as they defeated league newcomers Pulborough 43-0 on their first home league outing of the season.

Photo:  Oliver Ralph receiving his shirt and a framed design from 1stXV captain Ben Williams with Cornwallis Academy Principal David Simon and club Chairman Andy Golding

Pitchside Advertising Boards
posted: October 07 2012

Sales of Pitchside Advertising Boards have gone well in the run up to the season.  With another 6 or 7 awaiting to go up, there are still potentially 9 vacant slots before the internal perimeter of the pitch is full.  They are a great way of getting your company name seen in a positive light and associated with high quality grassroots community sport. 

If you know of a local company or business that might be interested then please contact Bob Hayton via the website in the first instance.

The club is targetting the next home league fixture v Ashford (27th Oct) to have the perimeter completely full.

Around the Grounds
posted: October 07 2012

National 1:  Blackheath made the long trip to Manchester’s Sedgeley Park knowing that they hadn’t lost to the North west side in the last seven outings.  However, there was a different script this time out as the home side ran out comfortable 40-22 winners.  Coupled with Cinderford’s 20-20 draw with Richmond and good wins for Rosslyn Pk and Esher, the loss at Sedgeley Pk sees Club drop to fifth in the table.

National 2(S):  Canterbury also had a long away trip that proved fruitless, as they headed South West to Redruth and came away empty handed, going down 36-19 to the Cornish club, whilst they sit comfortably in upper mid=table, the result sees the city club beginning to fall off the pace of the leading group.

Nationals 3(SE):  Bishops Stortford and Barnes continue to set the early pace, although the latter’s surprise loss to basement side Tring means that they relinquish top spot.  Hot on their heels are Dorking who comfortably took the points with a 26-41 win at Gravesend, TJs who thrashed visiting Guernsey 57-5 and finally Elthamians who overcame Hertford 34-22.  A 10-23 win at Thurrock for Westcombe Pk lifts them back into mid-table, although Gravesend’s loss sees them stuck in the bottom three in the table.

London 1(S):  Big wins for Chichester and East Grinstead keep them at the head of the table with 100% records after six fixtures, as Chichester beat Cobham 55-12 whilst East Grinstead demolished Colfes 77-0 at Saint Hill.  A solid 14-45 win at Dover sees Wimbledon in third spot with Basingstoke in fourth place after their 13-39 win at Havant.  Sidcup’s 14-51 win at Trojans keeps them in the top half of the table although Beckenham could only manage a 20-20 draw at struggling Gosport & Fareham.  Hove pulled off the result of the day as they thrashed Haywards Heath 56-0.

 London 2(SE):  A key clash at the foot of the table as Sevenoaks hosted Thanet Wdrs with both sides looking for their first positive result of the season, for the losers it would almost certainly mean a long and disappointing campaign.  In the end a solid 44-13 win may alleviate Oaks’ immediate worries but did nothing for the confidence of the East Kent club.   Another key confrontation was the visit of an unbeaten Aylesford side to Brighton who have put together a couple of convincing results since their opening day loss, in the end the Bulls managed an injury time equalising score to end honours even with a 10-10 draw.  The top two clubs made trips to south London and leaders Lewes lost their unbeaten record as Warlingham took the points with a solid 30-12 result, Crowborough registering a similar result at Dunstonians (13-35) to take over top spot and keeping ODs very much at the wrong end of the table.  The mid-table clash between Charlton Pk and Medway convincingly went the way of the SE London club (41-15) whilst D&B had just too much for H&W as they ran out 19-7 winners and move up into third place with Heathfield looking like they may also be involved in this season’s relegation battle

London 3(SE):  Fate and the vagaries of the league programme and the RFU Cup draws had conspired to see two of this weekend’s league fixtures being duplicates of next week’s RFU Senior Vase clashes.  In the first of these second placed Ashford travelled to Horsham with this week’s league points going to Ashford following their 20-27 win over the home side and keeping the mid Kent side in second spot in the division.  The other fixture saw Anchorians host a Folkestone side who have had a poor start to the season but now seem to have pulled things together with a comfortable 20-46 away win, next week’s cup fixture sees the venues reversed and no doubt Anchorians will be looking for a positive result.  League leaders Sheppey stay top after they hosted an Uckfield side that were keen to put last week’s mauling behind them but found themselves on the receiving end of another 40-point defeat (45-0).   Maidstone, who sit in third spot and have played a game less than the leading two, continued their good form as they picked up where they left off the previous week, scoring 43 points against a visiting Pulborough side that were always second best on the day.  After last week’s defeat to Pulborough, Park Hse fared no better this week as they went down 8-27 at home to a Tunbridge Wells side that has struggled to find some consistency in recent weeks.  Vigo stay bottom of the table as Bromley registered their second win of the season (13-15) and move into mid-table.  

Kent 1:  Newly promoted Kings Coll sat at the top of the table after three weekends and this week’s clash with Cranbrook went the way of the hospital club by 27-20.  Sittingbourne are normally  in the mix at the upper end of the table but went down 34-24 at Beccehamians.  Dartfordians lost out by a point (19-20)to an inconsistent OGs side and the mid-table clash between Southwark and H&B went the way of the Lancers, again a winning 1-point margin (22-21).  In the basement battle Whitstable hosted HSBC and ran out resounding 43-5 winners

Kent 2:  A HWO for O Wills against Orpington sees them sitting at the head of the division, twop points clear of Footscray who defeated Bexley 11-15, NAG are third following a 21-10 win over visiting fourth club Askeans, whilst Ash move into fifth spot following a resounding 14-38 win at Brockleians. In the mid table battle, Guys Hosp took the points with a 19-12 win over visiting Lordswood.

Next week sees a break from league action for those sides at Level 7 and below as the respective RFU knockout competitions get underway, with some of the county’s sides probably harbouring realistic hopes of a Twickenham appearance.

RFU Injured Players Foundation Cheque Presentation
posted: October 07 2012

The 2012/13 season kicked off on the 25th August with a very successful President’s XV fixture which was organised to raise funds and awareness for the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF).  Saturday’s first home league fixture of this season’s campaign saw IPF trustee Rob Udwin on hand to receive a cheque for £6500 which was raised by the event.  The cheques was presented by club President, Bob Beney and Tom Hughes and also on hand were club Chairman Andy Golding,  1stXV captain Ben Williams and Jason Smith from the President’s XV. 

The RFU Injured Players Foundation has been designated as the club’s nominated charity for the season and it is intended that there will be several other fundraising events throughout the current season.  Additionally the club’s current 1stXV shirts also carry the IPF logo to help raise awareness of the charity and its excellent work to support injured players as the team contest their league and cup fixtures around the county.

