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Weekly Round up for 21st April 2012 (and last of the season)
posted: April 24 2012

 

Results for 21st April 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

H

Won 45-10

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

 

3rd

Ash

H

Won 26-5

Invicta III

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

Warminster

H

Lost 15-17

Friendly

Vets

Blackheath

H

Lost 14-33

Evergreen Cup Semi-Final

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s all folks !! Another season fades into the memory and enters the record books (as if we kept any).

 

 In many respects its been a very good season, with plenty of good wins for supporters to enjoy and a thrilling cup-run to boot.  On the other hand, it was disappointing that promotion hopes were ended within the first 3 weeks of the season’s start and also that we were only able to field our normal six sides on one Saturday of the season, meaning that we are facing the likely prospect of going into next season with one less team than hitherto.

 

A consequence of being unable to field enough teams to play all of our fixtures was that for most players in the 3rd, 4th and Vets XVs, the season was somewhat disjointed and unsatisfactory.  Players like to play in settled teams and to know the players around them and this was made difficult by the constant necessity to juggle players.  On the other hand, The Mustangs enjoyed their best season for a few years and the 5ths went from strength to strength.

 

Anyway, enough of the season – which will be reviewed in more depth on Friday at the players awards dinner – and on to the events of the weekend.

 

Saturday brought the opportunity to avenge the third of those early season defeats and a 45 – 0 head-start was just the way for the First team to begin – although as soon as I turned up to watch with the score at 45-0, Sheppey scored 2 tries in quick succession, so I felt that my presence there was perhaps somewhat counter-productive.  It was interesting to see Matt Iles playing Fly Half for the first time this season and he certainly seemed to enjoy the experience, collecting the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award for his performance. One of the curses of the talented all-rounder is to be played wherever you are most needed from week to week and there is no one in the first team more versatile than Matt, so it remains to be seen whether he gets to hang on to the number 10 shirt come next season.

 

Given the relative ease with which the First Team dealt with Sheppey on the top pitch, the more enthralling game was the one taking place on the bottom pitch between Ash RFC and a hastily assembled Maidstone 3rd team that was not dragged together until Thursday lunch-time. To call it the 3rd team stretches a point perhaps, as it consisted of any players we could possibly scrape together, including Wacca from the first team, Dan Cummings back from injury after 3 months and a number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th team regulars who fancied a last game, albeit a desperately tough one, Ash having already beaten Kent 1 teams Cranbrook and Sittingbourne this season, whilst losing only narrowly to Kent 1 champions Anchorians in the Kent Vase semi-final.  Anyone who experienced the away-defeat at Ash in December (which nearly prompted us to withdraw our 3rd team from Invicta III, such was the disparity between Ash I and Maidstone III) could not fail to enjoy the sight of the tables being turned so emphatically, although it was not one way traffic by any means and Ash were the first to score a try following a long period of high intensity stalemate during the first half, during much of which Maidstone were severely under the cosh.  Man of the match in a great team performance was probably Ben Hunter, playing his first match of the season after a period away at uni and a long-term calf injury, and he lost no time in showing what we had been missing at number 8 all season, scoring 2 tries and matching the all-action hero Wacca, tackle for tackle. This is somewhat hard on Andy Smith, as on any other day he may have been singled out for MoM on the strength of the try he made for Alan McCabe and the simply stunning solo-try he scored under the posts after dancing through 4 or 5 determined tackles inside the Ash 22.   Div of the day should have been Tom Matley, who was still asleep in bed at home when his absence was noticed at 10 to 3, but having managed to get dressed, run to the ground and get himself onto the pitch in time for kick off, it would be unfair to hold it against him.

 

All of this drama followed the 5th team game vs Warminster tourists, which kicked off at 1:45 and surprised everyone by being an extremely well matched game, bearing in mind that the tourists were drawn from the whole of the Warminster club, whilst the hosts were strictly 5th team players, albeit bolstered by a few old faces who are seldom seen in any kind of action these days (Mick Duggan, Mike Gammon, Danny McCleish). Surprise that Maidstone were able to compete on even terms turned ultimately to disappointment that they were not able to close out an unlikely victory, although Warminster seemed delighted to have won a match on tour at last, which they celebrated with much removal of clothing and sinking of beverages, treating the Mote cricketers to their 1st streaker of the season (and probably the century ) in their exuberance.

 

Celebrations and end-of-season festivities carried on till 2am in the club bar by all accounts, including much bar-diving but not including any bar-diving from Carol, even after she was dragged out of the “ladies” to participate, insisting as she did that she would not bar dive until after Neavesy, at which point the catchers seemed to lose interest in the whole idea.

 

Saturday of course was merely the prelude to the big event of the week-end, which was the Evergreen Cup semi-final vs Blackheath Veterans on Sunday.

 

It was a bone-crunching encounter in which Mayhem’s “hand of correction” was needed on more than one occasion and in which Tuggy took full advantage of discovering that Mike Friday was no bigger than him, to pick on someone his own size.  When Blackheath scored their first try after 10 minutes of intense pressure, it appeared that the flood-gates must open and an unstoppable tide of Black and Red Hoops would engulf the plucky Maidstone team. What excitement then for the home supporters, when Adrian Clark picked up a loose ball behind the Blackheath lines, turned around and scampered 40 yards to ground it under the posts.  (STOP PRESS: MY EYES DECEIVED ME. HE PASSED TO DAVE CHARLTON WHO SCORED AND CONVERTED) This was followed by a pounding of the Blackheath 22 by wave after wave of Maidstone attacks which eventually yielded a gap that Dave Charlton strolled through to score under the posts and give hope of a famous victory.  Against a team such as Blackheath however, most of whom will have played 1st Class Rugby and some of whom were full Internationals, one try was never going to be enough and in the end Maidstone’s brave men were outgunned and outclassed, although best overall performance of the day was probably from Dave Charlton, who displayed every trick in his very considerable book of skills to the delight of the home supporters.  One interesting foot-note to the result is that there is now some doubt as to whether Blackheath can actually assemble a team to contest the Evergreen final on May 12th, so who knows whether Maidstone will get another crack at winning this competition after being the losing finalist in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

 

And so, as the frenzy of action and crunch of bone upon flesh of the Rugby season give way at the Mote to the languid pace and gentler sounds of willow on leather typical of the cricket season, its time to sign off until September when this round-up will once again bring you on a weekly basis, all the news that is fit to print.

 

Where-ever you are in the world loyal readers, enjoy the break.            

RE

richewence@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 14th April 2012
posted: April 15 2012

 

Results for 14th April 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bromley

H

Won 28-6

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Darfordians II

H

Won 45-7

Invicta II

3rd

Cranbrook II

A

Won 3-53

Invicta III

4th

Leigh

A

Forfeit

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gravesend V

H

Won 14-5

Late Red VI

Vets

Tolpuddle

Ringwood Vets

A   A   

Lost

??

Tour

Tour

 

 

 

 

 

As the season draws towards a close, this was a pretty good set of results for Maidstone right across the board – especially for the 3rd team, who have had a pretty torrid time for most of the season but who have hung on by the skin of their teeth, culminating in what is actually now a pretty good set of players, putting in some good performances under the remarkably resilient leadership of Steve Quinn.

 

From a personal view-point, it was rather enjoyable to spend some time as a spectator, having started the day on tour in Swanage with the Vets but escaping their clutches just before the dreaded “court” session, where Judge Peter Mack passes sentence with ruthless implacability and the punishments are always far worse than the crimes.  A quick dash up the M3 and back to the club in time to enjoy the rarity of 3 home wins.

 

Bromley had certainly not come to Maidstone to roll over on the 1st Team pitch, but thanks in no small part to a hat-trick from Man of the Match Neil Graves, they were made to pay for the defeat they inflicted upon us in the 1st League game of the season, leaving the home supporters rueing the loss to Wells last week and speculating what might have been had “The Train” not been unavoidably de-railed.

 

The Mustangs had a field day on the bottom pitch, although curiously, the 20 minutes that I watched saw them go from 28-0 to 28-7, only to score a further 17 points after I left.  Bet they’re glad that I didn’t stay longer !!  Harry Stockford took the honours for 4 tries scored in the match, which is a fairly unusual achievement for any player at any level of the game.  This probably leaves the Mustangs in 3rd (possibly 4th place) in Invicta II, which mercifully means that there are probably 2 candidates for promotion to Division I that are likely to take precedence over them.  This season has been a very good one for the Mustangs but they are probably not yet in good enough shape to be confident of taking the step up to the top tier of 2nd Team rugby in Kent.

 

The 3rds ran riot at Cranbrook and avenged the very narrow loss suffered in the home match earlier in the season.  With the return of Paul Murphy at No 9 and Alan McCabe at 10, backed up by an exceptional pair of centres in Alex Bus and Alex Goodhew, (not to mention 2-try Tuggy on the wing and the continually improving Smith brothers at 14 and 15) it had the look of a very credible attacking force for this level of rugby. If you add to that a pack consisting of Adams, Franklin and Finch in the back-row, Cooper and Fish in the 2nd and a front row of Coomber, Walsh,Hill,Quinn and Thurgood, it was a team that could have won at least half of its League fixtures had it been available throughout the season.

 

Sadly, there were once again insufficient players to field a 4th team.

 

Meanwhile, the 5ths signed off their league campaign with a gritty win over Gravesend V on a Somme that had turned to concrete, with barely a blade of grass to relieve the crunching of bone and skin on rock-hard mud.  (And there was me prior to the match, believing that the ground would have been softened by the bouts of rain we had had during the previous week). Simon Seal was mentioned in despatches for his assured display at fly-half and a much slimmed-down Mike Gillies caught the eye at Scrum-half.

 

The latest word is that the Vets lost both of their tour matches, although its worth recording that they drank Tolpuddle dry after the match on Saturday, emptying the bar of all its beer (Luckily, Ben Jones got through 4 of his pints before playing). Whilst they may have lost both matches on the field of play, I’m proud to record that they were an extremely well-turned out bunch of losers, their skipper having furnished all tourists with matching Waist-coats and bow-ties, topped off with straw-boaters. Much like the club-blazer, it can now only be a matter of time before these items of apparel become so coveted in the club-house that Bob Hayton will be forced to take orders for dozens more (see below - more photos on the gallery, with more to appear in due course)

 

NEXT WEEKEND

 

The Firsts play their postponed League game at home vs Sheppey whilst the 5ths entertain Warminster Tourists, whom they visited on tour the season before last. Meanwhile, if there are sufficient bodies looking for a  last game of the season, there is the postponed League game vs Ash RFC to be played to conclude the Invicta III League programme.    However, the big event of the week-end is the semi-final match between Maidstone Vets and Blackheath Vets in the annual Evergreen Cup competition, which is competed for by 32 clubs across 3 counties and South London. Maidstone will be looking to take revenge for the narrow defeat they suffered to ‘Heath in the final of last year’s competition.  If you have never watched one of these matches, come along for the spectacle as it could be the fiercest game that you will see at The Mote this year.

Dont forget that we hand over control of the club-house to Cricket this week, so we should expect to be accomodating to their playing requirements and share the club and ground space as courteously as possible.

 

 

TRAINING AND PLAYERS MEETING THIS WEEK

There will be no official training on tuesday 17th, although there could be some touch-rugby for anyone who wants to run around.  There is a normal training session on thursday 19th , followed by a players meeting in the club-house, to discuss players views on this season and how we can make improvements to the club for next season.

PLAYERS DINNER AND AWARDS NIGHT

 

The Club Dinner is on 27th April at Rianno’s on Tonbridge Rd.  The price of the evening has been cut back to £20/head this year (for a 3-course meal) to enable more players to attend in these difficult economic times, but no expense has been spared on some magnificent awards and First Class speeches from the best orators that the club has to offer. Best of all is that it will cost you nothing for taxis to take you to Lashings afterwards, as its only a very short stagger from Rianno’s to cross the millennium bridge and to reach Lashings via the Thirsty Pig and The Pilot.  That’s what I call planning !!


RE

           Fixtures for 21st April 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

H

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

 

3rd

Ash

H

 

Invicta III

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

Warminster

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Blackheath

H

Sunday 22nd  

Evergreen Cup Semi-Final

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round Up for 7th April 2012
posted: April 08 2012

Being as our illustrious Fixtures Secretary, who is the normal author of this weekly summary is away in Poland and not due back until midweek, it would appear that it has fallen on myself to compose some form of interim entry to let you all know what’s been happening and is due to happen in the coming week(s), so I would recommend that you look in on the page later in the week to see what additions and amendments may have been made.

Firstly, let me mention the performance of the 1st XV in this weekend’s RFU Senior Vase semi-final, what a titanic effort and a pleasure to watch, really the match could have gone either way and we were unlucky to just fall short with all of the guys doing the club (and themselves) proud. 

There were some sterling performances across the team and all played their hearts out and were a credit to the club colours, but congratulations to club stalwart Steve Matthews who picked up this week’s Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match Award.

Our resident scribe Trevor Langley has summarised the match in an excellent report (click here) and photos from the match are already on the gallery, with more to follow once Bob H can track down Mollie the ‘Sorcerers Apprentice’ to get the memory card from her.

Court & Social

Outstanding Fixtures

Firstly a reminder that the 1st XV has two outstanding league fixtures, next week’s home match against Bromley on what is officially the last league weekend of the season. They also have an outstanding postponed home fixture against Sheppey which will be played on Sat 21st April and this is followed up on the Sunday (22nd) when Mike Laurenson's Evergreen XV host Blackheath in the semi-final of the Evergreen Cup.

Saracens Coaching

A reminder that next weekend sees a number of the Saracens players and coaching staff at the club to take coaching for the U15s.  In addition the Saracens Community team will also be along and they are bringing the Aviva Premiership trophy with them, Ady Shaw will be taking photos which he will have mounted in A4 frames at a cost of £12 per photo, all profits are for the club and more importantly the U15s Tour Fund.

Players Awards Dinner

Finally, a reminder that the Players Awards Dinner will be held on Friday 27th April and the venue will be Rianos on Tonbridge Road. The evening will follow the successful format of recent years and will cost £20 per head.

There is a list with Carol behind the bar at the club for you register your name to attend and make payment. Any player listed who has not paid to attend by Saturday 21st April will have their name removed from the list and will not be eligible to attend. There will be NO payment on the night.

Please don’t leave it to the last minute to book your place.



Weekly Round-up for 31st March 2012
posted: April 01 2012

 

Results for 31st MArch

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

A

 Won 10-16

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park

A

Lost 47-14

Invicta II

3rd

Ash

H

Postponed

Invicta III

4th

Gravesend IV

A

Lost 60-0

Dragon Fire V

5th

Tour to Somerset

A

No News Yet

Friendly

Vets

Old White Bears, Calais

H

Lost

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to the First Team for toughing out a win at Horsham, even if it was only in the dying moments of the game that they secured the points.  Its often more satisfying that way – although when I find myself as a spectator, I prefer to see that the game is comfortably wrapped up in the first half. White-knuckle rides do nothing for my nerves. 

Congratulations to Haydos on winning another Biddenden Vineyards MoM award.

 

The Mustangs went off to Charlton Park with a bare 15, and lost Lewis Fagg within not very many minutes of the start, thereby weakening what was already a somewhat depleted side.  Ben Rookledge woke up on Saturday morning (or was it afternoon already?) to find a text from Chunky. He checked the team selection page (which is the only part of our web-site that is ever out of date) and arrived at the club in time for a 2:30 KO against Old Dunstonians, only 6 weeks too late.

What a shame, as he could have been just the man to throw into the breach against Charlton Park.

 

The 3rd team fixture was postponed so that Ash could play their Kent Vase match vs Anchorians  (which Ash lost 27-10). Despite this however, after giving away 3 players to the Mustangs, only 13 players could be found for the 4th team trip to Gravesend to play Gravesend IV, but big thanks to the guys who made the trip – especially the ones who stepped up from the 5th team.  Arriving at Gravesend, it turned out that Gravesend 2nd Team had no fixture as Old Colfes II had pulled out at the last minute, whilst at the same time, Old Gravesendians could not raise a side to play Gravesend 5ths.  A partial solution was found as we borrowed 4 or 5 players from Old Gravesendians and a game of sorts ensued, although the hard ground took a heavy toll on players – especially knees. (Jack Budgen’s looked like he’d been attacked with a cheese grater by half-time).  The teams were reasonably well matched until 20 minutes in when Gravesend made some wholesale substitutions, but thereafter it became rather heavily one-sided and although it was a game, it wasn’t a proper contest.  The whole situation was rather symbolic of the way the Junior Leagues have often malfunctioned in Kent this season, with only one game out of the 3 scheduled fixtures getting played, 2 away teams failing to turn up and the one game that took place being a 60-nil rout. (which is not a criticism of Gravesend btw, as they did nothing wrong in the whole scenario and had a thoroughly unsatisfactory afternoon themselves, albeit that winning 60-0 is considerably less unsatisfactory than losing 60-0).

 

In the light of our own experiences this season, which suggest that it is now inevitable that we will drop from running 6 mens sides on a Saturday to running only 5 next season, it was interesting to hear that Gravesend look like doing the same, talking of combining their 4th and 5th team to make just one side. For many years, we (and they) have managed to defy gravity along with perhaps Beckenham and Westcombe Park  in running 6 mens teams (which used to be commonplace when I first started playing for Sevenoaks in the 80s) but times are changing and there has been an alarming drop-off in playing numbers right across Kent and this season in particular.  It will be interesting to see if any changes are made during the summer to try to address the decline but my guess would be that longer travelling distances and too many mismatches have probably been the main source of dissatisfaction this year.

 

Our 5ths were away on tour in Midsomer this weekend but the Vets were at home to Calais Old White Bears.  It was interesting to hear that the Bears only left France at 1pm their time, but were changed and ready in time for a 3pm KO. Maybe they could provide a partial solution to the lack of fixtures that East Kent clubs often complain about.  Disappointingly, as predicted, they were not allowed by the French RFU to scrummage and therefore they were left with plenty of energy to run at our older slower Vets all afternoon, which they proceeded to do with some gusto. An unwillingness to intrude upon private grief prevented me from enquiring too deeply into the final score but I gather that it was quite a lot to not very many.  However, the post-match conviviality was good, with lots of singing and berets and I would hope that we can manage a day trip to France for next season’s fixture list.