Photo:  The RFU Injured Player Foundation’s Rob Udwin receives a cheque for £6500 from Bob Beney and Tom Hughes

Francis gets his hands on the famous 'Log O'Wood'
posted: October 03 2012

A Waikato side which included former Maidstone player Piers Francis  ripped the Ranfurly Shield from Taranaki's grasp after thumping their hosts 46-10 at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth on Wednesday.  Taranaki were firm favourites to hold on to the "Log O'Wood" for the second consecutive season but were no match for Waikato's 'Mooloo Men' who outscored the home side seven tries to one.

Waikato will have to see off the challenge of Hawke's Bay next weekend to ensure they keep hold of the Shield and also have a clash in Pukekohe against the impressive Counties Manukau Steelers this weekend as they fight to stay in the ITM Cup's top division.

Around the Grounds
posted: September 30 2012

National 1: Following a solid 41-23 win against a visiting Blaydon outfit, ‘Club’ move up to second in the table behind Ealing who had to score three tries in the last ten minutes to salvage a 27-27 draw at Richmond, Cinderford sit in third spot on points difference after they went down to their first defeat of the season (36-30) at Tynedale.

National 2(S): Despite a 21-20 win over visiting Chinnor, the city club drop a place to sixth in the division, with Henley already looking the early promotion favourites and a large group trailing 5-10 points behind.

National 3(SE): Barnes continues to set the pace in the division as they toppled Guernsey 12-19, although they had to come from behind to take the win.  Meanwhile Dorking brought Bishops Storford’s winning run to an end as they ran out 20-16 winners to stay in contention.  For the Kent clubs, only Elthamians really did their cause any real good as they crushed strugglers Tring 43-12.  TJs drew 23-23 at CS Rugby although they were unlucky not to take the points as they missed a late conversion that would have given them the win,  the draw sees them slip to sixth place, with Combe going down 30-36 at home to Essex club Westcliff and drop back into the bottom four in the table.  Gravesend’s trip to struggling Staines was postponed.

London 1(S): East Grinstead and Chichester still head the Ldn 1(S) table with 100% records as they inflicted big defeats on Sidcup (6-50) and Haywards Heath (0-69) respectively.  Wimbledon sit third following a 15-46 win at Colfes, with Dover now fourth following a tight 26-27 win at Havant.  Basingstoke move back into contention following a thumping 60-3 over Hove with Gosport & F going down 55-15 at Cobham (original postings on the RFU result page had this as 55-151 which read rather like a T20 Cricket score).  Trojans remain at the foot of the table following a 15-14 loss at Beckenham.  So after five fixtures the leading contenders are easy to identify, with H Heath, Gosport & F, Colfes and Trojans looking like the main relegation candidates.

London 2(SE): Without a win under their belts Thanet Wdrs hosted a Brighton side that had comprehensively defeated Medway last week and they carried on in the same vein, as they put 66 points past the East Kent side for only 3 in return.  Sevenoaks were also looking for their first win and a trip to Medway who they had lost to in the Kent Cup, was probably not what they wanted as they fell to their second defeat within a month to the same opposition, going down 67-30. League leaders Lewes disposed of Dunstonians 35-9 and have Crowborough hot on their heels after their 25-10 win over last season’s runners-up Charlton Pk.  After what seems to have been a three week tour of the Kent coast, Aylesford finally got a home fixture and defeated Heathfield & W 25-10 to stay in third spot.   Warlingham went down 15-35 to a visiting Deal & Betteshanger. After the first three fixtures it looks like the main contenders are the three Sussex sides and Aylesford, but at the foot of the table it looks like it could be a difficult season for Oaks and Thant.

London 3(SE): Sheppey sit at the head of the table with a 100% record after three weekends following their 14-30 win at Folkestone, whilst Ashford sit in second spot following a 20-29 win at Tunbridge Wells, who have now lost two on the trot after their demolition job on Pulborough on the opening day.  Maidstone sit in third spot with a game in hand, following a 46-5 win at Uckfield.  Having mentioned Pulborough, this weekend saw them post their first win as they defeated Park Hse 31-19, a result that moves them to up to eighth spot, leaving Vigo at the foot of the table following their 6-39 defeat at home to Horsham.  Bromley also got themselves off the mark as they inflicted a first defeat on Anchorians (20-10), a result that sees the Medway club drop to fifth in the table.

Kent 1: Kings Coll stay at the head of the table following a 15-40 win at HSBC, with Sittingbourne in second spot after they OGs 52-6.  Cranbrook sit in third place on points difference, but with a game in hand following their 41-5 defeat of promoted Southwark.  At the foot of the division Whitstable have yet to pick up their first point as they went down to a third league defeat at the hands of Dartfordians (19-27), whilst mid-table Beccs lost out 43-14 at Shooters Hill.  Hastings had no fixture this week.

Kent 2: Askean stay at the top end of the division after a 41-27 win at Bexley, with O Wills in second spot following their 13-22 win at third placed Footscray.  NAG were convincing winners 12-32 winners at Darenth Valley and could be top but for a points deduction.  With Lordswood having no fixture the mid table battle between Guys and Brocklians went the way of the hospital side 35-12.  At the foot of the table Orpington’s woes continued as they lost out 17-22 to visiting league newcomers Ash.

RFU Players Survey
posted: September 25 2012

The RFU led by John Douglas and through the auspices of research group Fresh Minds are looking to gather the views of as many players as possible! They have had a great response so far, but  are looking to hear from even more players than have currently responded. This will really help to ensure the research truly represents the views of players and ensure they have the opportunity to contribute towards the future development of the game.

To  ensure that the RFU receive feedback from as many players as possible, all Maidstone Rugby players are encouraged to complete the survey.  You are the players and the game is about you, and this gives you an opportunity to contribute to ensuring that changes in the game are what the majority of players want.

The survey will be running until early October.

See here for a video of England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster promoting the research! (click here)


The survey on behalf of the club was initiated by Martin Arnold ( and all players are requested to include his details on the last page of the survey.

Around the Grounds
posted: September 23 2012

National 1: The 31-51 scoreline might look convincing enough but it was by no means plain sailing as O Albanians had a healthy lead up until the final quarter of the match. ‘Club’ then ran in 36 unanswered points to take the match. A result that sees them move up to third in the table behind unbeaten leaders Ealing and Cinderford in second spot.

National 2(S):  The city club stay in fifth spot despite a 55-31 defeat at second placed Worthing in a match that produced fourteen tries.  Canterbury were in touch until early in the second half when three Worthing tries in a ten minute period put the match out of reach.

National 3 (SE):  Having faced what looks like being three of the leading contenders in the first three weeks of this campaign, a local derby was probably not the best choice for Combe’s fourth fixture as they travelled to Gravesend still looking to post their first win.  In the end they ran out comfortable winners to post their first win of the campaign, a result that moves them clear of the daner zone but leaves Gravesend uncomfortably close to the bottom.  In the battle between two of last season’s promoted clubs, Elthamians made the short journey over the river to Thurrock but came off second best, going down 46-33 to the Essex club. In the last of the county club’s fixtures TJs entertained a Dorking side who are a match for anyone on their day and the home side were keen to keep their winning record to stay in touch with Barnes at the head of the table.  Alas they were convincingly beaten 26-55 by a Dorking side that will almost certainly have an influence on the promotion battle come the business end of the campaign.