 

National Senior Vase Semi-Final vs Wells RFC

Just a reminder about next week’s big event (as if you need reminding).  Many volunteers have come forward but more will be needed to make the day a success and if you are possibly able to help with preparations or on the day, please make yourself known to Carol McKenzie or Bob Beney, who are co-ordinating operations.

Evergreen Cup Semi-Final vs Blackheath Veterans

The fixture has been confirmed for Sunday 22nd April, 2pm KO at home.  It should be a thriller, so lets hope we can improve upon the score in last year’s final of this competition when we lost out to Blackheath by 29-19.

RE

        

Fixtures for 7th April 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Wells RFC

H

2pm KO

National Senior Vase Semi-Final

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

 

3rd

 

 

 

 

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

 

 

 

 

Vets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 24th March 2012
posted: March 26 2012

 

Results for 24th March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

H

Lost 13-18

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

H

Won 39-14

Invicta II

3rd

D&B Lions II

H

HWO

Invicta III

4th

Gillingham Anchs II

A

Forfeit

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gillingham Anch III

A

Drew  14-14

Early Bird VI

Vets

Sevenoaks /Delft

A

 Won both games

Friendly + Curry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking ahead to this Saturday (24th), there appeared to be a great week-end in prospect with 3 strong sides assembled for 3 tasty home fixtures but it didn’t turn out as well as expected, with the 1sts suffering an unexpected defeat at home and the 3rds fixture being cried off late in the day by Deal and Betteshanger. However, an impressive win for the Mustangs, together with wins for the Vets and an exciting draw dor the 5ths, helped to redress the balance.

 

Sharing the pre-match buffet with the Uckfield Physio before the 1st team game, one could have been forgiven for expecting a Maidstone romp as she listed all the injuries and unavailabilities that they are currently experiencing, but the Uckfield team that took the field had no intention of going down without a fight.  In truth, Maidstone probably did enough to win this scrappy game but were undone by 2 perverse bounces, one for the first try and one for the last, neither of which could have been prevented by the covering defenders, and of course the game should have been wrapped up so that the home side would not be vulnerable to an unlucky bounce.  Fortunately, the result has very little bearing on Maidstone’s League campaign, although it has all but ended any relegation worries that Uckfield may have harboured.

 

The match on the bottom pitch made much better viewing for the spectators assembled there, as perhaps the best “Mustangs” side of the season made relatively easy work of a powerful Bromley 2nd team that had sneaked the honours in the last seconds of the early-season fixture between these two teams.  Ally Moss got a couple of tries and Mike Blacker and Ben Wilson scored one apiece and my match-side correspondent thinks Ollie Rogers may also have got one.  In the club-house afterwards Mike Blacker was placed on a chair with a pint in his hand, which signified (I think) that he had once again received the MoM award, although from the bits of the game that I saw, Sean Charlton was looking pretty dynamic at fly-half.

 

How frustrating that D&B cried off late on Friday and that no replacement fixture could be found, as we had a good 3rd team assembled for what would hopefully have been a well matched game (something that is comparatively rare in this year’s Invicta III division).  It was doubly frustrating as, following selection on Tuesday when we realised that we would not be able to field a 3rd team and a 4th team this week, we forfeited the 4th team game vs Anchorians II. Had we known that D&B were not going to come, we would of course have played the 4th team game vs Anchs.

The 5ths went to Gillingham for their match vs Anchs III and had quite a feisty encounter there that ended in a 14-14 draw, (the 3rd draw of the season for the B team).  Steve Jones, who has been out of action for ages with illness and injury, was thrilled to be back in action this week but managed to come away from the game with a split scalp needing six stitches and what his surgeon described as the best rugby head-wound he had seen all season.

 

The Vets went to Sevenoaks to participate in a triangular tournament involving Sevenoaks Vets and Delft RFC, a Dutch touring side.  They played 2 x 40-minute matches, beating Sevenoaks 5-0 and Delft 15-5 and stayed behind for a curry and a few drinks.  All very convivial – and nice to come away from Sevenoaks vets with a win for the first team in recent history.  Lets hope that the Vets can enjoy similar success this coming Saturday, when they are due to host the Old White Bears from Calais – although the last time that we hosted a French Vets side, they proved to be a) not very old but b) too old to scrummage according to the French RFU, which resulted in something of a rout in their favour vs their older, heavier and slower English opponents.

The 5ths will be away next week on their annual tour, this time to Somerset, where they will be hooking up with former Barbarian (and occasional Vet) Paul Kelly.  I am sure it will be a very cultural experience for all concerned.

 

 

National Semi-Final vs Wells RFC

 

As I am sure everyone must know by now, Maidstone will be hosting Wells RFC on 7th (Easter Saturday) and its likely to be a very big event.  Many volunteers will be needed to make the day a success and if you are possibly able to help with preparations or on the day, please make yourself known to Carol McKenzie or Bob Beney, who are co-ordinating operations.

 

RE

           

Fixtures for 24th March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

A

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ash

H

Postponed

Invicta III

4th

Gravesend IV

A

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Tour to Somerset

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Old White Bears, Calais

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 17th March 2012
posted: March 20 2012

 

Results  for 17th March 2012

 

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Newmarket

A

Won 15-18

Senior Vase Regional Final

2nd/3rd

 

Ashford XV

A

Lost 29-0

Invicta II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5th

Westcombe Park Gents

H

Lost 7-27

Friendly

Vets

Ton Judds Over 45s

A

Won 25-5

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

I missed the coach but didn’t miss the big match (apart from first 20 minutes, when Newmarket scored most of their points, thanks to the horrendous traffic in Cambridge). The ensuing 60 minutes were pretty nail-biting, especially when Newmarket equalized on 79 minutes, but the confident boot of Leo Fedorcio brought victory in the 2nd minute of injury time and a semi-final slot at home to Wells RFC on 7th April.  Whilst the eventual scoreline was too close for comfort, I think its fair to Newmarket to say that Maidstone always looked as though they had the team to win this game and, had some vital kicks been landed, the end of the match would have not been nearly so nerve-racking.  See Match Report

Matt Iles received the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match award, proving his versatility by leaving the back-line this week, to play at blind-side flanker.

 

Its shaping up to be a great day at the club on Easter Saturday and one of the biggest events in the club’s history.  Many volunteers will be needed in order to handle such a big fixture, so please mark it in your diary to be in attendance in one capacity or another.

 

Away from the excitement of the cup-tie, life carried on as normal, which meant that a pretty useful team was assembled by Steve Quinn from amongst the keener 2nd and 3rd team players, for a friendly against an Ashford XV that inevitably was able to draw on their First Team for players as they had no First Team Fixture.  Regrettably, the team that Steve assembled suffered 4 drop-outs on Saturday morning, whilst other players that would have certainly made the team stronger, played at home instead against Ashford 3rd XV.  Notwithstanding all of the above and a score-line that suggests a one-sided match, a good game ensued (assisted by a couple of young Ashford players who acquitted themselves very well) with some stand-out performances from various players as Steve’s match-report makes clear.  Massive thanks are due to Steve for committing to the hard work of assembling and leading a team, juggling with the balance of not wanting to have too many players on board so that people don’t get a full game, whilst always mindful that late drop-outs can leave the team short of players.  In these circumstances, it would be nice to think that other teams would release players from their subs bench to make up the numbers but unfortunately, not everyone is that altruistic.

 

The 5ths were at home to Westcombe Park Gents, a game about which the only thing I have heard is that David Schaefer, our flying German winger, ended up in A&E with torn shoulder ligaments, which is a bit of a worry given that the 5th team Somerset tour is only a few weeks away but fortunately, it is not his drinking arm that is affected.

 

The Vets were given a plumb home tie against Ashford 3rds and were bolstered by a number of players who could apparently not play away at Ashford for the senior side.  This meant that the team had enough fire-power to deal with the half-dozen Ashford First-Teamers that turned up.  A neutral observer wrote:

 

“Really enjoyable game yesterday and I thought it was the best performance I
had seen by a Maidstone side. Thrown together against a fit young Ashford
they taught them a lesson in how to play. One or two standout performances
by flanker Ashley ?(Aaron Bishop)  Not sure about another young guy at 13 who only plays
infrequently because of Saturday commitments his name Dan?(Sam Weston)  Plus scrum half. (Tom Matley).
Ashford not happy 22-5.” 

 

I gather that as well as the young tyros mentioned above, the old chaps of the Vets played pretty well too.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

 

One can always rely on this column to publish all the news that is fit to print, but having seen the pictures published by Ollie Newton of the coach-trip home from Newmarket I can assure our delicate readers that “fit to print” would be the wrong description of events.  Its just as well that Ollie is off to New Zealand today for a 6 month playing assignment, linking up with former Maidstone favourite Tommy King, as he appears to have flouted the golden rule that “what goes on the bus, stays on the bus”.  However, we wish him well, having been an automatic 1st Team selection since he made his 1st Team debut at age 17 and having proved his versatility with stand-out performances at all positions between 9 and 15.  At least his dedicated Mum and Dad can now be relieved of the task of driving him from Sittingbourne to training sessions and matches two or three times a week, although they assure me that they will be turning up to watch the end of the League and Cup campaign, Ollie or no Ollie.

SOME CORRESPONDENCE

To my surprise, this humble blog is read all over the world, although I'm starting to suspect that its actually just one person,  moving around a lot.  To add weight to my suspicion, an email has come flooding in from Will Arnold, which I hope he wont mind me publishing in full. The Vets will know Will as an extremely keen player who would go anywhere and play in (almost) any position in order to get a game, as well as refereeing on saturdays and sundays and umpiring for the Mote.

Richard, Hope all is well at Maidstone, I continue to enjoy reading
your weekly updates.I have now left Bahrain and am currently teaching
in Hangzhou in China which is about a 2 hour drive from Shanghai and
have even found some Rugby to play with Hangzhou Harlequins and (also a
fanatical New Zealand Rugby following colleague) which is mainly expats
and includes students from Australia, Roumania and Zimbabwe as well as
Canadians, Americans and 1 or 2 locals. One of my other sad interests
is Cambridge United Football Club and I listened to commentary on Radio
Cambridgeshire in my late evening yesterday, also being reported on was
the Maidstone/Newmarket clash and I listened with much interest ( a
penalty reversal was mentioned and I think I was able to identify the
culprit as Sam Bailey! ) Many congratulations on the win, I do not
think I will be able to return for the possible trip to Twickenham but
hope to be at the Mote during July. Regards to all at the club.Best
Wishes Will Arnold

RE

           

Fixtures for 24th March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

H

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

D&B Lions II

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Gillingham Anchs II

A

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gillingham Anch III

A

 

Early Bird VI

Vets

Sevenoaks /Delft

A

 

Friendly + Curry

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 10th March 2012
posted: March 12 2012

 

Results  for 10th March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Eastbourne

A

Won 17-31

London S East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham III

A

Walk-over

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford 2nds

H

 Won 38-8

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

H

 Walk-over

Dragon Fire V

5th

Aylesford 4th

H

Drew 3-3

Early Bird VI

Vets

Lordswood II

A

Won 36-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a strange old week for fixtures this week, but not an unsatisfactory one as things panned out, except for the few players who’s game was cancelled on Saturday morning when Sittingbourne II cried off.

 

At the start of the week, we were contemplating an anomalous fixture card that had the Mustangs playing a league game vs Beckenham III (whom they had beaten by around 60 points prior to Christmas), whilst our 3rds faced Aylesford 2nds (having already lost to them by a 40 point margin this season). 

The obvious thing to do was to strengthen the 3rds at the expense of the Mustangs – only to receive a message from Beckenham on Tuesday that they were withdrawing their 3rds from Invicta II – which is incidentally, at least the 7th withdrawal of a team from the Invicta or Mid/East Kent Leagues this season, (most of them 3rd teams, as it happens).

 

This put us in the position of being able to field a competitive side to play against Aylesford 2nds, which resulted in an exciting and realistic local derby game and gave Aylesford a taste of the standard of opposition they will face next season when they get promoted to Invicta II after this season’s successful campaign in Invicta III.  

 

However, I am getting ahead of myself.

 

The week-end began on Friday evening with an excellent contest under flood-lights between our continually improving U15s team and Aylesford U15s, who deservedly came from behind to win a close contest by 2 tries to one.  Well done to them and also to our lads for their excellent performance.  Well done also to the ground staff for getting the Somme into a playable condition for the game and lastly, to the spectators and coaches of both clubs for providing a friendly and respectful atmosphere for what is always a keenly contested match. This was the first competitive game that has been played under our new lights and should certainly not be the last.

 

On Saturday, the 1st  team  travelled to Eastbourne for what turned out to be less of a foregone conclusion than might have been supposed from relative league positions, but a hat-trick of tries from “The Train” earned him the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match Award (and a hug from his mum if you check out the photo).

 

At home, the 3rd team fixture vs Aylesford II occupied the 1st Team pitch. Mike Blacker once again got rave reviews for his performance and new utility-back Tom Holmes looked impressive in his first outing after a 7year lay-off, prior to which he had compiled an impressive CV of playing honours. With the game finely poised at half-time, Maidstone stepped on the gas in the 2nd half and ran in a number of tries to give an emphatic edge to the score-line. One of the tries was scored by Luke Peters, who played junior rugby at Maidstone and is always hungry for a game when he is in the area.  En route from his home in New Zealand, he texted from the plane (literally out of the blue) to say that he was due to land at Heathrow at 11:40 am and could be at the club by 2pm for a 3pm KO.  Under the circumstances, It would have been rude not to give him a half !!

 

Most of Friday evening and the first 3 hours of Saturday morning were spent in a desperate search for a referee to ref the 4th team game at home to Sittingbourne II.  Eventually, to my huge relief, Bob Purfitt agreed to officiate – at which point Sittingbourne phoned to say that they weren’t coming !!!   Doh!!.

(Having been foiled on Saturday, Bob came to the rescue again on Sunday morning when following an appeal from Aylesford for a ref, he agreed to go there and ref their U16s vs Blackheath, earning considerable gratitude and plaudits for his handling of the game)

 

Some of the disappointed 4th team players went off with the Vets to play a depleted Lordswood 2nd team and finding that Lordswood had only 10 players, 5 of us pulled on the black shirts of Lordswood and an entertaining game ensued, Maidstone prevailing thanks to tries from Scott and Alex Clark, Toby Odhams, Andy Cairns, Alex Goodhew (2) and 3 conversions from Mick Walker.  With an absurdly talented fly-half, Lordswood always looked dangerous and stayed in the hunt to the end but ignoring the result, it was a great advert for what can be achieved with a bit of co-operation and a determination to avoid Bluewater on a Saturday afternoon.

 

At home, the 5ths played an enthralling game vs Aylesford IV without a ringer in sight on either team, and the result was that very rare scoreline 3-3 to each side.  The only losers here were the spectators, who saw very little to get excited about in terms of scoring action but clearly the players had enjoyed it as there were players from both teams still in the bar at 6:30.   One interesting aspect was that the game was played without any input from the traditional 5th team front-row trinity of Arthurs, Bradley and Craven, Maidstone’s own ABC club, but judging from the complaints coming from their younger stand-ins on face-book this morning, its too early to think of retiring the old boys yet (or even worse, shuffling them off to play in the Vets).  Match report from Sporting Billy

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

Congratulations to a (fairly raucous) First Team table (calling themselves "Court and Social" as it happens) that walked off with the Club Quiz Night trophy on Saturday night, although the result might have been different if Paul Hodges had not needed to get his train at 10pm, taking with him an extremely dis-proportionate share of the brain-cells accruing to the Welsh Dragons Team.  Sincere thanks to Bob Hayton for compiling and compering an interesting and well-organized event, not to mention the catering provided by Carol and her glamorous bar-staff.

 

What is it with this club and Physios?   First we had our (then) First Team Captain Mark Ryan snapping up the lovely Sadie after many months where he spent more time on her treatment table than on the field.  Next, there was Grundle and Gareth Hill disappearing off to New Zealand together and now, we hear of the engagement of First Team player Matt Isles to the delectable Anna Rooke.  Congratulations to them both.  Just as well that our current physios are both men – but you never know !!

 

Don’t forget that next week is the Senior Vase regional final vs Newmarket.  I’m not sure if there are any places left on the coach (ask Carol). I just know that I have booked mine.   See you there !!

 

RE

           

Fixtures for 17th March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Newmarket

A

 

Senior Vase Regional Final

2nd

(Mustangs)

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Ashford III

H

 

Friendly

5th

Westcombe Park Gents

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Ton Judds Over 45s

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 3rd March 2012
posted: March 05 2012

 

Results for 3rd March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crawley 

H

  HWO

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath IV

H

Won 20-15

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

Lost 22-15

Invicta III

4th

No Fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Vigo III

A

 Lost 36 -5

Friendly

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

Won 27-14

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a big sponsors event lined up at the club for Saturday, it was disappointing that Crawley could not raise a team to honour the 1st team League game – although there can be few in rugby circles who would not empathise with their current parlous situation. No club forfeits 1st Team matches lightly and it cannot be a very happy time for the loyal players and club officials who are trying to keep the show on the road and for whom the end of the season (and relegation) cannot come quickly enough.

 

Whilst unable to raise a 1st team, Crawley thankfully were still able to raise a Vets team and instead of playing a curtain raiser to the main event, they took part in what became the main event between the two clubs. It was great to see so many of them still in the bar at 6pm, seemingly well pleased with their trip to Kent  and looking forward to repeating the home and away fixtures again next season.  See Richard Weston’s match report.

 

Instead of a First team Match, spectators had a chance to see the Mustangs in action on the first team pitch as they took on a beefy looking Blackheath IV (which must effectively be Blackheath III since they dropped their 3rd team out of the Invicta II division in early season) Man of the Match was all-action hero Luke Day, who never gives less than 100% on the pitch and keeps going like a Duracell bunny (by all accounts).   It was good to see Sean Evans back in action after an injury lay-off, and Mark “Bulldog” Dorman back from Dubai as the club faces an intense few weeks of League and Cup action, when playing resources will inevitably be stretched.

 

The 3rds travelled to Tonbridge with what was perhaps their strongest selection of the season, only to make the fatal error of believing that they had the game sewn up before time.  Tries for Dan Taylor and Jezz Major and 5 points from the boot of returning fly-half Alex Goodhew (he left Maidstone for Luxembourg when he was 10) gave a 15 point cushion beyond half time and coupled with total dominance in the scrum, courstesy of Mick Vincent and Mayhem at 1 and 3, the opposition looked totally demoralised.  However, playing with the wind in the 2nd half, TJs got their act together and thanks to powerful running from their backs, scored 4 unanswered tries to seal victory 10 mins from time.  Despite the loss, this was a very good team performance from Maidstone, with some excellent individual skills. Mayhem was immense throughout whilst Simon Seal looked entirely comfortable to have stepped up from the 5th team, whether on the wing or in the back-row where he performed well as a number 4 jumper, but the stand-out player for Maidstone was 17 yr old Dualtagh Franklin, playing on the blind side flank.