London 1(S):  East Grinstead move to the top of the table after a 63-8 demolition of Beckenham, with Chichester in second spot on points difference after their 35-28 win at home to Basingstoke.  Sidcup and Wimbledon are second and third respectively, separated only by points difference after their 15-22 battle with the Kent club taking the honours. In the battle between the south coast sides, Hove beat Havant 25-15, whilst at the foot of the table the woes continue for Colfes and Trojans, who are both still looking for a first win after defeats to Dover (41-3) and Cobham (20-29) respectively.  Elsewhere Gosport & Fareham beat a Haywards Heath side that have had a stuttering start to their campaign (29-23).

 London 2(SE): Lewes stay at the head of the early season standings after a tight 40-46 win at Charlton Pk, with newly promoted Crowborough just behind them following their 24-39 win against a Sevenoaks side that looks as if it might struggle this season.  Third placed Aylesford recorded a good 12-17 win in a tight contest at Deal & Betteshanger whilst Brighton sit fourth in the divison after a resounding 55-17 home win against Medway.  Warlingham took the honours in the 18-25 result at Dunstonians, whilst Thanet’s problems continue after they fell to a 43-10 defeat to Heathfield & Waldron.

London 3(SE):  Folkestone’s visit to Maidstone was postponed at their request following the tragic circumstances of last weekend and the fixture will be played on the first weekend that becomes available.  Elsewhere, Tunbridge Wells followed up last week’s big win with a surprising 18-13 defeat away at Horsham.  Ashford hosted Pulborough this week and whilst the Sussex club have yet to cross the tryline, the margin was much narrower as they went down 15-3 to the mid Kent club.  In the battle of last season’s Kent 1 promoted clubs, the honours went convincingly to Anchorians as they soundly beat Vigo 56-5.  Bromley couldn’t make amends for last week’s loss as they went down 28-7 at Sheppey who now head the table.  In the last of the fixtures, Uckfield overcame their Park Hse hoodoo as they ran out 11-17 winners against the SE London club.

Kent 1:  Early season predictions are somewhat difficult in this division as last week’s big winners Hastings & Bexhill went down 28-8 at Beccehamians.  In fact only Cranbrook who had no fixture this week, HSBC who didn’t play last week and Kings Coll remain unbeaten, with Kings heading the table after a 41-13 win at Whitstable. Southwark Lancers sit in second spot despite a 12-15 reversal to HSBC, OGs inflicted a second defeat on Shooters Hill as they ran out 29-19 winners with Dartfordians posting a similar result at Sittingbourne as they won 17-8.

Kent 2: Footscray are the early front runners and head the division as they inflicted a second loss on new boys Ash (5-34) whilst O Wills followed up last week’s draw with a narrow 22-18 win over Askean to sit in second spot.  Perhaps surprisingly Lordswood lost out in the 28-20 scoreline at NAG, with Bexley narrow winners at Darenth Valley.   Orpington fell to another defeat as they went down 33-0 to Brockleians.

Around the Grounds
posted: September 15 2012

National 1:  Club stay in fifth spot after a 26-20 win against visiting Wharfedale, with the sides above them in the table all winning except Cinderford who drew 36-36 at Rosslyn Park.

Nationals 2(S): A 7-35 win at Lydney sees Canterbury up to fourth in the division and equal on points (10) with Worthing who sit above them and Shelford a place below.  The early front runners are Henley with a 100% record and Hartpury who are a point ahead of Canterbury.

National 3(SE):  Combe’s difficult start to the season continued as they took on another of the division’s early front runners in a Bishop’s Stortford side that has clearly picked up where they finished the last campaign as they ran out 23-29 winners, leaving Combe as one of three clubs in the division still looking for their first win.  TJs travelled to take on a Staines side that has had an equally poor start to Combe’s and they remain pointless in the bottom three of the table after this 33-59 defeat;  although they have now played the top three clubs in the first three weeks of the season and will be hoping that things start to pick up from here.  Gravesend are still looking for their second win as they went down 15-10 to  Hertford whilst Elthamians faced last season’s Ldn 1 (N) champions in Westcliffe and ran out solid 32-20 winners and sit sixth  in the table after three matches.

London 1(S): Basingstoke were this week’s big winners as they demolished newly promoted Gosport & Fareham 53-0, East Grinstead maintained their momentum as they also ran in a big score, beating Cobham 31-68 to go top of the table.  Chichester were also in the points as they beat Havant 11-48 to remain in second spot with Wimbledon in third place after a narrow 14-15 win at Beckenham.  Haywards Heath recovered from last week’s mauling to beat Trojans 32-17 whilst Hove were just edged out by Dover as they went down 12-13 to the visitors.  In the local SE London derby, Sidcup ran out 39-18 winners against visitors Colfes, a result that sees them languishing very much at the wrong end of the table.

London 2(SE): On the opening day of the season at this level the big winners were Lewes who ran in 51 points for only 20 in reply by Sevenoaks.  Aylesford travelled to a Thanet side that were relegated last term and ran out 12-28 winners against the East Kent side, whilst Deal & Betteshanger recovered from last week’s Kent Cup defeat to beat Dunstonians 5-23.  Last season’s runners up in the division, Charlton Pk ground out a narrow 10-12 win on the road at Warlingham whilst both of the promoted sides posted winning scores as Medway beat Heathfield 21-13 and Crowborough got the better of Brighton 22-20 in a tight contest.

London 3(SE): aAmixture of results in this division, but the scoreline that stands out is Tunbridge Wells’ hammering of newly promoted Pulborough 3-69.  The other promoted sides fared better as Anchorians posted a solid 24-20 win against Horsham although Vigo went down narrowly (27-29) to visiting Sheppey. Last time around Ashford had a string of narrow losses in the early part of the season, this time around they look to be on the positive side of the scoreline as they won 20-22 at Uckfield.  Maidstone tripped up at Bromley on opening day last season but made amends with a 25-19 win this time, although they probably should have won by a greater margin; whilst Folkestone, who normally start the season like a runaway train hit the buffers slightly as they were held to a 10-10 draw by visiting Park Hse.

Kent 1: early front runners are Sussex club Hastings & Bexhill as they beat OGs 46-0 and newly promoted Kings Coll who put Dartfordians to the sword 41-5.  Cranbrook also posted a score in the 40s but conceded 31 in reply as they ran out 48-31 winners.  Southwark lancers first outing in Kent 1 ended on a high as they were 17-26 winners at Whitstable, with Shooters Hill going down 5-29 at home to Sittingbourne.

Kent 2:  A couple of big scores in this division as Askean ran out 49-7 winners against Ash who were playing their first match in the county leagues.  Lordswood also posted a big score as they crushed Bexley 55-7.  Dartford Valley drew with O Wills  17-17 whilst Footscray were 27-14 winners against near neighbours Orpington.

RFU Junior Vase:  After a first weekend of league action the draw has also been announced for the RFU Junior Vase which involves the Kent division clubs and with one fixture yet to be confirmed it is looking very much like a Kent v Sussex weekend.  HSBC are drawn away at Sussex 1 club Burgess Hill with Cranbrook also on the road as they travel to Holbrook.  Dartfordians travel to take on Sussex 1 side Newick, whilst OGs are on the road to the coast to face Seaford.  Both Shooters Hill and Sittingbourne have home draws, with Shooters taking on Rye, although ‘Bourne’ will need to wait to find out who their opposition is due to match card issues that need to be resolved with their potential opponents.  Matches will be played on 13th October.

Francis starts at 10 for Waikato
posted: September 13 2012

Following two defeats on the bounce the selectors ring the changes for the 'Mooloo Men' as former Maidstone stand-off Piers Francis starts at fly half for Waikato as they take on Wellington in the ITM Cup in New Zealand.

The match can be viewed live on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports 1 HD at 5:30am on Sat 15th Sept, alternatively you could have a lie in and watch the highlights later.



Around the Grounds
posted: September 09 2012

First up the Kent Cup and matches from both the 1st & 2nd rounds as Maidstone travelled to take on Deal & Betteshanger in their first round encounter, whilst Aylesford made a somewhat shorter trip to Kent’s north coast to meet Sheppey and clear their 2nd round fixture before the league campaigns start next week.  Maidstone were somewhat sluggish in the early stages of their fixture but came from behind to edge D&B by the odd point in the 19-20 scorline and will now face Dover in the next round.  Aylesford were also made to work for their win as they beat Sheppey 5-15 to move into the third round.  There is no news available (on either club’s website) of the 1st round fixture between O Elthamians and Thanet Wdrs which was due to be played by today (Sun 8th Sept).

RFU Junior Vase:  One of the competitions I failed to mention last week was the RFU Junior Vase which starts earlier than the other RFU cup competitions due to the size of the entry list.  Ten of the counties Kent 1 & 2 clubs are involved this season although only five this weekend, with Cranbrook, Dartfordians, OGs, Shooters Hill and Sittingbourne having byes to the next round.  In the first of the ties Askeans had a home draw and hosted Beccs OB but went down to a heavy 19-67 defeat; Bexley fared little better in their home fixture against O Emanuel and were on the wrong end on the 10-58 scoreline whilst Lordswood  suffered similarly, going down 53-12 at Economicals.  With Beccehamians withdrawing from their tie with O Haileyburians, Brockleians were the county’s only club to register a positive result as they came out on top in the 12-19 result at London Media.

National 1:  Despite trailing 14-8 at half time a strong start to the second half saw Club take the lead with Esher then striking back to open up a winning lead, although it took a breakout from their own line to give them the margin they needed as Blackheath finished the stronger, but the home side holding out for a 33-28 win.

National 2(S): Canterbury ran riot at Merton Lane as they ran in eleven tries in a 74-15 rout of visitors Barking.  The east London side came down from National 1 at the end of last season and are still looking for their first points whilst the win puts the city club at the head of a sizeable chasing pack behind the top three of Henley, Hartpury and Redruth.

National 3(SE): The fixture programme had contrived to produce two all Kent derbies for this second weekend of league action and after going down at home to Barnes last week the trip to face a rampant TJs outfit was probably not what they needed, although last season’s runners up in the division were made to work hard for the points as they condemned Combe to a 21-17 defeat.  Following up from a narrow win at Thurrock, Gravesend hosted an O Elthamians side that had suffered a close defeat to Bishop’s Stortford, who were one of last terms stronger outfits.  In a hard fought contest it was the visitors that just edged a tight contest 32-34 although Gravesend almost took the points at the death with a late penalty opportunity.  After two weekends the early front runners look like being Barnes along with Bishop’s Stortford, TJs, Dorking and a couple of the newly promoted sides (Guernsey and Thurrock) also in the hunt, although there is a long way to go yet!!

London 1(S): Chichester were last season’s front runners in the division for a long period and after last weekend’s comfortable win against Dover it was more of the same as they took on Hove, running out 34-21 winners.  In the Sussex derby, East Grinstead’s confident start continued as they hammered Haywards Heath 59-3, a result that may send a few shock waves around the division.  In the Hampshire derby between Havant and Gosport the spoils went to Havant as they ran out 17-32 winners. Another local derby saw the match between Beckenham and Colfes, with the 16-20 result leaving Colfes still waiting to get their first win under their belts since returning to L1(S).  The same applies to Trojans as they took on a Basingstoke side, losing out 12-43.  In the final match up in the division Cobaham travelled to Wimbledon with the home side taking the points with a 26-14 result.

Next week sees a full programme of league action across the divisions.

Around the Grounds
posted: September 01 2012

I had thought that this ‘Around the Grounds’ piece might start to fade into obscurity  after a couple of seasons, but contact with several people involved with the game at various levels around the county has led the author to believe that there are actually some readers out there, so the whole exercise is probably a worthwhile use of a Saturady night & Sunday afternoon/evening.  Last season we started with a bit of a preview, particularly as different divisions start their respective league campaigns at different times plus there is the first round of the Kent Cup to fit in before the league starts. 

The author rather foolishly made some predictions in terms of promotion for the season, and whilst they weren’t too far off the mark I don’t think we will go through that exercise again and just stick reporting on what has happened and not what might happen!!

What follows is a brief summary of those leagues that have already started plus a note of when the other divisions start and who plays who, plus an update of some of the Shepherd Neame Kent Cup matches that have been played, or are scheduled to take place in the run up to the start of the league campaigns.

Starting first with the Kent Cup; first up was a repeat of last season’s opening fixture as Medway hosted Sevenoaks, last time around they were in different league divisions, but Medway are a club very much on the up and now sit alongside Sevenoaks in L2(SE).  Oaks squeaked through by a point last year but this time around Medway’s execution was much more clinical as they ran out 32-10 winners to move on to face O Dunstonians in the 2nd round.  D&B are due to host Maidstone on Saturday 8th Sept, but at the moment there appears to be no record on either club’s fixture list of Elthamians fixture against Thanet which has to be played by Sunday 9th Sept.

National 1:  Having finished 4th last time out and closing out the season with a long undefeated run Blackheath are possibly in with a shout of promotion this time around if they can maintain that sort of form, and their opening 57 point salvo against new boys Loughborough Students sees them sitting at the head of the table at the end of the first days play.   Esher who dropped down from the Championship must be amongst the promotion hopefuls although their 39-22 loss to a Fylde side that will no doubt be at the business end of the table in 7 months’ time will be a wake-up call for Ollie Smith’s boys.  Rosslyn Pk and Ealing who all finished in the top group last time out had solid wins to start their respective campaigns.