 

The 5ths had given away 3 or 4 of their regulars to other sides but travelled to Vigo III with a decent squad nonetheless, where they unfortunately perished 36-5, most of the damage being done by some quick Vigo backs.  It was interesting to read the Vigo match-report and discover that one of our players had ectoplasm emerging from his nostrils during the game. Makes a change from the usual “game of two halves” clichés, I suppose.   Dave Baker got Maidstone's only try.

 

NEXT WEEK

Rugby galore next weekend, as the 1sts travel to Eastbourne on Saturday whilst top match at home will be Maidstone 3rds vs Aylesford 2nds in Invicta III. On Sunday, the 1sts line up against Old Dunstonians, as Maidstone aim for a kent Cup semi-final place for the 1st time in around 5 seasons.  Come and support the team if you possibly can.

 

Court and social

 

The Quiz night has been put back till Saturday 10th March (next week) so team captains and others should be assembling teams to battle for club supremacy.  Tickets are only £5 per head, to include  food.  If you are intending to attend, it would be highly desirable if you could buy your tickets in advance this week, or at least notify Bob Hayton and/or Carol of your intentions, to assist with catering.

 

I wonder if anyone else noticed the piece in this week’s KM, which contained a picture of our own esteemed former chairman Dave the dentist Arnold, forming part of the line-up for Maidstone’s “It’s a Knockout” team, back in the seventies.  Despite having toured with David on a number of occasions, its not one of his stories that I have ever heard before, so maybe it was something that he was keeping to himself – but alas no longer.  I’m sure that Eddie Waring would have been the 1st to express his appreciation of David’s legendary up-and–under had it been required for the show.

 

Another former player appeared in the printed media this week as the Telegraph reported that Fergus Wilson is to stand for the position of elected police commissioner for Kent.  Many players may have seen the picture in the club-house of him with his race-horse in Maidstone club colours but may not have made the connection.  He is certainly never short of an opinion, so it will be interesting to hear what he has to say as his candidature gets underway, although you shouldn’t necessarily expect to agree with all of his somewhat outspoken views.

RE

           

Fixtures for 10th/11th  March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Eastbourne

A

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham III

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford II

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

H

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Aylesford IV

H

 

Early Bird VI

Vets

D&B Vets

A

 

Friendly

!st

Old Dunstonians

H

Sunday 2pm

Kent Cup ¼ Final



Weekly Round-up for 25th Feb 2012
posted: February 27 2012

 

Fixtures for 25th Feb 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

Won 55-33 (report)

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

Won 46-20

Invicta II

3rd

 

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

Lost 14-49

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gravesend Moles

H

Won 24-5

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

Tuggy’s testimonial

H

Who knows??

Positively incestuous !!

 

Imagine my pleasure at climbing up the bank of the Somme during an injury break to our 4th team match and catching sight of a 1st team scoreboard that was registering 50-0 to Maidstone (an astonishing repeat of the Harlow score-line in the previous round of the cup, I thought)

 

Imagine my horror at coming back to catch the last 10 minutes of the 1st team match after our game had finished, and seeing the same score-board registering 50-33 !!!

 

I don’t like white-knuckle rides at the best of times and it was a very nervous wait for the final whistle, although the nerves were calmed a little by the sight of a Maidstone rolling maul that travelled 30 metres and resulted in a last score for the home team (and incidentally, the first points scored up the slope after 83 had been scored at the other end, as pointed out in the excellent and very magnanimous Folkestone Match report).  

 

So, Maidstone progress to the next round and an away trip to Newmarket, whilst Folkestone concentrate on aiming for a 2nd place finish in the league.  Good luck to them in their efforts.

 

Congratulations to Steve MacNamara on winning the Bidddenden Vineyards Man of The Match award on only his 2nd match for Maidstone. Also, it was great to see Steve Matthews back in a First Team shirt this week, rather than the referee’s colours he can normally be found in as he progresses through the ranks of the Kent Society.

 

Whilst all of this excitement was taking place on the top pitch, the Mustangs were generating their own pyrotechnics on the bottom pitch, putting a pretty decent Old Dunstonians 2nd string to the sword as they accelerated away in the 2nd half with a great display of handling that left the visitors looking forward to the final whistle and a quick trip back to South London for the England game (big mistake).  Mike Blacker once again produced a Man of the Match performance and cannot be far off contention for a 1st team place on the back of his recent displays.

 

On the Somme, a combination of Vets and 4th team took on what appeared to be a combination of 4ths,3rds and 2nds from Dover and made Dover work very hard for most of their points, although one or two of the Dover scores were slickly executed and virtually unopposed.  Although it never looked likely to be a Maidstone win, the scores were tied at 7-7 for a good period of the first half, thanks to a very well taken try from Scott Clark, who is a chip off the old block when it comes to tackling anything that moves but is a bit quicker when he gets the ball in hand – although Adrian has the excuse of age on which to blame his relative slowness – and who needs pace when you have a speedy son playing outside you?  The other Maidstone try came from an impressive solo break-out from new back-row recruit Adam Cornelius, which put the icing on a very impressive debut.  Bearing in mind that Maidstone had 5 over 50s on the pitch and some of the Dover side had the physique of heavy-weight boxers, it was a fairly gutsy display.

 

The 5ths were making good progress up on the park pitch in a well matched fixture vs their old friends and adversaries the Gravesend Moles, when a neck injury on 60 minutes to Rob Seal caused the game to be abandoned, as it was thought better not to move him until an ambulance had been called. Shame , as with a scoreline of 24-5, the guys were obviously enjoying themselves in a comparatively rare well-matched fixture.

 

TUGGY’S TESTIMONIAL

 

I missed it !!     Judging from the reports I’ve heard, I don’t think anyone else missed it though and the club was packed with people who had come to pay their respects to this great servant of the club – and he’s not even dead yet (or dying - just so that I don’t start a rumour)

Having said which, I gather that most of the people who played when they knew they shouldn’t, are feeling half-dead this morning and regretting their bravado of the day before.  Here is an email that came flooding in today:

 

Well.... I have just made it home to the Midlands, having had to stop for a sleep on the way... When I woke in my car, I found that I couldn't move - something I imagine that might persist for a few days (or weeks) yet!

What a magnificent day, including the weather which couldn't have been kinder, and my congratulations and profound thanks to Nic, Sean and Tuggie, (and no doubt an army of behind the scenes helpers) for arranging such a splendid event. With playing squads numbering somewhere towards the eighties, and spectators, next generation players, and others over the hundred mark, it was a magnificent spectacle and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Some curious play at times including variable numbers of players on the pitch at any one time (thanks Sean), and the strange conversion of Andy Keynes to the "Dark Side" mid way through the game!

Presumably a few photographs will emerge (as there were many cameras on display) Will these all end up in your Facebook Tuggie... If so, I may have to emerge from the dark ages and get an account.

For the record, the Official Score was 36-24 (or a draw as I would prefer to think of it!)

It was great to see so many old faces, and to meet some of the younger players in who's hands the future of the club lies.

Thanks again to everyone, and thankyou for inviting me. When is the next one?............... :)

RE           

Fixtures for 3rd March 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crawley 

H

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath IV

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

 

Invicta III

4th

No Fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

TBA

 

 

Friendly

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 18th Feb 2012
posted: February 20 2012

 

Results for 18th Feb

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

 A

Won 15-17

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

A

Lost 21-5

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

H

Won 35-5

Invicta III

4th/Vets

Faversham

A

Lost 100-0

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Old Gravesendians

A

Lost 76-3

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

 

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great relief to get some rugby played this week after the frustrations of the previous 2 Saturdays although it was a torrid afternoon for one or two of the sides.

 

For the First Team, it would have been nice to win in style but in the absence of style, a win was still very welcome.  Having 4 props on the field is never a formula for expansive play but it was a good enough formula to secure a win ahead of next week’s important Cup Match vs Folkestone.  Congratulations to Cyprus for yet another stand-out performance and 2 vital tries, which won him the Biddenden Vineyards man of the match award.

 

The Mustangs faced unbeaten League Leaders Sidcup III, which is a team very reminiscent of our own “Dream-Team” of a few seasons ago. It wasn’t a great performance, despite the return of Captain Dunc “Chunk” McClintock and the return of a new slimmed-down version of Jonjo Burke to the No 2 shirt but it was noteworthy for what was apparently the try of the season, started on one wing by the increasingly impressive Dan Heasman and finished off in the opposite corner after passing through the hands of the whole back line by none other than Dan Heasmann.

 

None of the 4 tries scored by Dominic Baxter, playing scrum-half for the third–team, could have been called tries of the season, but its not often that a player gets 4 tries in a match and even if he was only claiming 8 yards for the 4 tries combined, it was still a decent little haul that would have taken most players 3 or 4 seasons. It was nice to play a winnable match in this league this year, and fair play to Thanet for turning up and making a game of it, as this League is not doing them any favours either.  Former Maidstone stalwart Dave Scanlan, was back in the “stone” for the weekend and squeezed himself into the No 8 shirt , although Dan Taylor couldn’t get into the No 10 shirt that he was offered for the afternoon. Both player’s power and bulk caused enormous head-aches for Thanet’s young side all afternoon, Dan getting a try for his efforts. The 6th try of the afternoon came from a trade-mark mazy run from Andy Cairns, picking up a loose ball and dodging tacklers until there were no tacklers left to dodge.  Fungus-face Fish also made a pretty useful contribution to what was a robust and credible 3rd team.

 

Robust and credible the 4th team might have been – combined as it was with the Vets XV under the leadership of Adrian Clarke, but against unbeaten league leaders Faversham, it was all one way traffic to the tune of around a 100 points to nil, much to the embarrassment of the 4th team skipper and fixture-sec who stayed behind to play for the 3rds whilst sending his gallant troops to the slaughter in distant killing-fields. One bright point was a decent debut at prop for Keith Nellist, who took to it like a 19- stone winger to the front-row.  Luckily, he loved it, despite the score-line and is coming back for more next week.

 

Another mis-match this week was the 5th team match vs Old Gravesendians II.  Old Gs First team had no fixture this week and their Kent 1 First-Team players needed match time, so they stretched their legs vs our 5th team – who thoroughly appreciated the tackling practice in lieu of a competitive league match.  I guess it was marginally better than the “cry-off” offered by the same team when they should have played at Maidstone in the first half of the season but only just.  See Old Gs match report

 

NEXT WEEK – A FEAST OF RUGBY

There are some postponed league games to catch up on Saturday but apart from the very exciting Senior Vase cup-match vs Folkestone on Saturday, the big news of the week-end is the Tuggy testimonial match on sunday, to celebrate his 40th year of playing rugby at Maidstone. (If only he could have shown a little more commitment during those 40 years and given 150% in each match instead of a mere 120%, who knows what he might have achieved??)  Anyway, it’s a great opportunity to watch some legends from the past and Nick Cracknell, as they take to the field again, only to remember why they gave up playing at 30.  Tuggy in contrast, plans to go on playing till he is 6 feet tall, which alas might be some time at his current rate of progress.

 

PRESIDENTS XV MATCH

Many of you will know by now that we are staging a Presidents XV match towards the end of the season in aid of the Injured Players Foundation. The provisional date is  7th Apr (Easter Saturday) and will be confirmed this week. Bob Hayton is looking for  additional advertisers in the match programme.  All advertising proceeds to the RFU Injured Players Foundation. If your company might be interested in supporting a good cause then let Bob know the company name and who to speak to and he'll take it from there. Thanks

PS: logo placement on the Pres XV shirt available, price on application but not expensive as this is a one off - this offer is time limited due to manufacturing lead times.

 

QUIZ NIGHT

Owing to a couple of  factors, this has been postponed to Saturday March 10th.

 

RE

           

Fixtures for 25th Feb 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

Brought forward

Invicta II

3rd

 

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

Brought forward

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gravesend Moles

H

 

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

Tuggy’s testimonial

H

Sunday 26th

Positively incestuous !!



Weekly Round-up for 4th Feb 2012
posted: February 07 2012

 

 

 

Results for 4th February

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Sheppey

H

 Postponed

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

postponed

Invicta II

3rd

TBA

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

postponed

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Weavering

A

Lost 40-0

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sheppey Vets

A

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen pitches = no matches

 

The exception to the above equation was the 5th team match vs Weavering in Mote Park, which proceeded in not far-off perfect conditions, albeit a bit chilly on the extremities (although some might wonder why one’s extremities would be exposed on a day like this)

 

Weavering appeared to be at full strength and firing on all cylinders, whilst our 5ths were lacking some of their regular ball-carriers and match winners but notwithstanding the conditions and the gaps in their ranks, they gave a good account of themselves in a number of areas of play, especially the line-out, where coach Colin Frost and 17 yr old Mike Oakley secured loads of quick ball for the impressive half-back pairing of Rob and Simon Seal.

 

The scrum went through several changes of personnel but finally settled on a front-row comprising Ausher,Ingram and Old War-horse Arthurs, which stablilized matters and allowed for parity at least and a supply of half-decent ball.

 

Elsewhere, German Winger David Schaeffer looked dangerous whenever he got the ball and Paul Hodges was a rock at full-back, despite looking most unenthusiastic prior to kick-off. In addition, a couple of innocent spectators were roped in to don their kit (which isn’t much fun on an icy touch-line) and one of these, the self-styled “Mighty Quinn” put in a few useful tackles to drive the Weavering forwards back on a number of occasions.

 

Overall, despite an emphatic score-line in favour of Weavering, the 5th team played some good rugby and showed the fruits of some long hours spent practising their drills on the training pitch.

 

This was the last match for B Team touring legend “Aussie” Jake prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, so he played the first half for Weavering and the second half for Maidstone, but both halves played with a huge grin and right in the faces of the opposition, which pretty much sums up his rugby career really. Hopefully, his Afghanistan tour will pass off with much less incident than some of his B Team tours and he will soon return to Maidstone, unscathed.

 Two B Team Legends, one of whom walks around with a premanent grin and one of

whom just walks around. 

NEXT WEEK

Postponed league games normally need to be played on the next available week-end, which will mean that the First team must play Sheppey in the league rather than their scheduled Kent Cup fixture vs Old Dunstonians. The Mustangs should play their Invicta II league game vs Old Dunstonians II, although this had not yet been confirmed at the time of writing and the 4ths will play Dover IV – all at home.  Also at home will be Maidstone Vets vs Cranbrook Vets.

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS

 

The cut-off date for february’s debit has now passed and we have succeeded in signing up 68 members to the new system, 18 of whom were new payers – (equivalent to an extra £3,000 a year in income – or £3,000 a year of income that we have been losing).  Thank you to all those payers who have made the effort to sign up.  Feed-back on the ease of use of the new system has been very good.  Over the next month, its important that we continue to migrate payers from standing-order to direct-debit and to round up (or exclude) serial non-payers. 

 

RE                                        

 

 

Fixtures for 11th February

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Sheppey

H

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

   TBC

Invicta II

3rd

No fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

No fixture

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Cranbrook Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 28th Jan 2012
posted: January 30 2012

 

Results for 28th January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

H

 Won 27-20

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

Lost 55-0

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

A

Forfeited

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

A

Won 12-21

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

H

Won 27-12

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sittingbourne II

H

Drew 0-0

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a large number of injuries in the senior squad, Ashford were always going to present a stiff challenge, so its very pleasing that the 1st Team were able to dig deep and come through with a win – despite sustaining several further injuries and finishing the game with 14 players.  Congratulations to Ollie Rogers on picking up the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match Award this week.

 

1st Team call-ups, injuries and unavailabilities left the Mustangs with only around 3 players from the previous week and whilst the assembled team was probably a match for Medway on a man for man basis, it couldn’t match Medway’s team work and positional play, losing heavily to a team that they had already beaten twice this season.  Well done to Chris Tomlin for stoically holding onto the reins until Chunk McClintock returns to action, the weekend after next.  Experiencing what it is like to captain a team is something that more players should go through during their careers because, whilst it can be exhilarating and rewarding, it is also extremely challenging and requires massive reserves of optimism and good-humour  when things go wrong, which they are bound to on a fairly regular basis.  

 

There were not enough players to have any hope of getting a 3rd team out this week to play the league match vs Ashford II, so we took a slightly enhanced 4th team to T Wells to play their 4th team and a competitive fixture ensued, played in a good spirit and well refereed. Strong running from Matt Hayton, playing his first match of the season, kept the Wells defence occupied and resulted in a try for himself, whilst Hogy and Paul Massey got the others. Andy Smith on the wing showed some very determined and probing running, whilst 18 year old prop Dan Walsh gained yards of territory with some great rumbles up the middle of the park.

 

The 5ths hosted our good friends Lordswood II in a League game and extended the hospitality to lending them 3 players in order to play the match, which happily resulted in a good game and a satisfying win for the home team. Further details and scorers etc are eagerly awaited from the 5th team’s regular match reporter, Sporting Billy. Click here for report

 

Meanwhile, on the Somme, the Vets were fighting a war of attrition in the Mud against Sittingbourne II, which resulted in a memorable stalemate ie a rare 0-0 draw, bringing to mind a freezing cold 0-0 battle that the Vets fought out with Old Wills back in the season 99-2000.  A piece of good news is that wounded Vets Skipper Rich Weston, is returning to the helm next week, although in a non-playing capacity for the time being.  Great thanks are due to Adrian Clark for skippering so capably in his absence.

 

Talking of Vets, the draw for the next round of the Evergreen Cup came through this evening and we have been favoured with another home draw, against the winners of the tie between Tunbridge Wells and Dartfordians.  In the other leg of the Eastern Division draw, our opponents in last year’s final Blackheath, have been drawn at home to Aylesford, who we despatched en-route to last year’s final.  Over all, it was probably the best draw we could have got – although its always exciting to play a local derby (as long as the outcome is a win for Maidstone).

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

It was with much sadness that we said good-bye to Grange and Grundle on Saturday and we wish them every success and happiness together in New Zealand.

 

Looking ahead, everyone should mark the Club Quiz night into their diaries for 25th Feb, as these are always great fun and very competitive.  It would be good to see representatives from every team enjoying the evening and supporting the club.

BALCONY CHANGING ROOM

What a great day saturday was for the 5ths and Vets, when instead of trying to change 2 teams in the loft, one of them was able to go outside and use the balcony changing room for the first time since Julian Debnam set about refurbishing it. The work he has done there, (aided and abetted by Luke Debnam, Josh McKenzie and Luke Day) has surpassed all expectations and whilst it wasnt quite finished for saturday, it was warm, dry, spacious and comfortable.  Now, Dominic Baxter has offered to install some Britelite double glazing, which will improve the warmth, security and appearance still further and so the old pavillion will now be a much better place for the people who really matter ie the players.  Thanks Julian.

DIRECT DEBITS

Lastly, around 65 people have so far signed up to the new d/d for the first time or swapped their standing orders over, via the club membership page.  Its very important that ditherers get around to it by next saturday, ready for the first payment on 15th Feb.

RE                                              

Fixtures for 4th February

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Sheppey

H

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

TBA

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Weavering

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sheppey Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 21st January 2012
posted: January 23 2012

 

Results for 21st  January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

No Fixture

 

 

 

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet 2nds

 

Won 67-10

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Hastings 2nd

 

Lost 41-12

Friendly

5th

Sevenoaks 5th

 

Won 10-22

Friendly

Vets

No Fixture

 

 

Friendly

Evergreen

Colfeians vets

 

Won 33-27

Evergreen Cup

 

On the first non-league weekend of 2012, there were a couple of good friendlies and a couple of superb results in competitive fixtures.

 

The Mustangs looked as though they would have their hands full when a powerful looking Thanet 2nd team turned up in a luxury executive coach, but stand-in skipper Chris Tomlin presided over an excellent team performance to post a very impressive score in front of DoR Andy Foley, who doesn’t often get the chance to watch the Second Team in action.  No details of scorers has reached me but it was reported that Damian Grab had an excellent game in what Coach Neaves said was a very cohesive all round effort.  Unperturbed by their defeat, Thanet thought they would load up with beer and drown their sorrows on the return coach trip – but their driver had other ideas and would not permit any alcohol on the bus – so they stuck around till around 7pm and tried to drink our bar dry instead, making a pretty good stab at it before they left.

 

With no 3rd team game in the fixture card, a composite team of 3rds, 4ths and Vets made the trip to Hastings to play their 2nds, who had suffered yet another cry-off from League opponents.  Its interesting that as soon as one mentions a trip to Hastings, players melt away as though it involves crossiing deserts and fording rivers, when in fact it’s a rather pleasant 50 minute drive through beautiful countryside, to a friendly hospitable club, (although the hospitality did not unfortunately extend to the welcome on the pitch, where well drilled opposition were certainly intent on winning).  Whilst fairly well matched in the forwards, (with a back-row of Fagg, Bishop and Shardlow-Wrest putting in more than their share of tackles and Vrey and Finch adding some steel at 2nd row) it was in the three-quarters that Hastings won the game as their big centres used the ball well to punch holes in a somewhat light-weight defence.  Maidstone did manage to score a lovely try following a break out by Aaron Bishop, off-loaded to Alan McCabe who chipped for the corner for Scott Clarke to collect and ground.  Lewis Fagg also got a try from close quarters but 3 or 4 promising build-ups were repulsed on the line. A decent effort however against a higher ranked team.

 

The 5ths went off on a jolly to Sevenoaks 5 for a friendly organised by the Seal brothers, both of whom played for Sevenoaks until fairly recently.  Sporting Billy contributed the following (very) concise summary: W 22-10 in a typically very enjoyable game agst their 5s (despite Ian Ausher taking a knock that led to an ambulance check up. He was back on his feet by the time we were in the bar however - think he just took a liking to the St John's girl!). Scorers were Tom Clarke, Ciaron Palmer (1st try in senior rugby) and Moneim Hassan with Rob Seal kicking 2 cons and a penalty agst his old club. His brother Simon, was skipper for the day.

 

Which brings us to the big event of the weekend and a superb match against much fancied opponents, as our excellent Evergreen Cup side thrilled a large crowd with a display of dogged brute force and some sublime handling skills, as they overcame a 7-19 deficit to look well in control by the end – despite what was only a 6 point margin of victory.  Ably skippered by Sean Charlton in the absence of Mike Laurenson and with the recent additions of (relative) youngsters Martin Arnold and Richard Parker, the side was not far off maximum strength – which it needed to be given the potency of the threat from Old Colfes.  There was a vital and popular score from temporary substitute “The Corporal” David Coleman in the 2nd half as he showed the presence of mind to land on a loose ball that fell at his feet (although he naturally insists that it was from 50 metres out) and Martin Arnold amused/bemused the crowd on a couple of occasions when, having made excellent breaks to find himself in the wide open spaces behind Colfe’s defensive line, he showed precious little intent to sprint the 70 metres to the try-line – this despite having jettisoned a considerable amount of internal ballast at half-time!!    So much for the youngest member of the team!!

Thanks are due to Roger Bentley for his help in getting the side organised and managing the substitutions etc.

 

Photos of the match are already on the gallery, courtesy of Mollie McKenzie and there are also her photos of the Mustangs game from saturday (Bob Hayton has had another busy Sunday evening)  He has also uploaded a load of 5th team photos supplied courtesy of Liz Vinson (Steve Jone’s better half).

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS

 

Couldn’t finish without returning to the theme of subscriptions. 

 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and if we had a subscription for everyone who has said that they will sign up as soon as they get home, we would be much better off than we currently are.   However, we have already collected a significant number of new subscriptions and the system is rapidly isolating the “won’t pays” from the “don’t pays” and indeed, from the loyal payers. (Furthermore, we have already begun to exclude from selection players who refuse to pay despite repeated requests)  As a club, we are much better off running 5 teams of paid-up members than 6 teams if that includes dozens of non-payers.   Bearing in mind that a referee costs £45 per match and booking a pitch and changing facilities at the park costs around £75, the economics of filling up teams with non-paying players looks pretty suspect, although we are of course sympathetic to any members who have fallen upon hard-times.

Do please remember that even if you currently pay by standing order, we need you to switch to d/d asap, via the membership page of the web-site.  Its quick and convenient.

RE                                    

Fixtures for 28th January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

H

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Ashford Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 14th Jan 2012
posted: January 15 2012

 

 

Results for 14th January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

A

 Lost 34-0

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Folkestone II

H

Lost 18-22

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

A

Lost 55-0

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

H

Won 31-19

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway V

H

Lost 0-50

Early Bird 6

Vets

Hastings & Bexhill Vets

A

 Lost 19-0

Friendly

 

 

                                                       

What a difference a week makes, as after the successes of last Saturday, the results above show a bit of a sorry tale. However, keen eyed observers will notice that for the first time this season, we were able to put out 6 Teams  - and with some players to spare - which should be  a source of some considerable satisfaction to all connected with Maidstone at a time when so many clubs across Kent are struggling to field teams.

 

Not only that, but the teams we fielded were credible and competed hard, only to be beaten by better opposition, which is where we need to pay tribute especially to Medway and recognize the great strides they have made in rejuvenating their club over the past 3 or 4 seasons, taking them from a massively underperforming “sleeping giant” with only 3 regular mens sides and a 1st Team in Kent Division 2, to a vibrant and healthy looking club with 5 mens teams and a 1st team that looks as though its headed for another promotion. Whatever it is that they’re doing right, we should seek to learn from and emulate, as although we are still in a position that many clubs around the County would envy, any club that ceases trying to improve, will inevitably go back-wards. The only issue I would take with their otherwise excellent match report, is that this was not of course the first ever League game between Maidstone and Medway, Maidstone having taken the honours in the Home fixture back in October.  STOP PRESS: I have received the following correction to this information from our ever vigilant DC, Bob Hayton.  Correction to both yours and Medway's comments about the first league encounter.  Maidstone not only played Medway in October but also back in the late nineties  when both were in Ldn 3SE which consisted of 22 clubs and before the leagues were restructured.  The restructuring led to the then creation of divisions of 12 clubs and Ldn 4SE which Medway found themselves in by virtue of their bottom half league position.  The leagues have not changed since except in the numbering due to the tinkering and creation of 'The Championship' by the RFU

 

Following a bad week for injuries last week, it was another unfortunate one this week for the 1st Team and this no doubt had an impact on the game. (See our match report) Commiserations to Sean Evans on what may be a broken wrist but congratulations to Richard Parker on getting the Biddenden Vineyards MoM award after coming on as a replacement on only his third game back after a 3 month lay-off. 

 

Folkestone II came seeking revenge for the defeat of their 1st Team at Maidstone last week and gained it at the expense of The Mustangs, albeit by a margin of only 4 points in a closely fought contest, which gained the home-side a bonus point. Having been 11-22 down with 10 minutes to play, Maidstone battled their way back into a threatening position, only to be defeated by the final whistle. If Skipper Chunk is reading this from the comfort of his hotel as he spends 3 weeks in South Africa, he will be pleased to know that his loyal troops gave it all they had on his behalf.  Whilst there is no match report from Maidstone, click here for an unbelievably detailed match report from Folkestone, which gives a great account of the match. (In order to correct some misinformation, can I just point out (in response to the comment appended to the end of their match report) that it was me that was overheard talking to the referee in the showers about the game and the reason we were on first-name terms is that I am the referee liason and had been in contact with him to confirm his appointment to the fixture. I certainly hadn’t been playing in the match)

 

Sincere thanks are due to Steve Quinn for agreeing once again to skipper a revived 3rd team for the difficult away trip to play Medway’s excellent development team and whilst the Maidstone team played well, it could not match the pace and handling of the Medway backs. Thanks to the guys who played – and especially to Chris Finch making a rare appearance whilst on leave from Uni, who reportedly gave a great performance at No 8 and to Alex Bus who was mentioned in despatches for the sterling work he did at Centre.

 

The 4th team went into their game with a somewhat patched up team but with the fortuitous inclusion of John McIntyre at tight-head, guesting on a week off from Weavering and with the Maidstone debut of Ray Addison at hooker, not to mention Nick Jeary returning to action after a long injury to share the Scrum-half berth with Paul Murphy, each having a half at No 9 and a half at No 15. Having gifted Medway 3 tries and 19 points within 20 minutes, a Maidstone score from Nathan Whybrow before half-time gave grounds for optimism and in the second half, tries from Scott Clarke, Tom Sheldon, Dan Walsh and 5th Team volunteer Scott Andrews, sealed a remarkable comeback, Craig Tuffrey kicking 3 conversions.

As a skipper, one gets used to accumulating bits of kit that players leave in changing rooms and its often useful to be able to lend players a pair of boots or shorts etc but Saturday was the first occasion on which I have had to lend a player underwear. Nick Jeary had omitted to come equipped with that important item of clothing but luckily he didn’t baulk at the skid-marks in my spare swimming trunks (I keep meaning to give my kit a mid-season wash) and returned them afterwards none the worse for wear.

 

The 5ths received a thrashing from Medway 5 when they played them away in the autumn and unfortunately, got another one in the return match at home on The Somme.  Rugby can be a roller coaster sometimes and after the pleasure of drawing with top of the table Hastings last week, it was certainly a come- down this week but there is always next week’s specially arranged fixture vs Sevenoaks V (their social side) to look forward to, as requested by Simon Seal who used to play for that team and will no doubt receive a friendly reception on turning up at his old club.  STOP PRESS  Good to see 5th team legend Steve Jones back at the club after a long lay off for illness, but not sure whether he actually made it onto the field of play. Not a great match for a comeback, I wouldn't think. 

 

The Vets took a squad of around 20 to Folkestone (after it transpired that Hastings were unable to field a team) and suffered a rare defeat there, having had the whip hand over the Fossils for most of the last 5 seasons. I would imagine that the fact that Folkestone 3rds had no fixture, enabled them to field an enhanced Vets side, as there were certainly a few good Vets in the their 3rds when they played our 4ths on the Somme last week.

It remains to be seen whether we look for a Vets fixture next Saturday, bearing in mind that we have an Evergreen Cup Match on Sunday 22nd, but if availability is sufficiently good, I would imagine that the answer will be yes.   Whether the 4ths make the long trip to Thanet for a friendly or whether they look for a more local fixture, also remains to be seen.

 

 

Evergreen Cup

Next Sunday is the 2nd round of this year’s Evergreen Cup competition, as we host Old Colfeians Vets at 2pm at The Mote.  Colfe’s have already put 7Oaks Acorns out of this year’s competition and having seen them in recent plate finals whilst we have been at Croydon RFC playing in the final of this competition, we know that they are a force to be reckoned with, but anyone who has seen our Evergreen side in action will know that Maidstone can put out a team to beat most vets sides in the South-East.  Come along and support the team on Sunday if you can , as its always a great occasion.

 

 

Subscription by Direct Debit

 

Returning to the theme raised in last week’s roundup, I am pleased to say that we have made a good start in converting loyal payers from standing-order to Direct Debit and we have also signed up a good number of non-payers onto the new system.  Thank you to the guys who have already converted but to the habitual non-payers who have yet to sign up (whilst acknowledging that some newer players may never have been asked) I would merely say that you should be embarrassed that you need to be chased.  Everyone knows the score and no-one likes a free-loader, so if that epithet applies to you, then please take immediate steps to rectify the situation.  You know who you are and of course, the club also know who you are.

 

So, please go straight to the membership page and sign up for payment by Direct Debit – which should take 2 or 3 minutes.

Your first payment will be taken on 15th Feb.  Once you have completed the d/d application on the membership page, you should take steps to cancel your Feb (and subsequent) Standing Orders.  .  Students and young people who have not yet begun paid employment, should sign up at the Youth rate, which is just £50 per season.

 

Many thanks to all those who have already made the transition – which begs the question “what’s keeping the rest of you??”

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 21st/22nd January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

No Fixture

 

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Thanet IV   TBC

A

 

Friendly

5th

Sevenoaks V

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

Evergreen Team 

 Old Colfeians Vets

H

Sunday 22nd

Evergreen Cup 2nd Round



Weekly Round up for 7th January 2012
posted: January 08 2012

 

Results for 7th  January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

 Won 26-3

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover III

A

Dover have withdrawn from league

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

H

Won  67-5

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone III

H

Drew 10-10

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bexhill III

H

Drew 10-10

Early Bird 6

Vets

Cranbrook Vets

A

Cranbrook couldn’t raise a team

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       

What a great start to 2012 at the club as a large crowd watched Maidstone take apart promotion hopefuls Folkestone in what one hopes is a good omen for our forthcoming Senior Vase Cup match with them on 25th Feb, leaving us only to regret the run of poor early-season results that ruled us out of the promotion battle before the season was 4 weeks old. What is clear is that, even if we aren’t in the race (barring some freak results for 2 of the top 3) we are likely to have a big impact in determining who finishes 2nd.

 

The clubhouse was buzzing afterwards and indeed, apart from yesterday’s results, the other fabulous news to celebrate was the award of the RFU Whole Club Seal of Approval, for which so many people have worked so hard but especially Chairman Andy Golding and previous Chair Wendy Pound.  We are only the 5th club in Kent to achieve this land-mark and it is something of which the whole club can be justly proud.

 

It was a bruising encounter on the 1st Team pitch, requiring ambulances for injuries to Hayden Mitchell and Nick Cullen but with no real malice in the game, notwithstanding a red card for the visitors and a yellow for the home team.  Coming from the Somme to catch the last 15 minutes of action, it appeared that Maidstone were comfortably in control and were unlucky not to get a second push-over try as they shunted Folkestone back over their try line – only to gain the bonus point after a terrific break-out by “The Train” which was off-loaded to the ubiquitous “Cyprus” to canter in under the posts, (somewhat to the disappointment of some of the crowd who might have preferred to see “The Train” flatten the Folkestone Full-back en-route to the line).  Congratulations to Ollie Newton for his try and kicking skills, which helped to earn him this week’s Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match Award.    You can read the Folkestone Match Report here, and our's here

 

With Dover III having withdrawn from Invicta League II, there was no opposition for the Mustangs this week, which meant that the 3rds had a much bigger pool of players from which to select than when they travelled with a 3rd/4th team that lost 41-0 in the corresponding away fixture in September.   Chris Tomlin did a very good job in assembling a competitive team and skippering it on the field and then a bit of a rout ensued, much to everyone’s surprise, as Canterbury arrived as genuine title contenders, being just 3 points off the top of Invicta III. Maybe Chris’s leadership skills will have extended to delegating someone to write a match report – in which case it will be appended here as soon as it arrives.  Condolences to the Canterbury player who apparently broke a wrist during the match and best wishes for a rapid recovery.

 

Thanks to the very hard work of Groundsman Tony and Francis Talbot on Friday, the 4th team were able to play their fixture vs Folkestone III on the Somme – and it made for very good afternoon’s rugby. The match was played in a very good spirit and Folkestone were friendly and sporting throughout.  Maidstone took the lead through a David Ruaux try, but surrendered it in the 2nd half to trail 7-10, before a Dominic Baxter penalty tied the scores at 10-10. On the stroke of full time, Folkestone were piling on the pressure with their big pack camped on the Maidstone try line, when Tuggy decided to dive in and handle on the ground to prevent a try.  The referee then capped a very good performance by awarding Folkestone a penalty in front of the posts but immediately reversing it owing to the fact that Tuggy had taken a (well deserved) stamping for his indiscretions.  In view of the outcome, I think everyone was quite pleased that Tuggy got a good shoe-ing and the match was saved.  (Especially after his earlier attempted overhead kick from the base of a maul, which probably needs a few more year’s practice on the training field!!). STOP PRESS  (Commiserations to the Folkestone player who was apparently suffering with concussion after the game and required an ambulance and an overnight stay in Pembury hospital (see report). We hope that he makes a full and rapid recovery)

 

The 5ths assembled a small army for their League match vs Hastings up on the park and by co-incidence they also drew 10-10, having been tied at 5-5 at half-time.  No further word has filtered through regarding scorers but in the bar afterwards, everyone looked pretty pleased with the outcome against Hastings, who are currently top of the Shepherd Neame Division 6 in which our 5ths ply their trade.