National 2(S):  After a season out, Canterbury are back in National 2 (S) having achieved promotion with room to spare last time out.  Their first outing back in the division saw them travel to take on 3(SW) promoted side Bournemouth and come out on the wrong end of the 32-17 scoreline and an early warning of the increase in intensity at that level.

National 3 (SE):  Mixed fortunes for the county’s sides on the opening day in this division; as expected TJ’s will be a force to reckon with as they demolished Hertford 17-51.  Gravesend came out on top of a close 31-23 scoreline in their short short jaunt north of the Thames to Thurrock whilst Elthamians went down 16-24 to a Bishop’s Stortford side that had finsished the last campaign strongly.  Westcombe Park went down  25-38 at home to a Barnes side that bit the relegation pill alongside them last season and had been heavily defeated by Ldn 1(S) club East Grinstead a couple of weeks before.

London 1 (S):  First up is the news that Colfes return to the division south of the Thames after two seasons in L1(N) and the opening day saw them travel to Cobham and just come out on the wrong end of a high scoring match (37-34).  Newly promoted East Grinstead stated their early season intentions with a good 23-38 win at Basingstoke, whilst in the local derby between Beckenham and Sidcup, the honours went to the visitors in what was a close contest 21-24.  Last season’s front runners for the majority of the season were Chichester and they showed little mercy to a Dover outfit that may struggle this time around, running out comfortable 41-8 winners. In the local Hampshire derby Havant got their show on the road after a torrid season last term as they beat Trojans in another tight contest 23-21; whilst Haywards Heath went down 13-24 to newly promoted Wimbledon.  In the last of the fixtures Hove proved to strong for new boys Gosport & Fareham as they ran out comfortable 32-20 winners.

London 2 (SE):  Fixtures start 15th September (Crowborough v Brighton, Lewes v Sevenoaks, Medway v H&W, ODs v D&B, Thanet W v Aylesford, Warlingham v Charlton Pk)

London 3 (SE):  Fixtures start 15th September (Bromley v Maidstone, Folkestone v Park Hse, Gillingham Anchs v Horsham, Pulborough v T Wells, Uckfield  v Ashford, Vigo v Sheppey)

Kent 1:  Fixtures start 15th September (Cranbrook v Beccehamians, H&B v OGs, Kings Coll v Dartfordians,  Shooters Hill v Sittingbourne, Whitstable v Southwark)

Kent 2:  Fixtures start 15th September (Askeans v Ash, Darenth Valley v O Wills, Footscray v Orpington Guys v NAG,  Lordswood v Bexley)

Better Late Than Never
posted: September 01 2012

Before the season really gets underway, the club had a bit of outstanding business to conduct from last season that was best conducted before the serious business of the league and cup campaigns commenced.  Unfortunately due to what proved to be a serious and long term medical problem Sam Ellis was unable to attend the Players awards Dinner at the end of last season to receive the David Arnold award for Young Player of the Season.  However, he is now back on the road to full recovery and has commenced training again.  During the period prior to last weekend's President's XV fixture the club took the opportunity of asking former RFU President Robert Horner to present Sam with his award.

Sam made his debut with the 1st XV during last season in an accomplished performance during the 50-0 demolition of Harlow in the RFU Senior Vase and picked the Man of the Match award in the process, before going on to make several other 1st XV appearances during the season.

President's XV Video Summary
posted: August 28 2012

For a video summary of the day surrounding the President's XV please click on the link below.

Video courtesy of Jim 'The Man with the Cam' Tinsley.

click here

President’s XV a great success
posted: August 26 2012

The club kicked of the season in some style on Saturday as Andy Foley’s senior squad took on the President’s Invitation XV captained by Dave Charlton and coached by Ashford’s Darren Reeves in a match that doubled as both a first preseason outing for a squad itching to get the ball in their hands, and also as a fundraising event for the RFUs Injured Players Foundation (IPF).  With the weather thankfully holding good for the afternoon, the match was always combative and played at an exciting pace and whilst the President’s XV were competitive, it was the lack of a bit of team cohesion that is always the drawback of an Invitation team that proved the difference; with Maidstone running out 36-12 winners with Man of the Match and skipper Ben Williams lifting the trophy as the inaugural winners of the President’s Cup

Alongside the event a fundraising draw was held with some excellent rugby and sport related prizes to be won.  In all, the event raised over £3000 for the IPF which is the club’s nominated charity for this season.

Match report now posted plus a selection of photos on the Gallery.

President's XV Draw - Prize Winners
posted: August 26 2012

The President's XV Draw in aid of the RFU Injured Players Foundation was conducted yesterday following the Maidstone Rugby v President's Invitation XV match and the prize winners are as follows:

1 Pr Aviva Premiership London Double Header tickets with ESPN Tour - Liz Rycroft (Maidstone Rugby)

1 Pr Aviva Premiership London Double Header tickets with ESPN Tour - Dave Coleman (Maidstone Rugby)

Signed Waikato Chiefs Super 15 Shirt - Bob Wallace

Signed Harlequins Rugby Shirt - Old Colfeians RFC

Signed Leicester Tigers Rugby Shirt - J Seely

Signed Northampton Saints Rugby Shirt -  Old Dunstonians RFC

Signed Gloucester Rugby Shirt - Martin Arnold (Maidstone Rugby)

Signed Worcester Warriors Rugby Shirt - Andy Smith (Aylesford Bulls RFC)

Signed 2012 Barbarians Rugby Shirt - Bernard Hockley (ODRFC)

Signed Bath Rugby Shirt - Canterbury RFC

Signed Blackheath Rugby Shirt - Old Dunstonians RFC

Biarritz Olympique Polo Shirt - Ben Williams (Maidstone Rugby)

Signed Lashings World  Cricket XI  Shirt - Canterbury RFC

Signed Kent County Cricket Club Shirt - Old Dunstonians RFC

Congratulation to all the prize winners, those who have not yet collected prizes will be contacted in due course to arrange delivery of their prizes.

Former Maidstone players set for ITM Cup showdown in NZ (Updated 01 Sept)
posted: August 22 2012

Former Maidstone players Piers Francis(left) and Danny Caprice (right) are likely to come ‘face to face’ in this season’s ITM Cup competition in New Zealand.  Piers who played last season’s competition with Auckland will now feature for the ‘Mooloo Men’ from Waikato who take on Northland in their second fixture of this season’s competition (Sat 1st Sept).  Former England 7s player Danny has recently moved to New Zealand after a season at Biarritz in France’s T14 and is now playing his rugby for Northland; setting up the opportunity of a reunion for the former Maidstone Rugby U18 team mates.