 

No such satisfaction for our Vets, who assembled a pretty decent side and drove to 7Oaks to play the 7Oaks Acorns, only to find out that there was no opposition there when they got there.  However, no blame attaches to 7Oaks and a humble “mea culpa” is due from this writer, who, following Cranbrook’s cry-off mid-week, tee’d up a match with 7Oaks Vets but forgot to actually confirm it, which ranks as the biggest blunder in around 6 seasons as Fixture Sec and the first time that I have sent a team to a non-existent fixture.  Sorry about that lads – and apologies to 7Oaks!!   Lucky it wasn’t next week, when our Vets are due to travel to Hastings – which reminds me that I’d better get on and confirm that one pronto.

 

Subscription by Direct Debit

 

In one of the most important changes to our “modus operandi” in many a long year, we have this week succeeded in getting a new subscription system up and running.  Many of our members pay their annual subs in one annual payment of £180. Many more pay by standing order but an alarmingly high number do their best to dodge paying anything at all. It is vitally important that all who currently pay by standing order go straight to the membership page and sign up for payment by Direct Debit – which should take 2 or 3 minutes.

Your first payment will be taken on 15th Feb.  Once you have completed the d/d application on the membership page, you should take steps to cancel your Feb (and subsequent) Standing Orders.  Of course, players who are not paying anything at all, need to complete the d/d instruction asap, not least because we will now be able to identify you on a daily report.  Students and young people who have not yet begun paid employment, should sign up at the Youth rate, which is just £50 per season.

 

Many thanks to all those who have already made the transition – which begs the question “what’s keeping the rest of you??”

 

Teamer system

 

We have decided to suspend use of the Teamer system for the time being, owing to the extremely disappointing response level from players, all of which proves that you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink.  All that was required in order to make the system work effectively was one text response per week per player, but that was clearly too much effort or too confusing for most.  It was also pointed out by a senior player that (unlike for most players) he was being charged 50p for each response - whereas it was intended that the system would be free for everyone.  I don’t know what kind of a phone contract he uses, but 50p a week certainly adds up after a while.

 

Tuesday Training

 

All Senior Squad players and regular Tuesday trainers are reminded that there is no training at the club this Tuesday (10th). Instead a fitness based training session will take place at our sponsor's David Lloyd Health & Fitness, which will also include use of the pool after the training session. Training commences at 8:00pm

 

Next week

 

We have fixtures for 6 sides next week, including what is (almost) a block League fixture against Medway RFC, in what should be an interesting contest between two very similar clubs.  To get six sides out, we will need maximum possible availability from all teams and we will need to select from the top down and cancel from the bottom up if we can’t select enough players to be able to honour all the League games.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 14th January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

A

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Folkestone II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway V

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Hastings & Bexhill Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round Up for 17th December
posted: December 18 2011

 

                                                          Results for 17th  December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

A

 Lost 35-0

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Pk II

H

Won 41-5

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdon

H

Lost 12-22

Invicta III

4th

Anchs II

H

Lost 0-40

Early Bird 5

5th

Maidstone Vets

H

Lost 10-13

Memorial Match

Vets

Maidstone 5ths

H

Won 13-10

Memorial Match

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a great relief to have got through Saturday without too many mishaps, having managed to land us with 4 home fixtures, including 5 Maidstone teams at home and only the First Team away. To say that our facilities were stretched to the limit, is an understatement, not to mention our playing resources, although ironically there were enough home players at the club on Saturday to have fielded 7 teams rather than 6.

 

So, to get things in the right order, with no disrespect to The First Team (who put up a superb fight at Crowborough – being only 6-0 down at half-time despite a sustained onslaught by a very good Crowborough team) the big event of the day was always going to be the annual Memorial Game between the 5ths and the Vets.  Traditionally, this fixture is played during the festive season in memory of former players and comrades who are gone but by no means forgotten. It is always a poignant occasion but there was added significance this year as all the home teams gathered for a minutes silence to mark the passing last weekend of our greatly esteemed club-member, Dave Hughes.  As is also traditional in this fixture, the Vets won, although it was a very tense and closely fought contest and most unusually, the dead-lock was broken by a winning drop-goal, (which must be a first for this fixture) as Mick Walker let loose with a “Wilkinsonesque” punt at goal to claim a 13-10 win.

 

Meanwhile, on the top pitch, the Mustangs were routing a Charlton Park team that turned up very late and then looked as though they would rather be back in London.  Highlights of a very good team performance were a front-row try which consisted of a chip-kick over the full back from Prop Ben Williams, who then failed to gather a ball which fortunately fell into the arms of hooker Matt Vickers who gratefully touched-down. Another highlight was a first senior try for Tom Mattley, who played scrum-half and gave a very good account of himself in that position. No doubt Duncan will be sending a précis to be added after publication of this column.

 

Thanks to late drop-outs, the 3rd Team were looking in pretty poor shape to play against some formidable Snowdown opposition up on Mote Park, and no-one wanted a repeat of the 70-5 drubbing that was handed out to us in the away fixture in September. However, 3 or 4 call-ups from the 4th team and the late arrival of man-of-the-match Nathan Fitzpatrick, stiffened up the team immeasurably and what ensued was a really enjoyable game in which Maidstone were able to put their visitors under the cosh for large periods of the match.  Regrettably, some fairly weak tackling let Snowdown in for a couple of soft tries and sadly, following a bit of a flair-up, the ref called time ten minutes early, at a time when Maidstone were pressing hard to close the gap. The Maidstone tries were scored by Fergus Carty, (just arrived back from Durham Uni for Christmas) and by regular 3rd team winger Andy Smith.

 

Which brings us to the mishap of the day and to where we owe apologies to Anchorians, who sent their 2nds for a League game vs our 4ths but had to settle instead for a 10 a side “beer match” on an extremely muddy Somme. If numbers dwindle following selection, its always a really difficult call as to whether a game should proceed come what may, or whether one should cry-off and give the opposition a chance to seek a replacement fixture. In this case, it was hoped that with so many spare players for each team in the memorial Game, it would be possible to recruit a decent number to the 4th team cause. In the event in didn’t quite happen and whilst thanks are due to Ian Davis for accepting the ultimate hospital-pass and assembling some kind of a team and thanks also to Anchs II for making some kind of a game of it, apologies are nonetheless the order of the day.

 

This prompts me to mention, from many years of playing rugby and skippering in 2 different clubs, that “drop-outs” are an incredibly destructive and corrosive influence on the playing fortunes of a club and that players should avoid dropping out unless absolutely necessary.  It creates massive problems for skippers and for your team-mates and whilst everyone knows that unforeseen things can occur, it is also easy to see that these unforeseen events seem to befall the same few people with predictable regularity. Worse than that, it can often be a sign of moral and/or physical cowardice as players decide that they don’t fancy a difficult away match for instance, but are quite happy to leave their team-“mates” to face that opposition with a weakened team. 

 

This brings me onto the subject of Selection, which needs to improve if we are not going to be soon forced to drop from having 6 sides to 5.  The process is simple.  All players (apart from the vets squad) should be registered on the “Teamer” System and should receive a weekly text from the Chairman of Selectors (or Lurch as he is better known). Your task as a player is simply to answer “y” or “n” to inform the selectors whether you are available to play on the following Saturday.  It couldn’t be simpler or easier for players, but the level of compliance is extremely disappointing. Following selection on a Tuesday, you should then receive a text from the Skipper who has selected you for their team.  All that you then need to do is send a text to confirm and then turn up on Saturday. Skippers fulfil a very important but difficult and time-consuming role within the club. It is up to all of us, to help them as much as possible. (Whilst mentioning Skippers, its an opportune moment to thank Tom Clark for his sterling work as 5th Team skipper although work and family commitments have now forced him to stand down. Good luck to Ian Ausher, who has manfully stepped in to take over the role)

 

FESTIVE SEASON

 

Many thanks to David Ruaux, who proved yesterday to be our Most Valuable Player as he accompanied the singing of Christmas Carols in the clubhouse on Violin and then on Piano, at which he appeared equally adept. What a musical talent we have been harbouring in our midst.

The Raffle was a big success and raised lots of money. Thanks to all who donated prizes and who bought tickets, not least Keith Newman who had 4 tickets pulled out of the hat but accepted only one prize (a Single Malt, I believe). It was obviously his lucky night, so one hopes that his luck continued when he eventually got home to the lovely Mrs Newman!!

 

The clubhouse will not be open on Saturday 24th and Carol, Marilyn and Julian and all our wonderful bar-staff will be enjoying a well-earned Christmas break.

 

On Saturday 31st, there are no scheduled fixtures but a plan is afoot to play an intra-club game such as over 30s vs under 30s, which will be a light-hearted prelude to the New Year’s Eve party in the evening.  We will probably send out a “Teamer” text or create a face-book event to find out who is interested in playing, so watch out for further details.

 

Evergreen Cup

 

The 2nd round match vs Old Colfeians Vets has been confirmed for Sunday Jan 22nd at 2pm at home.  Lots of support required.

 

And Finally

 

May I take this opportunity to wish a very happy Christmas and New Year to all of our loyal but long-suffering readers. Who knows what wonderful things the New Year will bring to us all ??  In the mean-time, I hear that there is a kick-ass band playing at the Walnut Tree on Loose Rd for New Year’s Eve. If you’ve got no-where else to go, it would be good to see you there.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 7th  January

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover III

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone III

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bexhill III

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Cranbrook Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 10th December 2011
posted: December 12 2011

Results for 10th  December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

H

 Won 24-10

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

A

Lost 28-26

Invicta II

3rd

Deal & Betts II

A

Conceded

Invicta III

4th

Faversham

H

Lost 12-24

Early Bird 5

5th

 Gravesend Moles

A

Won 35-0

friendly

Vets

Sheppey Vets

H

Won 16-14

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

A week before the annual Memorial Match between the Vets and the 5ths, comes the

devastating news of the sudden loss of a dear, dear friend and team-mate, who was

loved so much  by so many of us at Maidstone.

Words cannot express the sorrow of all who knew him.  May he rest In peace..

RE

Fixtures for 17th  December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

A

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Pk II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdon

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Anchs II

H

 

Early Bird 5

5th

Maidstone Vets

H

 

Memorial Match

Vets

Maidstone 5ths

H

 

Memorial Match

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 3rd December 2011
posted: December 05 2011

 

Results for 3rd December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

A

 Won 14-20

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham III

H

Won 65-0

Invicta II

3rd

Ash

A

Lost 34-0

Invicta III

4th

TBA

 

 

 

5th

Anchorians III

H

Lost 0-68

Early Bird 6

Vets

Ton Judds Over 45s

H

Didn’t happen

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the table above, we can see one highly satisfactory scoreline at the top and then three pretty unsatisfactory ones (for reasons which are probably clear) - whilst not wishing to take anything away from a very good performance by the Mustangs.

 

Before going on to develop that theme, its good to note another win for the 1st Team, who are now playing the kind of rugby that we had all been hoping for from the start of the season. Gareth Bramwell was the recipient of this week’s Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award, which was presented this week by Andrei Toma  in his last outing for the club before returning to his wife and new baby in Rumania. Anyone who met Andrei will have found him to be a very charming and friendly guy – and a pretty decent rugby player to boot.  We wish him well for his return home and assure him that he would always be welcome to come back should the opportunity present itself.

 

Anyway – on to the other three games.   Of course its always good to play well and rack up a hatful of points against another team, especially if they are rivals in the same division of a League system.  However, its pretty clear that Beckenham III wont have enjoyed the experience much and one only needs to look at their results list to know that they wont be enjoying their season very much.  Getting walloped regularly isn’t very good for the soul and it can be a mighty long season if you find yourself playing in the wrong division – which Saturday’s opponents probably are. Games are so much more worthwhile for both sides if the result remains in doubt beyond the first 5 minutes.  Duncan was pretty happy though and mentioned some very good performances from various people  - which he was going to send me for inclusion.  As soon as it arrives, I will paste it in to the report.  STOP PRESS: The Mustangs took the field looking to push on from the fine display shown at Blackheath two weeks previously. With the opposition not turning up till 10 minutes before the kick off the team could have easily have relaxed from the off and made the going tough for themselves. As it was it was a fine display with many of the tries going though the hands of forwards and backs. Harry Stockford being being on hand to finish these phases of play with 4 tries. The team showed great sprit and controlled the ball we for large periods of the game. The teamwork and sprit showed just what talent we have in the team and the appetite for winning in style.

It was a solid team performance that we can build on going into the next two weeks before we break for Christmas.

Meanwhile, what of our own 3rd team, without Fishy, their illustrious new skipper (or should that be kipper?)  Despite having organised a dirty week-end in Brighton for himself (with Mrs Fish I hasten to add) Mark also did all the pre-match team selection and organisation himself  - which is perhaps why the team was still in the clubhouse at 12:45 wondering who was in charge.  However, a plucky band of players eventually set off for deepest East Kent, with only the scrum-half berth left empty.  An emergency call to Dominic (who had previously declared himself a drop-out) brought the very same Mr Baxter racing across country as fast as a BMW could carry him – which is pretty fast actually.  So, against the odds, a pretty strong team was assembled at Ash (although 11 of our players were over 40 and 4 of those over 50).   Ash didn’t look worried however, (having beaten Cranbrook 1st Team the previous week in the Kent Vase) and despite some heroic tackling from Dominic and Adrian Clarke in particular, there was far too much fire-power opposite, from a team that would probably cope quite well in Kent Division One but inexplicably turns out in Invicta III.  (You always know that you’re in trouble when you are a 3rd team and you get an invitation to the opposition’s pre-match VP lunch)(Wish I’d accepted: it looked quite good) Despite having only one prop and therefore having to play uncontested scrums, it was a game  - and not the worst I’ve ever played in either – but it wasn’t really a contest.

 

Which brings me to the 5th team league game vs Anchorians 3rds, which was a tightly fought contest that Anchs just edged by 68 points to nil (It would have been more except the ref blew up 15 mins early)  Now, a cynic might have looked at the Anchorians Fixture list beforehand, noticed that Anchs 1sts and 2nds didn’t have games and expect the worst – but surely they wouldn’t bring their 1st team to play in a 3rd team game, would they?  Well, to be fair, there were only 6 from the Anchs 1st team photo and various assorted 2nd teamers and they probably didn’t make much difference to the final score.  As a contest, it was a shame that the ref blew up early as who knows what might have happened in the last 15 minutes – once some of the Anchs 3rd teamers had been allowed on for a game.  

Once again, lets look on the bright side. It was a game – but it wasn’t a contest.

 

OTHER MATTERS

Looking ahead to the festive period, there are no games scheduled for Sat 24th (Christmas Eve) or for sat 31st (New Years Eve).  However, to go from 17th Dec to 7th Jan with no rugby would be more than some poor souls could endure.  The difficulty with games during the festive season, is that opposition teams are (like us) never keen to play away. We are therefore considering playing an intra-club game on the 31st, such as under 30s vs Over 30s.   Watch this space for more detail.

GAMES EVENING ON SAT 10TH AFTER LAST 1ST TEAM HOME GAME OF YEAR

Games Night on Saturday 10th December, Peanut Racing, Battleships even a Yard of Ale, rumors of a Happy hour as well, lets enjoy the last Home 1st team game of the year, all welcome- Bar games will start soon after the match everyone welcome to attend.

TRAINING

There is no club training tonight (Tuesday 6th December) training will be on Thursday this week, please make every effort to attend

RE

 

 

Fixtures for 10th  December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

H

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Deal & Betts II

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Faversham

H

 

Early Bird 5

5th

 Gravesend Moles

A

 

friendly

Vets

Sheppey Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly round-up for 26th November
posted: November 28 2011

 

Results for 26th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Harlow

 H

 Won 50-0

Junior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

 Cranbrook II

 H

Lost 22-24

Invicta III

4th

East Peckham

 H

Won 13-10

Friendly

5th

Cranbrook III

 A

Won 45-5

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

 A

 Cancelled

Friendly

Evergreen

Sheppey Vets

A

Won 31-5

Evergreen Cup

 

Well – not a bad day for the club all things considered and, but for a hatful of missed chances by the 3rds in their game against Cranbrook II, it could have been a rare 5 wins out of 5.  Better still would have been 6 wins out of 6 but we are still a week or two away from being able to get 6 teams into the field.

 

Whilst Harlow might have had reason to suspect that Maidstone were in a run of good form, their own 8-wins-out-of-9 in London North East 3 suggested that they would be the most likely victors.  Who then would have predicted such an overwhelming victory for the home team?  With a settled look to the pack and the introduction of some terrific young talent in the back-line, the form of the team is now in a very good place. Congratulations to Sam Ellis on taking the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award this week – and commiserations to ever present scrum-half Nick Cullen for missing the game owing to a torn ligament in training on Tuesday.

 

With no Mustangs fixture and many regular 3rds and Mustangs involved in Evergreen Cup (over 35s) action, it was a youngish 3rd team that took to the field against Cranbrook II.  Amazingly, they had no kicking tee, which contributed to three kickable penalties going begging and one hears that three 3-on-1 overlaps were wasted to contribute to a frustrating afternoon and the loss of 4 League points that were there for the taking.  Well done to Cranbrook though for hanging on for a good away win.

 

Meanwhile, down at Sheppey, the Evergreen team with such old-timers as Martin Arnold in the team for the first time, were mopping up their first win of the season against a spirited Sheppey Veterans side, although the ever brave and dependable Dave “action” Jackson was probably the stand-out player. This now brings the reward of a home draw versus Old Colfeians, who will provide some pretty stiff opposition. Just a word to thank Mark (Fishy) Fish for getting the show on the road this week (in the absence of Mike Laurenson) whilst simultaneously assembling the 3rd team for their game against Cranbrook.   By around Thursday, he had certainly come to realise his mistake as, whilst getting one team into the field is hard-work, managing two at once is a full-time job.

 

At home, the Fourth Team made a welcome return to action in what proved to be an excellent friendly vs East Peckham.  The Villagers were keen to get these friendlies into their schedule as Maidstone are the only club that they have played ever since their formation and over the years they have even been good enough to contribute such valuable players as Andy Bacon and Duncan McClintock to our ranks. Approaching kick-off, Maidstone had 17 players and Peckham had 13, so Steve Vincent and Frank Woollett played for the visitors and an excellent game ensued, Maidstone taking a lead only to be overtaken before drawing level and ultimately winning by 3 points. The game marked a good debut for Alex Bus and a return to Maidstone of former player Phil Kingsland, who made an immediate impact on the field. However, undoubted hero of the day was Andy “Chemo” Cairns, who has decided that number 8 is the position for him as it gives him ample opportunities to pick up and run with the ball – which is what he does best. However, not only did he score Maidstone’s only try following a 40 metre solo run through 5 or 6 attempted tackles, he also kicked 3 penalties and a conversion to account for all of Maidstone’s points.  And none of us even knew he could kick !!.    AC = MVP

 

The 5s travelled to Cranbrook only to find the opposition, much to the embarrassment of their skipper, depleted in numbers. Nevertheless deep in the weald of Kent, the true spirit of rugby was found to be alive and kicking as the Stones generously provided their hosts with enough players to ensure a 15-a-side game and even more importantly getting everyone who turned up a full game of rugby. This was the extent of the Stones’ charity however as they ran out 41-5 winners.  There were a brace of tries each for Gary Griffiths, Richard Nunn and Steve Oakley with Alex Soles also on the scoresheet.  Thanks go to all those who played for the opposition, including David Schaefer who this week did not fall short of the line in scoring Cranbrook’s deserved consolation try.

 

Apologies are due to Lordswood for crying off on Wednesday as we could not raise enough Vets to play them in the scheduled friendly at their ground. It was good however to see a whole bunch of them turn up to watch the various matches at the Mote and, had they arrived 10 minutes earlier, a few of them could have got a game for East Peckham. The club-house afterwards looked like a Lordswood awayday and it was good to hear that their own club is enjoying a new resurgence of young players following the difficulties of recent seasons. Its what grass-roots rugby is all about.

 

NEXT WEEK

Although the week’s scheduled fixtures have been posted below, the 4th and Vets may be subject to some change – especially as a party of Vets is headed for Twickenham to enjoy the “Help for Heroes” match at HQ. Please respond to the “teamer” text when it arrives, so that we can make sure that we have enough fixtures for all of the available players.  We are scheduled to play an Over 45s game vs TJs (and lord knows that we have plenty of those), but whether they can be spared from other teams this week is a different question.  Watch the team selection pages for more info.

 

UNSUNG HEROES

This should really be a weekly item, as the club has so many, but I was particularly pleased to see that Julian Debnam has started work on converting the balcony press-box into a decent changing area. We have made a half-hearted effort at this once before but there is nothing half-hearted about Julian and he is selflessly devoting his own time to the project. I (and anyone else who ever has changes upstairs) will be looking forward to seeing his efforts come to fruition.

Talking of unsung heroes, one can guarantee that whenever volunteers are needed to help with a working party or a club event, the familiar faces of Ian and Sue Davis will always be present.  It therefore gives me extra great pleasure to congratulate them on the birth of Evelyn Rose Davis and to excuse Ian from dropping out of what would have been his first appearance in an Evergreen Cup match on saturday.

And finally, this week's Match Day Programme

RE

 

Fixtures for 3rd December

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

A

 

South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham III

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ash

A

 

Invicta III

4th

TBA

 

 

 

5th

Anchorians III

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Ton Judds Over 45s

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 19th November
posted: November 22 2011

 

Results for 19th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Eastbourne

H

Won 32-0

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath 4ths

A

 Won 13-17

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford 2nds

A

 Lost 48-5

Invicta III

4th

No fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford 4ths

A

 Lost 35-0

Early Bird 6

Vets

Dover Vets

A

 Lost 14-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite there being only one home match this week, the crowd had plenty to enjoy as the 1st Team turned in a good performance, although admittedly the result of this match was never in doubt after the opening exchanges were over. What it lacked in drama however, was made up for by the pleasant experience of bagging a home win, although full credit to Eastbourne, who never gave up the fight despite the early writing on the wall that suggested it wasn’t going to be their day.  Well done to Hayden Mitchell for taking the Biddenden Vineyards man of the match award in his first game as skipper in the injury enforced absence of Jim Walker, and well done also to Steve Stoppani for coming straight back to 1st Team action after a frustrating injury that has prevented him playing since pre-season.

 

The Mustangs travelled up to Blackheath with a re-shuffled team that nonetheless, was ready to give a good account of itself and to come away with a win from what is now effectively Blackheath’s 3rd team. This  was a dogged and determined performance and once again, Mayhem carried the scars of what was another full-blooded encounter, during which he had a quiet 10 minutes in the sin-bin to reflect on the merits of “turning the other cheek”, which might merely have earned him a huge bruise on the other one to match the first one. Having sung Mike Blacker’s praises at selection on Tuesday, it was pleasing to hear that he had a really good game, culminating in scoring the winning try.

 

Not quite sure what went on down at Aylesford, although only the organisers of the Invicta League could possibly explain why the Aylesford  second team has been allowed to play in the 3rd division of this competition again this season and the result of this (mis)match was of course entirely predictable before the start. However, whilst not competitive, the game was nonetheless hard fought and the visitors from Maidstone were pleased to concede only 17 points in the 2nd half. Mismatch or not, each game is there to be won and Aylesford II were certainly a good team and in fairness it must be frustrating for their players to be stuck in this League when they could be competing well at a higher level. Having re-assembled many of the club’s experienced players into the 3rd team recently, it was good to see Macca back in a Maidstone shirt for the 1st time this season.

 

The 5ths were also down at Aylesford, and lost by a slightly lower margin to Aylesford 4ths, although had German novice David Schaefer managed to ground the ball once he was over the try line, the deficit could have been cut marginally.  Once again, the 5ths had a very large contingent of players and it is hoped that over the next 2 or 3 weeks, we will have all 6 teams playing regularly so that, distributed properly throughout the club, most players can get a full 80 minutes of action.

 

The Vets were invited to a celebration match at Dover and enjoyed an excellent contest down there, spoiled only by the loss of a 12-0 half-time lead to lose to a last minute try that took the shine off the long trip home. No complaints however and stand-in skipper Adrian Clark was very proud of his team and looking forward to the rematch when Dover visit Maidstone later in the season.

 

NEXT WEEK

 

Next week is cup-city, as Maidstone entertain Harlow in the Junior Vase, encouraged by a recent run of good form that has seen the home team putting together the kind of performances that were expected by all from the start of the season. At the same time, the Evergreen team will be playing their first match of this season as they take on Sheppey Vets at Sheppey for the prize of a home draw versus Colfeians Vets in the next round.  Supporters will be very welcome for both matches, although sadly the two games clash at different venues.  However, it was either that or a clash with the Vice Presidents lunch at Bearsted Gold Club on Sunday, which would have prevented many of our VPs from playing in the Evergreen match.

 

TOM HUGHES

 

It was good to see Dave and Diane Hughes at the 1st Team Match on Saturday and to hear that there are encouraging signs of progress at Stoke Mandeville, although despite Tom’s determination to make a full recovery, this outcome is by no means yet certain.  It is pleasing to hear that the RFU Welfare team have been marvellous in supporting Tom so far and indeed, the Welfare Officer dealing with Tom’s case will be at the club on Tuesday evening from 7pm to de-brief players on Tom’s situation.

We thank them for their great efforts on his behalf.

 

MATT PLOWMAN

 

Most people will know that Matt has been appointed this year to the role of Club Captain, where I think it is fair to say that he has surprised many by the efficacy and enthusiasm with which he has taken to this newly created role. What is perhaps less well known is that he has been playing prop to assist the 1st Team for two seasons or so, despite the fact that he gave up playing front row for medical reasons 3 or 4 seasons ago. Finally this has caught up with him and necessitated a neck op which has now ended his 1st Team career after the best part of 20 seasons for the club, including many in the National Leagues and including the fraught period during which Maidstone went into freefall at 1st team level.  Not a bad effort really – and quite a statement of club loyalty in an era when players are often much more demanding and fickle than in earlier years.

 

RE

Fixtures for 26th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Harlow

 H

 

Junior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

 Cranbrook II

 H

 

Invicta III

4th

East Peckham

 H

 

Friendly

5th

Cranbrook III

 A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

 A

 

Friendly

Evergreen

Sheppey Vets

A

 

Evergreen Cup

 



Weekly Round-up for 12th November
posted: November 14 2011

 

 

Results for 12th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crawley

A

 Won 43-0

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

H

Lost 7-8

Invicta II

3rd

Ton Judds IV

H

Lost 3-37

Invicta III

4th

 Folkestone III

A

Conceded

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesend V

A

 Won 0-24

Early Bird 6

Vets

Crawley Vets

A

 Won 0-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were some great results this week and some terrific performances, not least The Mustangs, who came agonisingly close to inflicting a first League defeat on Sidcup III but had instead to settle for a bonus point, even having missed two longish shots at goal that could have won it.

 

The 1sts did what they had to do at Crawley and whilst the result was expected, it was good that they managed to win in a convincing manner – especially considering that results don’t always follow expectations (Sheppey losing to Park-House this week for instance). Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match was Dan Cummings, enjoying an outing at number 6 and sporting a very sinister looking moustache for Movember, which obviously helped to intimidate the opposition.

 

After a bruising encounter on the 1st team pitch at home, Sidcup were full of praise for The Mustangs, who had they said, given them their toughest game of the season, and who were one of the few sides that had not been steam-rollered by their monster pack this season.  This was despite the late drop-out of Hadi (tonsillitis) which cost the team a great deal of bulk and impact although the back-row of Hills, Grab and Adams performed heroically without him.  The home crowd were surprised to see the normally placid Mayhem roused to a hand-bagging session following an altercation in the fron-row and in one choice verbal exchange, our Scrum-half was told to go back to his “Pikey Caravan” – although to which of the 200-odd mobile homes he ironically happens to own, was left unclear.

 

On the bottom pitch, a much improved and strengthened 3rd team were still no match for TJs 4ths, who seemed to have a good combination of youth and experience (including Ace Knight, who learned his trade with our 5ths fairly recently)and who took their chances very well.  Whilst the result was still in contention, the home-supporters were ecstatic to see Andy Cairns (playing 8)  pick up from the base of the scrum and make a trade-mark unstoppable run for 40 metres before diving over in the corner for a certain try, only to see him spill the ball forwards instead of grounding it. Their disappointment quickly turned to relish as they looked forward to the barracking they could give him in the bar afterwards (With friends like Craig Bowden and Ben(da) Jones, there’s not much chance of an unfortunate incident like that being forgiven and forgotten in a hurry)

 

Once again there were insufficient players to put out a 4th team whilst all the other teams were playing, although having re-built the 3rd team into a more effective unit, it is hoped that the 4th team can be rebuilt in time for their next League match on 10th December if not before.  Meanwhile, there should be lots of opportunities to get slots in other teams if 4th teamers make themselves available.

 

The 5ths were away at Gravesend with a number of new and novice players on board, but came away with a fine 24 – 0 win, courtesy of Richard Nunn, Ben Foskett and recent convert from Sevenoaks Rob Seal (who tallied 14 solo points).

 

The Vets were invited to Crawley to play a curtain-raiser to the 1st team League Game on the 1st team pitch but owing to the challenge of getting there for a 12:30 they had to settle for a 1:45 KO on a far pitch.  This did not dampen their enthusiasm and they “romped” home to a 0-12 victory against a Crawley Vets team that had I gather, been assembled especially for the occasion.

 

Teamer “Availability” soft-ware

See last week’s round-up for more details of how this works.  It requires a simple Y or N response from players, although the system will also accept more detailed comments where necessary.  Last week, the system produced no response at all from around 50% of players, although in fairness, they may have failed to understand the question (especially the forwards).  If you have not received a text yet, please make sure that Nigel Maddaford (Chairman of Selectors) has your mobile number.  Selection is on Tuesday evenings and teams will be selected from the players who have responded with a Y.   If you have not heard from a skipper by Thursday and want a game, please call a skipper to make sure you have not been overlooked.

 

Paul Massey’s 50th

Don’t forget the Massey celebrations on Saturday night (19th) which promises to be the social event of the year,(see round-up for 29th Oct).  Many of you will have had personal invitations but Paul would love to share the evening with all club members, especially if they buy him a beer. There will be a Live Band (all revved up after a great party night at 7Oaks RFC on saturday) and a Disco, so there will be no excuse for sitting down at all during the evening.

 

Sevenoaks RFC

On a personal note, as a Sevenoaks old boy myself, it was a great thrill to be asked to play at the opening night party for Sevenoaks marvellous new club-house extension on Saturday night and help christen the new facility.  There are quite a few ex- Sevenoaks players at Maidstone and vice versa (including our former long serving coach John Whitehead) and the links and friendly rivalry go back a long way. 

Whilst there, I was enchanted to read a wonderful booklet that Sevenoaks have produced to co-incide with their club-house launch event , which comprised the reminiscences of their oldest former player (now sadly died at age 93). Amongst the gems in the booklet is a copy of their 1930 fixture card, in which Maidstone appear to be the only club that they played both home and away – the results both going against Maidstone in that year (despite Maidstone having been formed over 50 years earlier.)  How times change, as when I moved to Kent in 1983 and played for Sevenoaks, Maidstone were the unassailable force in the county (outside of Metropolitan Kent) and I remember Maidstone Mustangs putting 60 points on (an admittedly weak) Sevenoaks 1st Team (It must have been weak because I was playing in it !!) Now, we have come full circle again with Sevenoaks playing a division higher – although I think its fair to say that Maidstone have had by far the best of the rubbers in recent seasons.  

It was nice to receive several plaudits whilst at Sevenoaks on Saturday, for the quality and content of our web-site (for which most of the praise is due to Mike Gammon of Vivid Associates and originally Steve Oakley of Allteks and of course to the unceasing efforts of our amazing Deputy-Chairman Bob Hayton who provides most of the content). Bob’s response when I told him, was to thank Sevenoaks for the idea for the Man of the Match award on the front page – which he pinched straight from their web-site.   Its all a bit incestuous really !!

 

RE

 

    Fixtures for 19th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Eastbourne

H

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath 4ths

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford 2nds

A

 

Invicta III

4th

No fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford 4ths

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Dover Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly round-up for 5th November
posted: November 08 2011

 


Results for 5th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield 

H

 Won W/Over

RFU Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

 Bexley 1st

H

Won 29-12

Friendly

4th

 

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Canterbury V

A

Lost by lots

Early Bird 6

Vets

 Faversham 1

H

Lost 19-0

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly, news had reached Uckfield by mid-week that Mark Thurgood would be their tight-head opponent and shortly afterwards, the news reached us that Uckfield could not raise a front-row for this Senior Vase match.  Co-incidence ?  Probably !!

 

In the absence of a game for the 1sts, the expectant crowd were able to enjoy seeing the newly re-constituted 3rd team, under the masterful captaincy of Mark “Fishy” Fish, take on Bexley 1st Team in an interesting and competitive friendly, which the home side won at something of a canter.  It was good to welcome Jacques Vrey back to the club after returning to the area and to see Mike Laurenson back in action after a 2 month injury lay-off.

 

Meanwhile, on the bottom pitch, the Vets (accompanied by a few regular 4th teamers) took on Faversham 1st team in an ambitious friendly.  It was a decent fixture – competitive throughout but Maidstone never really got going and were unable to sustain any real pressure on the Faversham line, although conceding a soft try with the last play of the game rather flattered the visitors. Another useful returnee was Mike Blacker, who was a decent flanker and 2nd row for the 4ths, 3rds and 2nds when he played at Maidstone at age 18 and who looks like a very useful addition to the senior sides 4 years later.

 

The 5ths travelled to Canterbury with a bunch of enthusiastic (but inexperienced) players on board, where they expected to encounter similar opposition for a fun friendly.  It quickly became clear that Canterbury were not as helpless as they had made out when they raised concerns that our Vets would be too strong for them (as per the scheduled fixture) as they had a number of complete novices on board. Novices they might have been but a few of the young Canterbury backs were incredibly quick, so whilst dominating in the forwards, Maidstone shipped a score that would have looked more appropriate in a cricket match.  However, it provided lots of new players with valuable match time – which is always good news, so well done to them for going.

 

Teamer “Availability” soft-ware

By now, most players (except the Vets) should have received texts this week via the Teamer system, from Chairman of selectors Nigel Maddaford.  The purpose of the texts is to determine your availability to play for the club on the following Saturday.  Anyone who replies with a Y will be signalling that they are available to be selected for a suitable team at Tuesday night’s selection meeting, following which they will receive a text from a skipper, inviting them to play for his side and providing details of venue and meet-time. Anyone who has ever been involved with selection will appreciate that it is a huge and challenging task to get 6 teams into the field each week, so making use of the latest (free) technology has the potential to make the job a great deal easier.  In return, it requires players to send one text to accept or decline the chance to play.  Your co-operation will be massively appreciated, as without your reponses, the system cannot work.  Some of the benefits should be:   1) Less work for skippers   2) Less chance that players will be overlooked  3) Less chance that unavailable players will be selected  4) Greater ease of matching club subscriptions with selections - which is in everyone's best interests.

Evergreen Cup

 

Regular readers will be aware that the game was scheduled for 6th Nov and then rescheduled to Sunday 27th.  This dismayed a number of our Vice-Presidents, who were looking forward to the VP lunch at Bearsted Golf Club on that day but who would have been called into Evergreen action instead.  As a result, the game has been moved once again, this time to saturday 26th at Sheppey RFC.

 

Collection for Tom Hughes

After last weeks grim news re the neck injury to Tom, Club Captain Matt Plowman has initiated a collection for Tom, and he and Shaun Neaves have already gathered a sizeable sum for the cause  – intended principally to help meet the costs for David & Diane of travelling backwards and forwards to Stoke Mandeville.  The collection   received tremendous support in the club-house on Saturday and again on Sunday amongst the youth section.  The collection will be continued this week at training, so that as many members as possible will have a chance to contribute.

 

Womens Rugby at Maidstone

There is to be a meeting at the club on Thursday evening at 8pm for any interested parties, in order to get this project off the ground. Anyone who is interested in playing and/or training with the women’s squad or who can assist with coaching/recruitment/marketing etc, is encouraged to attend to see what kind of contribution they could make to the cause.

RE

    Fixtures for 12th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crawley

A

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

TJ IV

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone III

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesend V

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Crawley Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round Up for 29th October 2011
posted: October 31 2011

 

 

Results for 29th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

H

  Won 46-10

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

A

 Lost 22-7 

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

H

 Conceded

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

A

Conceded

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Old Gravesndians II

H

Walk-Over

Early Bird 6

Vets

H & B Vets

H

 Won 33-3

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

All things considered, it was turning out to be a pretty good week on Saturday, until the news came in about a serious neck injury to Capt Tom Hughes, playing for the Mustangs whilst on the first week of a couple of months leave from Afghanistan, which has necessitated immediate surgery. Newer members won’t necessarily know Tom, but he was a product of a very successful Maidstone Youth Team and has gone on to play for the British Army whilst often guesting for the club when home on leave. Tom’s father David is well known as the 1st Team touch judge and mother Diane is usually to be seen at the club when the 1st Team are at home. Although the situation is still currently very serious, we join David and Diane in hoping for a full and rapid recovery.