Starting Lineups as at 01 Sept:

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Tim Mikkelson, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Declan O'Donnell, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Tawera Kerr- Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley (c), 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Ben May, 2 Marcel Cummings- Toone, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Kalem Chan Boon, 17 Ted Tauroa, 18 Sam Kilgour, 19 Jono Armstrong, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Glen Robertson.


Northland: 15 Fa'atoina Autagavaia, 14 Dan Caprice, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mateo Malupo, 10 Ash Moeke, 9 Samisoni Fisilau, 8 Hale T-Pole, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Dan Faleafa, 5 Bryce Williams (c),4 Jack Whetton, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 David Hall, 1 Matt Wallis.
Replacements: 16 Tone Kopelani, 17 Justin Davies, 18 William Whetton, 19 Jack Ram, 20 Rhyan Caine, 21 Orene Ai'i, 22 Tau Fa'asisila.

posted: August 20 2012

Please click on the link below for an IRB presentation on the Law Variations being trialled during the coming season.

Click here





Cleansing Service Group are Mustangs’ new lead sponsors
posted: August 08 2012

Award-winning waste management company Cleansing Service Group (CSG) have stepped in to become lead sponsors for Maidstone Rugby’s Mustangs XV which competes in Kent RFU’s Invicta League.

The company, which operates nationally, is in the process of moving its transport base to a new facility in Aylesford.  Investment in the existing site in Aylesford will provide a much-needed specialised waste treatment, recovery and transfer facility serving the south east and is set to be one of the company’s largest operating bases.

A link already exists between the company and the club as CSG employee Richard Weston is part of Maidstone Rugby’s coaching team responsible for the development of players within the Mustangs XV.

CSG managing director Neil Richards said the company was always keen to support communities in which it operated and welcomed the opportunity to join forces with a leading sports organisation serving the local area.  “We’re especially proud to be associated with one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country. The Mustangs are strong contenders for honours this season and we hope our sponsorship support will help boost their efforts.”

Club deputy chairman Bob Hayton said the club was delighted to welcome CSG on board. “They are one of a number of companies that have seen the benefits of being seen to support high standard, community based grassroots sport and expressed an interest in becoming involved,” he said.

IMPORTANT** Membership Subscription Information **IMPORTANT
posted: August 01 2012

Stipulations to Membership from today (01 August 2012):

 •  Members owing subs from 2011/12 have until 31st August to sign up for DD or pay for the coming season in full – if not they will   owe for the previous season + the coming season before they can play again.

 •  Existing players must have a DD in place or paid in full before taking part in any pre-season training.

 •  New players joining can attend pre-season training but must have signed up to the DD or paid in full prior to first match.

 •  New players joining during the season must sign up before their second match.

 •  We acknowledge that particularly in the lower sides that on occasion non-member players may to be drafted in at late notice/on an ad hoc basis. In doing so, they will be subject to a match tax of £10. Those fitting this category will be allowed to play on 3 occasions by which point, full membership will be required to be considered for further selection.

 •  Failure to meet any of the requirements will render a player unavailable for selection until any accrued debts are paid.

 •  If you are not a member, then you will forfeit all membership rights including Club representation, use of club house facilities, access to physiotherapy services provided and entitlement to apply for international tickets.

Free Rugby for the Forces
posted: July 31 2012

Maidstone Rugby has initiated a scheme of free rugby for members of HM Forces. At a time where operational commitments mean that organised service sport within some military units is more difficult, especially for team sports, more servicemen are looking outside the framework of unit sport for their recreation. However, extended training periods and operational deployments combined with other short notice commitments often means that the financial commitment to annual membership of local sports clubs is not a viable option.

With this in mind and in order to maintain its relationship with local military units the club has decided that in recognition of these factors that it will offer free membership to members of HM Forces.

The club had previously offered a discounted subscription scheme to the armed forces but following a review of the scheme it felt that offering free membership was a better option in both encouraging HM Forces participation in community sport as well a recognising the significant and often hazardous contribution made by members of the armed forces.

RFU Senior Vase Draw Announced - Maidstone Get Away Fixture
posted: July 23 2012

The draw for this season’s Senior Vase has been announced and in the quest to go one step further than last season's national semi-final Maidstone travel to London 3 SW club Bognor on Sat 15th Oct for their first round fixture. Bognor played last season in London 2 SW and were relegated after finishing bottom, winning only 3 of their 22 fixtures.

Elsewhere in the draw fellow London 3(SE) clubs Folkestone and Gillingham Anchorians face each other, whilst Ashford travel to take on Horsham. Newly promoted to London 2 (SW), Sussex side Pulborough entertain London Exiles who were Surrey 1 champions last season.

In the other RFU Knockout competitions Aylesford travel to take on Guildford in the Intermediate Cup whilst Charlton Pk face KCS Old Boys and Medway host Tottonians. O Dunstonians travel to face Teddington who  struggled in the league last season but have a good pedigree in the RFU cup competitions having reached Twickenham twice in the last three seasons. Thanet Wdrs have a bye in the first round

In the Junior Vase a number of Kent sides are in action in what is a preliminary round to be played on 8th Sept with only Askean and Bexley receiving home draws as they take on Beccs OB and O Emanuel respectively. Beccehaminas travel to O Haileyburians, with Brockeians hosted by London Media; Lordwood visit Economicals and Whitstable are on the road at Surrey side Chipstead. There are a large number of byes in this round (34) with Cranbrook, Dartfordians, OGs, Shooters Hill and Sittingbourne joining the competition in the first round proper on 13th Oct.

Full details of the draw for all three comptitions can be found at; (please note the London RFU shows fixture dates as 15th Oct, which unless we have started playing cup matches on a Monday must be a typing error on their part and should read Sat 13th Oct)

Club Launches partnership with Cornwallis Academy
posted: July 18 2012

Wednesday saw the launch of the club’s partnership with Cornwallis Academy. Over the past season the club has been conducting coaching at Cornwallis Academy and the scheme has been extended on a more formal basis for the coming season. It is hoped that the scheme will roll out further and also include New Line Learning Academy on Boughton Lane in the future. Club Chairman Andy Golding was on hand at the launch to put pen to paper on the formal agreement along with David Simons, Cornwallis Academy Principal.


To launch the commencement of this formal partnership Cornwallis Academy students were invited to submit designs for the club’s new change strip, which will also be adopted as Cornwallis Academy’s school strip. With the club colours being predominantly red & white and the change strip normally worn to avoid a colour clash with visiting sides, the design brief was quite broad and only prevented red and white being the dominant colours. The response was superb, and with over 500 entries for the competition the judging panel of David Simons, Ben Williams (Maidstone Rugby 1stXV Captain) and Mark Thompson (Samurai Sportswear) were certainly spoilt for choice in selecting the winning design.


Having drawn up an final shortlist of 10 entries, the panel eventually settled on the winning design created by 11 yr old Oliver Ralph who will receive a personalised shirt of his design from Samurai and which will be presented at one of the club’s early season home fixtures.


2012/2013 Fixtures **UPDATE**
posted: July 10 2012

Senior teams fixtures for the 2012/13 season are bow available on the relevant page of the website.  Please note that only weekends where fixtures are arranged are listed, vacant weekends are not shown.  Richard Ewence , the club's Fixtures Secretary is still working to obtain friendly fixtures for vacant weekends where possible.  Fixture lists will be updated as additional fixtures are confirmed.

***FINAL NOTICE - JUNIOR PLAYING SHIRTS*** Update - Deadline extended
posted: June 22 2012

In order to try and address our biggest issue with regards to the procurement periods and delivery of bespoke garments ESPECIALLY JUNIOR PLAYING SHIRTS, an order will be organised and placed around late JUNE FOR JUNIOR PLAYING SHIRTS - so that these will be hopefully available in early September for the start of the season. Please note that the shop will continue to stock Junior playing shirts but by pre-ordering you are guaranteeing your requirement.

We are currently awaiting confirmation of the new prices from Samurai (increases are due to cotton prices) but anticipate that the cost for next season of the Junior playing shirts will be in the region of :

Up to Medium Boys (34” chest) - £35 each Large Boys (36”) to 5XL (54” chest) - £42 each

The playing shirts are available in chest sizes from Baby @ 20” (!!) to 5XL (54”) in 2” chest size increments.

The Club Shop will only stock playing shirts in sizes from Junior (28”) to Large (44”) – any other size must be ordered - see below for size details:

The shirt order will be placed by the end of June so order details must be advised to KEVIN or SAM BAILEY by NO LATER THAN 6th July - all orders placed require a £20 deposit please.

With regards to shorts and socks these can also be pre -ordered but these are ex-stock items with Samurai. We shall continue to run our discounted 'complete kit package' as previous seasons - buy the shirt, shirts & socks in one transaction and it saves approx £6/7

PLEASE NOTE - as from this season it has been agreed that the club socks will be the stock Samurai black/red socks as used by the 1st XV over the past couple of seasons - these will be sold at a reduced price for this season to encourage sales and replace the current 'hooped' socks.

Preseason Training starts Tuesday (19th) @ 7:30pm
posted: June 17 2012

Preseason traing for senior players starts on Tuesday 19th June at 7:30pm at The Mote.  All players welcome.

New players please ask for Andy Foley, Fin Davis of Ben Williams on arrival.



Scrum engagement sequence loses the 'pause'!!
posted: June 13 2012

Crouch, touch, set” will be the call

A revised scrum engagement sequence will be trialled globally following unanimous backing from the IRB's expert Scrum Steering Group.

The trial, which will incorporate the sequence “crouch, touch, set”, was approved at a meeting of the specialist group - made up of Union and players' representatives, former players and other experts - in Bristol, England, last month.

The revised engagement process will be trialled alongside the five Law amendments announced in May, from the start of the next season in each hemisphere and forms one part of the IRB’s ongoing commitment to improving the scrum phase of the Game.

The sequence will see the front rows crouch then touch and using their outside arm each prop touches the point of the opposing prop’s outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will then call “set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then set the scrum.

This sequence was one of six that were extensively researched at six different levels of the Game, including Women’s Rugby, as part of the initial trial process. “Crouch, touch, set” was found to be the most successful and will now be trialled on a global level.

For full details click here

The other law amendments to be trialled as announced in May are:

1. Law 16.7 (Ruck): The ball has to be used within five seconds of it being made available at the back of a ruck with a warning from the referee to “use it”. Sanction – Scrum.

2. 19.2 (b) (Quick Throw-In) For a quick throw in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player’s goal line.

3. 19.4 (who throws in) When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on, the non-offending team will be offered the choice of a lineout at the point the ball crossed the touch line; or a scrum at the place of the knock-on. The non-offending team may exercise this option by taking a quick throw-in.

4. 21.4 Penalty and free kick options and requirements: Lineout alternative. A team awarded a penalty or a free kick at a lineout may choose a further lineout, they throw in. This is in addition to the scrum option.

5. A conversion kick must be completed within one minute 30 seconds from the time that a try has been awarded.

For full details click here

2012/2013 Shepherd Neame Kent Cup Draw
posted: June 12 2012

The draw for the 2012/13 Shepherd Neame Kent Cup has now been announced and sees the county town club as one of six sides competing in the first round. Maidstone travel to L2SE club Deal & Betteshanger with the winners going on to face Dover in the next round, whilst Medway will host Sevenoaks in an all L2SE clash that is a repeat of last year’s first round draw. In the last of the first round matches Thanet Wanderers make the long trip west to face O Elthamians.

Of the Round 2 matches, the pick of the fixtures see some of the ‘big guns’ pitched against each other as Westcombe Pk and Canterbury in what is a repeat of last season’s final, elsewhere Nat 3(SE) club Gravesend host Blackheath. The outcome of both will make the draw for the Plate competition interesting. The full draw for the competition is below

Round 1( to be played on or before 9th September)

Deal & Betteshanger v Maidstone (scheduled for Sat 8th Sept)

Medway v Sevenoaks

Old Elthamians v Thanet Wanderers

Round 2( to be played on or before 11th November )

Old Elthamians or Thanet Wanderers v Sidcup

Tonbridge Juddians v Tunbridge Wells

Sheppey v Aylesford Bulls

Gravesend v Blackheath

Deal & Betteshanger or Maidstone v Dover

Ashford v Gillingham Anchorians

Medway or Sevenoaks v Old Dunstonians

Westcombe Park v Canterbury

New Strip for 2012/13 Season
posted: June 08 2012

It only seems like a couple of years ago that the club took the decision to update the club shirts, although in reality it was more of a ‘retro’ move which took the club shirts back to a design that was closer to the traditional shirts of a few decades ago, although there were common sense reasons for this approach in terms of the representation and visibility of sponsors logos. Looking around the county (never mind the country) it would appear that Maidstone Rugby has remained very much a traditionalist club, certainly in terms of its playing strip.

However, the coming season will see a redesigned shirt for the 1stXV which will in time trickle down through the club’s senior sides; and the club’s new Youth Chairman is also looking at the possibility of realigning the youth section’s shirts with the rest of the club colours. Strangely enough an exercise that the club previously went through in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

By popular opinion it was felt that as the club moves forward, we needed to project a more modern image, an additional consideration was the large ratio of white in the current shirts which tends to suffer and lose its brilliance towards the end of the season. Obviously, all of those involved were mindful of the fact that the club colours needed to be maintained, and also the consideration of being able to display sponsors logos without masking any shirt design with large areas of white background to achieve this.