 

This worrying news rather overshadowed what had proved to be a very enjoyable and well attended Old Boys day at the club, organised and promoted by Jim Tinsley, who I believe may also have been the creative genius behind the You Tube clip entitled Hitler and Kent’s Last Stand. This follows hard on the heels of his previous creative effort on behalf of the club 25 years ago, when he raised untold sums for the tour of USA and Canada by recording and selling a selection of songs sung by Maidstone players of the era.  Just shows that people would buy anything in those days!!

 

The Old Boys constituted a part of a large and enthusiastic crowd that cheered the 1st Team on to their best win of the season, on a lovely sunny day at the Mote, as is made clear in the 1st team match report.  Lets hope that this form can be continued into next week’s Home Cup-Match vs Uckfield and that there will be lots of support for the team on the day.  Gareth Bramwell took the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match Award.

 

The only news to have emerged from the Mustangs game was the score-line and the injury to Tom. 

 

It was terribly disappointing to cry-off the 3rd team game vs Thanet on Friday afternoon but despite the best efforts of Steve Quinn, there were just not enough players available to make the trip worthwhile – partly owing to a mistake by me in listing it as a home game in the hand-book and web-site when I had agreed with Thanet pre-season that we would play away.  This was the 1st time that we have failed to fulfil a 3rd team League game since as long I can remember and, not least because Steve needs to concentrate on his accountancy exams from here onwards, Mark Fish has volunteered to take over from Steve in order to address the very tough League that the 3rds find themselves in. It is hoped that by rallying a hard-core of experienced players to the cause, whilst keeping faith with the new younger players that have turned out week after week this season, Mark will be able to improve morale and field teams that can hold their own in an Invicta III division where a gulf has opened up between the top and bottom teams.  Thanks are due to Mark for volunteering for this role, whilst not forgetting to thank Steve for his sterling work in leading the team up to now. He is now free to concentrate on his own playing career as he progresses upwards through the senior teams.

 

The 4ths joined forces with the Vets again this week – but this time to play the Vet’s fixture rather than the other way around.  A decent 3rds/Vets team travelled up from Hastings and were treated to a game on the (mercifully softer than last week) Somme. It was possible to watch the game from the bank by the 1st Team pitch in the intervals when the 1st team weren’t scoring and from there, one could see Tuggy open the scoring with a cheeky intercept from a line-out near the Hastings end and, whilst the game was competitive throughout, nearly all of the scoring came from the Maidstone team.  Vets skipper Rich Weston took a bit of a knock and came off in the first half, walked back to the changing room, showered, changed and only later went to A&E to discover that he had sustained a broken leg.  They breed ‘em tough in Derbyshire!!  Richard will be off work for 6 weeks and hors de combat for the rest of the season in all likelihood, so illustrious skip-ex Glyn Richards has volunteered to assume the skipper’s arm-band in the interim.

 

It was no great surprise to anyone when we received a call from Old Gravesendians at 1pm on Saturday, to say their 2nds weren’t coming out to play, as they have not yet fielded 3 sides once this year and their 3rds were at home to Canterbury.  The response from the 5ths was to divide their squad into 2 teams and play 13 or 14 a side against one another, including contested scrums.  That’s what you call strength in depth !!   The benefit was that everyone got more time on the pitch in a contested situation than they might otherwise have got if Old Gs had turned up, so it was a pretty useful exercise and a chance for some new players to get their hands on the ball. 

 

Next week, there are a couple of games in addition to the 1st team game and anyone who wants a game and hasn’t received a text by Wednesday, should text Nigel Maddaford, Chairman of selectors to declare their availability. 07776412653. Full League programme resumes on 12th


EVERGREEN CUP CHANGE OF DATE

Sheppey have too many commitments on 6th November and therefore the game has been rescheduled for 2pm on Sunday 27th November at Sheppey  2pm KO.


COURT AND SOCIAL


News has come creeping in of a party at the club on 19th November, at which all club members will be welcome if they wish to turn up and celebrate 50 years of Paul Massey. He’s from Bristol, which helps to explain why he’s quite good at rugby and his sinuous line-out jumping and presence at No8 has graced the senior teams at the club for many a long year, as well as several stints of captaincy of Mustangs and 3rd team.  Should be a cracking night as he goes back a long, long way at Maidstone and has made a load of good friends along the way. I gather that there will be a band and a disco and loads of food and the bar will be open, so it couldn’t be much better really.


Paul writes:


Dear all,
        I would like to invite you to my 50th birthday party on 19th November. Come along for a drink and a dance and see old people walking unsteadily, dribbling and having memory relapses. Yes my mum will be coming, but I'm not talking about her, its all about me!
        Kind regards,
        Paul                     Invitation flyer


And finally, here’s a link to this week’s Match Day Programme

RE

Fixtures for 5th November

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield 

H

 

RFU Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

 Bexley 1st

H

 

Friendly

4th

 

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

 

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

 Canterbury V

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

            



Weekly Round Up for 22nd October 2011
posted: October 24 2011

 

 

Results for 22nd October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

A

Lost 17-5

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

Won 53-5

Invicta II

3rd

Sevenoaks III

A

Won w/o

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

A

Lost 21-17

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Darenth Valley II

A

Lost by lots

Friendly

Vets

No fixture

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great World Cup Final but, without any disrespect to New Zealand, it would have been fantastic if France could have pulled it off, just for the sake of seeing a team win against all the odds, which is always more exciting for the neutral.

 

Not too much to say about the First Team’s result vs Sheppey except to say well done to Sheppey and that the best teams in this division would certainly trouble most of the teams in the division above – as last week’s Kent Cup win vs Sevenoaks would tend to demonstrate. Its going to be a hard battle to get promoted.  Well done to U18 Ally Moss for gaining the Biddended Vineyards MoM award this week. Massive commiserations to Henry Day for breaking his leg on his debut for the club.   Link to our match report    link to Sheppey match report

 

There was considerable satisfaction for the spectators who stayed at home and watched the Mustangs destroy Medway 2nds, even without their illustrious skipper Duncan McClintock, who was helping out in the 1st team.. There were tries for David Ruaux, Alex Hadi, Alex Knight, James Withers and Harry Stockford as well as for some other scorers who have escaped my attention. 

 

The 3rd team gained their 1st League win of the season – but unfortunately it was only owing to a cry off from Sevenoaks III, which conceded a league walk-over.  On the other hand, it is worth remembering that our  3rds have gained League points each week, simply by virtue of turning up and playing – even when the odds have appeared overwhelming, so well done to them for hanging on in there each week.

 

For the 4ths at Sittingbourne, it was galling to lose the game in the last play and doubly so when it was clear that the ball was dropped forward over the line before being touched down.  However, it was the kind of sucker-punch that is always waiting to happen when you go into the last minute with a one point lead and fail to clear from a scrum 5 metres out – even with the benefit of the put-in.  In other words, try or no-try, we only had ourselves to blame. Notwithstanding the result, there was some great play from Maidstone and 2 scintillating tries from the backs Heasmann and Evely, whilst veteran Adrian Clark scored his 4th in 4 weeks.

 

The 5ths took the opportunity of a friendly to give a number of new players their 1st run-out, which inevitably led to a somewhat disjointed performance against opposition that proved to be a good deal stiffer than anticipated.  The result was a bit of a stuffing, despite some brave and committed tackling, but there was much to build on and to work on in coach Colin’s Thursday night training sessions.

 

EVERGREEN CUP

 It was a great surprise this week to find out that the 1st round was supposed to be played before the end of October, as we hadn’t been sent a copy of the draw and our 1st Round opponents had not been in touch. However, that has been quickly settled and we are now due to play Sheppey away on Sunday 6th November at 2pm.  It would be great to see lots of Maidstone supporters there for what are always extremely intense affairs.

 

STARS IN THEIR EYES

Tonight Matthew,  I want to be……….??? 

Disco and Karaoke at the club on Saturday 29th from 7pm onwards.  £5 entry.   Come dressed as your favourite pop icon and prepare to perform.  Impress all your friends and make a complete exhibition of yourself.  Points will be awarded and what do points mean???     That’s right: Prizes – (which may or may not be available).  Come along and see Neavesy (aka Marc Almond) and Matt Plowman (aka Will Young) as you’ve never seen them before.  With any luck, Jim Walker and Charlotte will be giving us their Sonny and Cher whilst you don’t have to look far beyond Andy and Jason Smith for a plausible double act to rival Jedward.  This event is open to all club members and it would be great to see it well supported.

RE

Fixtures for 29th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

H

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Old Gravesndians II

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

H & B Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

            



Weekly Round-up for 15th October 2011
posted: October 17 2011

 

Results for 15th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoaks

H

 Won 38-21

Kent Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

 Thanet Wanderers II

A

 Won 5-27

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdon Colliery

A

 Lost 60-5

Invicta III

4th

Gravesend IV

H

 Lost 12-71

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Weavering Warriors

H

Lost 0-5

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Sevenoaks V

H

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a lovely day for Rugby at the Mote again today, albeit a little warm in the hot October sunshine, and the home side made the most of the perfect conditions to continue their propensity for beating Sevenoaks – even when one might expect Sevenoaks to be the more fancied team.  On the day, despite the undoubted talent and courage of the Sevenoaks three-quarters in particular, Maidstone were too big and too strong and were, for once, firing on all cylinders, with Jon O’Brien taking the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match award for a performance that stood out amongst a number of eye-catching displays.

 

On Saturday morning, The Mustangs called up 3rd team skipper Steve Quinn into the side at hooker so that they could scrummage after their long trip trip to Thanet and the net result was a very satisfying win against decent opposition.  This was despite a puncture to Steve’s car (full of players) on the M2 resulting in a quick wheel-change on the side of the road as bemused 3rd team cars whizzed past them on their way to Snowdown. 

 

Steve’s call up to the 2nds (amongst others) left a bit of a hole in the 3rd team which faced an unenviable trip to Snowdown with something of a thrown-together team.  At this point, thanks are due to Ian Crickmore and Gareth Howgate from the Vets, who agreed to help out where needed and indeed to all the guys who turned up determined to give a decent account of themselves.  From the kick-off, the visitors from Maidstone showed their capabilities by scoring a beautifully worked try touched down by winger Jason Smith after quick recycling and passing through the hands of all the backs. However, this merely provoked Snowdown into scoring around 10 tries of their own, despite what was often heroic defence, especially from full-back Paul Parker and Man of the Match Dan Heasman, not to mention Ollie Coomber who copped a real stinger after a brave-brave tackle on a rampaging 2nd row.

 

The fact that 2 of the Vets and 4 of the 4th team went to Snowdown had the knock-on effect of leaving Vets Skipper Rich Weston with a hotch-potch patchwork team to get into the field in order to play the 4th team fixture vs Gravesend IV.  Gravesend turned up as the bottom of the League side whilst Maidstone were unbeaten at the top of the League and at half time the scores were pretty even until Gravesend changed their tactics and realised that their young players could easily run round the ageing three-quarters opposite them in the wide open spaces of the 1st Team Pitch - which is what they proceeded to do ad-nauseam.

 

Meanwhile, on the bottom pitch, The 5ths had the pleasure of entertaining the Weavering Warriors, who have recorded a couple of pretty good wins already this season after being relegated this  year into the bottom tier of Kent Rugby.   The match stayed at a tantalising 0-0 until the 70th minute when the Maidstone defence, superbly marshalled  by skipper of the day Mike Gillies, eventually cracked and let Weavering through for the only score, although salvaging a bonus point from the game and a great deal of local pride. 

 

The Vets game vs Sevenoaks V was cancelled when Sevenoaks were unable to raise more than 4 players and we were also struggling to find sufficient to fill 6 sides.

 

The omens for the next few weeks look much better however, with a dozen new players showing up at training last week and lots coming back from injury to strengthen the middle order in particular.  It is hoped that we can get all of the new players into the field as soon as possible, so its important that they communicate their availability to play as soon as they are ready, so that we can make sure that we have the required fixtures.

THIS WEEKS INAUGURAL CAPTION COMPETITION

It has long been suspected that in his 40th year of playing for Maidstone, Dave Tugwell bleeds red-white and black when he gets injured and has Maidstone FC running through his body like a stick of Blackpool rock.  However, what was not known before was that he has now played scrum-half so often that the number has created an electrostatic image on his back, resulting in the following rare and slightly disturbing phenomenon.

Captions can be sent to richewence@gmail.com (for careful consideration prior to publication).

AND LASTLY

Lots of effort goes into the preparation and writing of match-day programmes, and with the clubs wittiest (God help the rest of us!!) man now in chargeof the editing  it seems right to share the programme with a wider audience, so it is reproduced below (including the bits that he plagiarises from me each week).  (Match programme for 16th Oct Maidstone vs Sevenoaks)

RE         

Fixtures for 22nd October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

A

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Sevenoaks III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Darenth Valley II

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Deal & Betts IV

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 8th October 2011
posted: October 10 2011

 

Results for 8th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

A

 Drew 20-20

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Folkestone II

A

 Lost 41-17

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

H

 Lost 34-45

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

H

 Won 10-0

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

A

Won 0-19

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Ashford Vets

A

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

           

Those of us who got up early on Saturday, were treated to a compelling match of the highest quality, the worthy winners of which could dream of a final and a tilt at the World Cup title.  So Ireland vs Wales was the Lord Mayor’s Show and unfortunately, we all know what came afterwards !!   

The only cries of encouragement for the England team in a subdued club-house, came ironically from our token Welsh-man Glyn Richards, enjoying the rare occasion when it feels good to be Welsh, who clearly fancied playing England in the semi-final rather  than facing the mercurial French.

In fairness to Glyn, a proud Welshman who has lived most of his life in England, he maintains a policy of strict neutrality when watching England play: He doesn’t care who beats them !!

Anyway, enough RWC trivia.  On to the vastly more important question of Maidstone Rugby in what was a week of  mixed fortunes but with some surprisingly good bits, not least good wins for the 4ths/Vets at home to T Wells IV and for the 5ths away to Lordswood II, an exciting and competitive League Game for the 3rds and a draw for the 1sts, which is better than losing but looks like a much better result for Ashford than it was for Maidstone.

Olly Newton got the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match Award for the 1sts at Ashford but there were a couple of other noteworthy matters, not least the Saturday morning call up of Dan Cummings and Sean Charlton to cover late drop-outs, Sean playing his first match of this season and his first 1st Team match in many a long year but contributing his normal ultra-competitive performance. This follows brother David’s recent recall to first-team duties and on this basis, one wonders whether their Dad might soon be planning a comeback to turn out for the Vets.

The Mustangs battled gamely at Folkestone against a very good Folkestone 2nd team but, crippled by late 1st Team drop-outs and a no-show of their own, followed by on-field injuries to 10,12 and 13, its surprising that they managed to stay in the game at all. Tom Matley was outstanding at hooker in his first senior match and Josh McKenzie got a try despite being on the injury list before he even took to the field.

At home vs Ashford 2nds, the Thirds had good players in place all over the pitch, which led to a much more encouraging performance than in recent weeks.  The return of Jez Major stiffened up the defence in the centre whilst combining veterans Mick Walker and Paul Murphy in the half-back slots meant that possession could be used effectively.  With a strong tight 5 and a back row containing Damian Grab and Ryan and Jason Shardlow-Wrest, the team were ahead at half-time but further injuries disrupted the continuity and Ashford were able to pull ahead to close out the game. Bearing in mind that Ashford II beat the Mustangs with some ease last season, this was a pretty impressive effort by our 3rds.

Talking of impressive efforts, the Vets stepped in to help the 4th team with their League fixture vs T Wells IV and it was another week when everyone in the side did everything that was expected of them.  Wells looked pretty impressive when they arrived and having changed early and quickly, they proceeded to run drills and warm-up whilst Maidstone contrived to look fairly shambolic.  However, from the kick off, the Maidstone Players showed that they knew exactly what they were doing and proceeded to edge out Wells in all areas of the game except the line-out.  Vets skipper Rich Weston made a good stand-in scrum-half whilst his son Sam, playing his first match of the year, was too much for Wells to handle as he caused havoc in their ranks from the No 7 slot at the back of the scrum. Not to be outdone by his skipper, Adrian Clarke produced not one but two sons to play along-side him, with son Alex making his senior debut – (after spending years training with the Vets on a Thursday night), joining brother Scott who has put in some useful performances already this season.  Tom Sheldon stepped in to play outside centre and had his best game of the season but the highlight was a beautiful cameo from full-back Keith Coomber, who displayed his whole portfolio of languid skills to great effect, despite protesting before kick-off that the ground was too hard for him.  Shame that neither sons George nor Ollie were there to play alongside the old man when he was having such a good day.

Lots of photos have emerged on Facebook from the 5th’s game vs  Lordswood II but precious little info has come the way of this round-up, although a chance meeting in the bar yesterday with Colin Frost, elicited a score of 19-0 to the Mighty Barbarians. One might have thought that Lordswood II would have been one of the sterner tests in the Early Bird Division, so Skipper Tom Clark can feel pretty pleased with this result.

COURT & SOCIAL

With 3 games at home next Saturday and a Kent Cup match on Sunday vs old friends and rivals Sevenoaks, it will be another busy week-end at the club. One of the benefits of playing Kent Cup fixtures on a Sunday, is that it gives players an opportunity to watch the 1st Team and support the club, which is something they don’t normally get to do owing to their own playing commitments.  It would be great to get a decent crowd there on Sunday and lets hope for a good result against a side that are currently making good progress in the division above .

Many of the Vets in particular will be familiar with Karen “Smiffy le Smiff” Smith, who is often in the bar on a Saturday and who is the Kent County Women’s coaching Co-ordinator. As a result of an enquiry from Karen, anyone at the club on Tuesday night this week, might be surprised to see the unusual sight of women training at the club as we host the Kent County Women’s Squad for a training session on the Somme from 8pm till 9:30, using half of the pitch whilst our players use the other half.  This should be a fortnightly event if it proves satisfactory for all concerned, and one hopes that all club members will greet our guests with friendliness and courtesy on the training ground or in the club-house, where they will be using the Loft changing room.

 There is the hope  that we will soon see the return of women’s and girls rugby to Maidstone colours and establishing links to the County Women’s set- up could be an important part of that regeneration.