A number of design options were fielded to the senior players with the rationale behind them explained and rather pleasingly the younger generation settled upon a shirt that is still very recognisable as being Maidstone, which will no doubt please the traditionalist older generation.

Picture:  New 1st XV strip without sponsors logos,

Senior Squad David Lloyd Gym Use
posted: June 07 2012

Just to clear up any confusion in regards to the David LLoyd gym membership. It starts tomorrow (Friday 8th June) and run till the end of August.
Anyone who is already a member or who has cancelled their membership in the last 3 months MUST let Matt Plowman know.

Each person on the David Lloyd Gym list needs to report in on their first visit, fill in an agreement, have a photo taken to then be issued with a card for them to use. Fiona Lomas, Membership Administrator will be taking care of this matter, and players are advised to contact Fiona to make a brief appointment to complete these tasks and collect the card. Due to David Lloyd operating guidelines, the gym has to strictly adhere to individuals using their cards for access to the club. Once the card has been issued it is important that you always take it with you when visiting the gym as access can only be granted with the card. it will also allow us to monitor usage and make changes as required if you are not fully utilising the facility.

The list as it currently stands is AS FOLLOWS:

Luke Debnam, Ben Wilson, Josh McKenzie, Damian Grab, Lewis Fagg, Ben Williams, Sean Evans, Dan Eastwood, Sam Bailey, Cezar Ionica,  Ally Moss, Andy Bacon, Nick Jeary, Dave Tugwell, Steve Matthews, Mark Dorman, Ed Adams, Lee Thomson, Neil Graves, Mick Vincent, Gareth Bramwell.

Maidstone Rugby’s 5th XV celebrate another great season
posted: June 08 2012

Maidstone 5th XV aka Barbarians celebrated with their annual end of season awards dinner recently with thanks to the hospitality of the staff at The Bull in East Farleigh.

Pictured with captain, Ian Ausher (3rd from left), the award recipients (l-r):-

  • The Captains’ Shield (5th XV Player of the Season) – Steve Skipp;
  • MMB Newcomer of the Year – Simon Seal;
  • Most Improved Barbarian/Tourist of Year – Luke Cassidy;
  • Barbarian of the season (Contributions to social rugby) – Colin Frost.

Not pictured but other awards went to Jason Hudson (Tim Doyle Memorial Award for services against social rugby), Paul Hodges (Handbag of the season) and Phil Hadfield (Vice-President’s Award for Social Media Awareness).  Grateful thanks were extended to the outgoing captain, Tom Clarke and a fond farewell to our German winger, Dave Schaefer.

Anyone who is new or wishing to return to the game at the social end of Maidstone Rugby then why not come down to Barbarian’s summer training.                                Starts 12th June with a fitness hour on Penenden Heath at 7pm every Tuesday and every Thursday thereafter at Allington Rec (opposite Tesco on London Road) from 7:30pm  -  4th XV members particularly welcome as always.

Shaun Neaves
posted: June 07 2012

As many around the club will know, the coming season sees the club say goodbye (but hopefully not farewell) with the departure of Shaun Neaves, who has taken up a 1st XV Coaching position at near neighbours, Aylesford.

Many of you will know Shaun but you may not be aware that he has been involved with the Club as a player, administrator and coach with over 30 yrs of dedicated service. He is a larger than life character in the true sense of the word and whilst he will be missed, we wish him every success his new role.

International Sports Broadcaster ESPN step in as lead sponsor for the President’s XV
posted: May 28 2012

Sports TV channel ESPN who broadcast Premier League Football and more importantly Aviva Premier Rugby have stepped forward as shirt sponsors for this year’s President’s Invitation XV.  The date for this year’s fixture is now confirmed as Saturday 25th August,  This year’s fixture is being played to raise funds for the RFU Injured Player Foundation which has been designated as the club’s charity for the season.

Should you wish to donate to the charity or know a local business or company that would like to be involved then please contact Bob Hayton via the contacts page of the website.

RFU IPF to be Maidstone Rugby’s nominated charity for the 2012/13 Season
posted: May 27 2012

Not many people know about the good work that the RFU’s Injured Players Foundation does within the rugby community. That is until they need their support!  Many of the club were unaware of their existence until the unfortunate serious injury sustained bay Tom Hughes in the season just past.

The foundation provides invaluable support to players who suffer what are termed catastrophic injuries and for the coming season it has been designated as the Maidstone Rugby's nominated charity.

The club’s 1st XV will carry the RFU IPF logo on the right breast of their shirts throughout the coming season to help raise the profile, as well as the club participating in and running some fundraising events.  The first of these will be on Saturday 25th August and kick-off the coming season’s home fixtures, when the 1st XV will take on a President’s Invitation XV to raise funds for the charity.

Should you wish to donate to the charity or know a local business or company that would like to be involved then please contact Bob Hayton via the contacts page of the website.

County Town Club links up with new sponsor
posted: May 26 2012

"The 'County Town' club are pleased to announce the forthcoming seasons new sponsor, national tyre retailer - Hometyre. The mobile tyre company have recently begun operations in the Maidstone area and are keen to establish the brand within the local community. Local Hometyre operator, Alan Johnson, commented: "Hometyre is a great convenience service making the normally onerous task of replacing tyres incredibly straightforward for our customers. The brand has quickly gained strong local customer bases in other parts of the country by supporting local sports clubs and charities. We're really pleased to be sponsoring Maidstone and are looking forward to showing its members and supporters what we can do for them!"

Bob Hayton, Maidstone Rugby's Deputy Chairman added: "It's great for the club to bring in new sponsors - especially a big up and coming brand. The new season starts in August but we work with and actively promote all of our sponsors throughout the year."

New season sees the County Town Club travel to Bromley in opening fixture
posted: May 23 2012

For the third consecutive season the County Town club opens its league campaign with an away fixture and in a repeat of last year’s opening league match they will be travelling to Barnet Wood Road in Hayes to take on Bromley. It is noticeable that the 2012/13 campaign appears to start a week later than last season, which given the limited number of free slots that were available last term seems a bit strange.

With the first pre-season fixture taking place almost a month prior to the opening league match, Head Coach Andy Foley will be looking for an extra pre-season match up to accompany the match against Rochford Hundred on 18th August and the President’s XV fixture now scheduled for Saturday 25th August.

The full fixture list for the new season can be viewed at the London RFU website (click here)

Pre-Season Training & Touch Rugby
posted: May 16 2012

Pre Season training for the senior club will start on Tuesday 19th June at the club and take place every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter at 7:30pm.  All senior players are welcome to attend.

Commencing at 7:30pm on Thurday 31st May there will be Touch Rugby, the venue is yet to be confirmed.

Additionally, from Saturday 9th June Shaun Neaves will be running the traditional 'Fat Boys' training sessions will take place and run throughout the summer each Saturday at c2:00pm on the training pitch.  The good news is that you don't have to be fat to take part!!!

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