Lastly, a note has reached me from Will Arnold who moved to Bahrain in September for a two year teaching stint.. Will was well known at Maidstone because, although a Veteran, he would play for any team in almost any position if asked and when not playing, he would be refereeing seniors, juniors, MGS or even umpiring at the Mote. Anyway, our loss has been Bahrain’s gain as he has just made his debut for their Vets against a Saudi team, - which makes him an International now perhaps?   Sounds like a lot of fun but surely the sand gets just everywhere.

RE

 

Fixtures for 15th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoaks

H

 (Sun 16th 2pm)

Kent Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

 Thanet Wanderers II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdon Colliery

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Gravesend IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Weavering Warriors

H

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Sevenoaks V

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

           



Weekly Round-up October 1st
posted: October 04 2011

 

Results for 1st October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

H

Won 27-25

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover III

H

Won 24-19

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

H

Lost 0-47

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

A

Won 40-5

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway V

A

Lost 41-7

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Gravesnd Moles

 

Cancelled

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

Phew, what a scorcher – and it wasn’t just the weather but also the intensity and thrills and spills of the first team match in the first ever League game between Medway and Maidstone, two fine old clubs with very similar traditions. It must have been a white- knuckle ride for the spectators, not to mention coaches and players and one commiserates with Medway, whose players played such a fine part in the drama whilst coming away empty handed – although still managing to write a very gracious match-report in defeat.  (Medway match report).  Our own match report failed to reach the web-site editors on sunday so our  own super-scribe, “Mr Maidstone” aka Bob Hayton knocked up a quickie of his own from memory to fill the void which I reproduce here.  Can't have too many reports when its a win for Maidstone.

Another fine win for the Mustangs under the highly focused coaching regime of Pete Barford, whilst the highly focused skipper Chunky McClintock was away dangling his rod somewhere with Gravesy for a week’s R&R and male-bonding, which they call fishing.  Noticing that Dover II had no fixture this week, it was no surprise when most of their 2nd team turned up for the 3rd team fixture, but this year’s crop of Mustangs look capable of rising to the challenge and of course, should expect to be playing at Invicta 1 standard amongst teams like Dover II and Sevenoaks II (who have already been despatched this season).

 

The 3rds had the misfortune of encountering Medway’s 3rd team development squad, which is a young, well-coached and testosterone-fuelled try-machine, although perhaps a lack of cohesion in the Maidstone ranks made them look even better than they are. On what was otherwise a forgettable day however, there were great senior debuts for Daultagh Franklin and for Dan Walsh, whilst Steve Pooley, who must now be the clubs oldest player and who travels up from Devon with his kit, came on to help out in the pack.  That’s dedication.

 

The 4ths combined with the Vets for the away trip to Medway and proved to have far too much in their armoury for Medway IV, from the youthful adventure of Fergus Carty (who scored a wonderful solo try from the kick-off in the 2nd half) to the wonderfully crafted skills of Ian Howson, who scored 3 tries himself, set up several others and kicked a conversion for 17 points.  There were enough subs to ensure that players could be rotated whilst even lending a player to make up the opposition numbers, although with no front row replacements, Coomber, Jackson and Crickmore had to soldier on in the searing heat for the whole 80 minutes.   This was another very solid performance from the 4ths/vets in a good-natured game which was very well reffed by our very own Paul Ehrhart, when Medway were unable to find a ref of their own for the game.

 

The 5ths were also up at Medway and despite taking what appeared to be a very capable bunch of players with them, they went down to quite a heavy defeat, one of the tries against them coming ironically from their own Chris Griffiths, who had been leant to Medway in order to make up their numbers to 15.  Incredibly, despite having leant Medway one of their own players, Maidstone were prevented from playing a 4th sub owing to the objections of the Medway skipper, which seems a touch pedantic at the very least.

 

Sadly the Vets were unable to fulfil their fixture at Gravesend Moles but, as the pitches soften during the next few weeks and the troops return from New Zealand, we should be full to bursting with eligible players.

 

Court and Social

 

The big events of the week-end were the RWC breakfast on Saturday morning, which raised a tidy sum for the Wooden Spoon charity, followed by a sponsor’s buffet lunch and a mini beer festival.  Huge thanks are due to Carol Mckenzie for her 18 hour day on Saturday, to Marilyn and Julian for their catering marathon (not forgetting Luke), to Bob Hayton for his work in hosting the sponsors and to Kevin, Debbie and Sam Bailey for their work in promoting and organising the beer festival.  Please note that some left-over beer will be available at knock down prices during the week at training on Tuesday and Thursday and can be carried out in 2-pint containers for £2, whilst the small matter of the England vs France showdown can be seen at the club from 8 am on saturday morning, breakfast tickets to be purchased in advance wherever possible.

And lastly, just a small note to mention that the labour of love performed by our Deputy Chairman every weekend which graces our web-site as his  "Around The Grounds" piece, has not gone un-noticed elsewhere in the county  (see link)

 

RE

Fixtures for 8th October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

A

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Folkestone II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

A

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Ashford Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

           



Weekly Round Up for 24th September
posted: September 26 2011

 

Results for 24th Sept

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

A

Lost 39-17

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dartfordians II

A

Won 7-38

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

A

Lost 41-0

Invicta III East

4th

Leigh

H

Won 29-17

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bexhill III

A

Lost 38-20

Early Bird 6 (West)

Vets

Cranbrook Vets

H

Cancelled

Friendly (but fiercely contested)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some good things to report on this week and some not so good, although the news that Mark Thurgood got a try from 25 yards out must eclipse all other head-lines.

Highlights were the wins for the Mustangs and 4ths, whilst disappointments were the defeats for the other 3 sides and that the Vets werent able to get a team into the field this week.  On the plus-side, this meant that the Vets were able to help out some of the other sides, not least Keith Newman and Pete Gray in the 4ths, Adrian Clark in the 3rds and Vets skipper Rich Weston who hooked for the Mustangs and even popped up on the wing to score a try. Not bad at age 47 (although Pete Barford had him as 55 in his match report - an easy mistake to make)

There are good match reports (above) for the top 3 sides, so no need to dwell too long on their various fortunes -except perhaps to say that the level of drop-outs was rather disappointing,  Credit therefore to the players who were prepared to step into various breaches and help out where required. There were also a number of players who left it very late to make themselves available and whilst its always great to have players turn up out of the blue, we actually probably had enough for 6 teams this week had they made themselves known in time - and had players been more evenly distributed throughout the club.  

On the face of it, the 3rd team have had a poor result on their away trip to Canterbury, yet one needs to bear in mind that  relatively speaking, the 3rds have the most challenging fixture list of all our sides this year.   Our 1sts and 2nds do not play Canterbury 1sts and 2nds but the 3rds have to play Canterbury 3rds and with challenges ahead like Ash, Aylesford 2nds and Deal & Betts 2nds, the 3rd team will need all the support they can get.  Well done to Steve Quinn for doing the hard work in getting the team into the field.

The 4th Team put on a good display in front of the home supporters, notching up 19 unanswered points in the first half before allowing Leigh back into the game in the 2nd half.  There were 2 tries each for Fergus Carty and for Paul Murphy , with Dom Baxter pulling all the strings at fly-half. Oldest player on the field, Keith Newman was looking forward to a well earned rest on the touch-line after playing blind-side flanker in the 1st half  but then manfully stepped up to prop in the 2nd half when Pete Gray took an accidental boot to the head. Keith only props once a year, so that's his quota done for the season now. Just a foot-note to mention that  Mike Hill turned up at half-time and announced himself in spectacular fashion as he robbed Leigh of the ball at the kick-off to come within a hair's breadth of a spectacular solo try, before giving a virtuoso performance for 40 minutes.  

The 5ths took a large squad to Hastings for what is always a very enjoyable and good-natured fixture, although it was marred this year by Hasting's  No 8, (apparently a former Wasps player), who spent the afternoon punching people before breaking Paul Kelly's nose with his elbow.  Having eventually been yellow carded for that incident, he then needed to be sent to the changing-room to prevent him getting involved with the Maidstone subs bench.  It seems a shame that someone who is clearly a good player, can't enjoy the game without spoiling it for everyone else, including his own embarrassed team mates.  There were tries for Hassan, Gillies, Clark and Tyler but 3 early defensive lapses were too much to overcome to retrieve parity.  

Just a quick note about next week's fixtures.  The 5ths are actually away at Medway, in contrast with the info in the club hand-book and also, the Vets have a scheduled game vs Gravesend Moles (away)

COURT AND SOCIAL

 

Just a reminder that we have the RWC Breakfast (Eng v Sco) on saturday morning with Breakfast served at £5/head. To be sure of getting a breakfast, you should buy a ticket from the bar on tuesday or thursday.
 
On top of that, we have a Beer Festival taking place in the bar on saturday with a great selection of guest beers from Kent breweries for which preferential prices can be obtained if advance tickets are bought at the bar on tuesday or thursday evening.  Thanks go to Kevin Bailey for initiating this idea and bringing it to fruition and to Carol for her help in implementing it.  It should be a great day to invite friends/colleagues to the club in order to watch some rugby in what is promised to be "Indian Summer" weather whilst enjoying some (responsible) drinking.  Might be a goood day to arrange a lift home.
 
Also next week is sponsors day and there are a number visiting, plus also team photos. Bob Hayton will organise the 1st & Mustangs XV, and there may also be time to get a 3rd team photo if skippers get their act together.
 
RE
 

Fixtures for 1st October

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

H

 

London 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover III

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

H

 

Invicta III East

4th

Medway IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway V

A

 

Early Bird 6 (West)

Vets

Gravesend Moles

A

 

Friendly (but fiercely contested)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup 17th September
posted: September 20 2011

Results for 17th Sept

Team Opposition H/A  Result Competition
1st Crowborough H Lost 3-12 London 3
2nd
(Mustangs)
Sevenoaks II A Won 7-20 Friendly
3rd Sevenoaks III
Played Old Shoots 3
A
A
Cried off
Won 57-0
Friendly
Friendly
4th Ashford III A Drew 7-7 Friendly
5th Westcombe Pk Gents A Lost 30-0(ish) Friendly
Vets No Fixture      
         

           
So, into the second week of the season and results still not going quite according to plan, although good wins for the Mustangs and 3rds and a creditable draw for the 4ths.
 
Looking at the bigger picture however, the important achievement was to get 5 sides into the field on a weekend when for instance, Sevenoaks could only manage 3 teams (resulting in them cancelling the 3rd team fixture on Wednesday) and when Ashford could only manage 3 – despite their superb catchment and facilities (the only club I can think of with more pitches than teams)
 
Having said that, it was a difficult week for the skippers, with selection not working terribly well and with no replacement fixture for the Sevenoaks game materialising until Friday, which resulted in a certain amount of confusion – for the third team in particular.  It’s a shame that the only fixture eventually available was such a long schlep up the A2 and that it wasn’t a more challenging game, but on the other hand, thanks are due to Shooters Hill for offering to host our 3rds - in the interests of both sides getting a match played.
 
Another issue is that, with so many new players at the club, its inevitable that there will be a certain amount of bedding in as players show what they are capable of and then gradually find their way into teams at a level to suit their ability. If a little patience is exercised, things have a habit of coming together as the season progresses.
The important thing is to get the most enjoyment out of each game and to look forward to the next one.
 
Not too much news has filtered through regarding each of the matches this week, although there were a few unfortunate injuries – not least in the Mustangs where Mike Laurenson and Nick Jeary were injured early on and in the 3rd team, where Chris Skinner suffered a nasty knee sprain, which was however dealt with very sympathetically by the 3rd team first-aid crew.
 
 
 
 
Tuggy is clearly trying to restart Chris’s heart whilst poor Chris can’t face the inevitable mouth-to-mouth that will surely follow. Meanwhile Paul Glover can’t resist a photo-opportunity and is clearly enjoying his first game back after a long lay-off.
 
 
There was another unfortunate injury in the 5th Team match at Westcombe Park (although not exactly in it) as Dave Smith, one of the Sunday morning minis-coaches making his playing debut, had his nose broken by Paul Kelly during the warm-up. Paul is not a man usually given to violence, so one assumes it was accidental but to Dave’s credit, he played nonetheless and seemed none the worse for the experience, albeit a little mis-shapen. 
 
The 5ths actually had around 30 players with them in the end at Westcombe Park although unfortunately they were only allowed 15 on the pitch at any one time, and one hopes they will share a few of those with other teams next week when the League programme starts in earnest and 3 subs becomes the norm. Incidentally, just for the record, all subs can be fielded on a rolling basis this season, from Invicta 1 through to Early Bird 6, but it’s always a good idea to check these matters with the referee and opposition before kick-off.  Shouldnt forget to mention also that the Vets return to action next week, with a home friendly vs Cranbrook to kick off the season, so anyone who has grown sufficiently old during the summer break is welcome to contact Rich Weston, the Vets Skipper and request a run-out (Lager drinkers need not apply - unless you're very good, although thats not very likely if you drink lager)
 
Regarding the day’s scorers, I know that Jack Lamb had a try disallowed in the First Team match, (although he still collected the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match award), Dunc got at least one for the Mustangs, Alan McCabe kicked 6 out 9 of his place kicks for the 3rds (‘cos I saw it on facebook) and Craig Tuffrey scored the equalising try at Ashford and kicked the conversion.  Apologies to any other scorers who’s exploits haven’t reached “Weekly Round-Up HQ” at this time.
 

Court and Social

 
Not much to report on this week apart from the Mote annual dinner on Friday night at which the rugby club was more than adequately represented but glad to report that by next week we will be back in possession of the club-house and will be able to come and go as we please, whilst of course treating the fixtures, fittings and grounds with the proper amount of care and respect.   In order to help preserve the club-house in a tidy and presentable fashion, it is required that teams exit and re-enter the changing rooms via the player’s entrance at the rear of the premises, rather than via the door opposite the First team Cricket square.
 
One other point to mention is that the editorship of the Match Day Programme has passed from illustrious former 1st team Skipper Jon Sargent to illustrious former 1st team Skipper Martin Arnold, who will attempt to emulate Jon’s wit, tact and diplomacy with more of the same but wittier and more tactful. Thanks are due to Jon for having performed this unsung fortnightly task for so long and thanks to Martin for agreeing to take on the commitment.  Its not a huge job but it needs to be done and is a good example of the type of behind the scenes activity that contributes to the running of a successful club.  All that you now need to do is to buy the programme and lap-up Martin’s elegant prose once a fortnight.
 
RE
 
 
Fixtures for 24th Sept

Team Opposition H/A  Result Competition
1st Folkestone A   London 3
2nd
(Mustangs)
Dartfordians II A   Invicta II
3rd Canterbury III A   Invicta III East
4th Leigh H   Dragon Fire 5
5th Hastings & Bexhill III A   Early Bird 6 (West)
Vets Cranbrook Vets H   Friendly (but fiercely contested)
         


Weekly Roundup 10th September
posted: September 20 2011

Results for sept 10th 2011

Team Opposition H/A  Result Competition
1st Bromley A Lost 18-7 London 3
2nd
(Mustangs)
Medway II
Won 31-10 Friendly
3rd Anchorians II A Won 19-12 Friendly
4th



5th



Vets








           
 
Having been inundated with a request to resume the Weekly Round-up, and not wishing to waste my Sunday evening by relaxing in front of the TV, here goes for another season.
 
Just 3 teams out this week as the season builds up slowly to a full complement of 6 teams on 24th.
 
After the very encouraging pre-season build up and matches vs Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells, it was an unpleasant reality-check to kick-off the First Team league campaign with a loss at Bromley – but fair play to them.  In all the excitement of pre-season and the big build up, its easy to forget that all the other clubs in the League have their own playing aspirations and no-one is going to lie down to enable us to achieve ours.   Well done to Mark Dorman though for collecting the inaugural Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match Award.  (see front page news). (Bromley Match Report)
 
At home, the news was better, as the Mustangs put in a pretty convincing display in a friendly vs Medway II.  All of Medway’s lower sides had very successful League campaigns last season but have all had to step up this season to face more realistic opposition – and on this showing, its not going to be so easy for them this year.  Highlight of the day was a great hat-trick of tries from winger Jason Smith, including a marvellous dummy pass that left the defender rooted to the spot.  Other players to catch the eye were skipper Duncan McLintock, hooker Loni (who’s try was accomplished with a marvellous swan-dive) and Dan Cummings, who’s hit-rate and work-rate were exemplary. All things considered, it was a good team performance.
 
The 3rds took a mixture of youth and experience to Gillingham to play a warm-up friendly vs Anchs II.  They were rewarded for their efforts by a hard-fought win but it is somewhat sobering to realise that once the  League season starts, Anchs II will be a 4th team fixture. 
 
Talking of the 4th team, they will be opening their season next week, as will also the 5ths.  The 5ths have been training all summer and should start the season in peak condition, whilst the 4ths will need to be re-constituted as most of last year’s 4th team have stepped up to 3rd team rugby. However, it should prove to be an ideal refuge for players who can’t (or don’t want) to come training during the week, but just want to turn up and play good rugby on a Saturday.
 
Court and Social
 
Thanks to Carol McKenzie for opening the club-house on Saturday morning, so that a group of plucky masochists could watch England’s opening match.  Breakfast was cooked by none other than Neavesy, although its not clear whether there was a pinnie with a long enough tie-string to protect his clothes from bacon-fat. 
Watch the club web-site and facebook for details of other England Matches at the club.
 
I have received a message from the mighty Mayhem, our hard-working new Ground Chairman:  Although the ground is looking in good shape, there are still a few jobs that need finishing and he is looking for helpers next Saturday between 8:30 and 10:30.  Its always great to see the loyal few on these occasions, but it would be so much nicer to see the loyal “many” there instead.
 
And that’s it for this week.  Barely worth reading but it still takes a long time to write.  Just can’t imagine how Bob Hayton finds time to write everything else on the website!!
 
RE
 
Fixtures for next week 17th Sept

Team Opposition H/A  Result Competition
1st Crowborough H
London 3
2nd
(Mustangs)
Sevenoaks II A
Friendly
3rd Sevenoaks III A
Friendly
4th Ashford III A
Friendly
5th Westcombe Pk Gents A
Friendly
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Supporters Man of the Match

In what was an overall disappointing team performance and result, for his solid all round play this week's  Man of the Match award goes to back rower Ben Knight.

2017-18 London Division 1 South (Top 6)
 

  Team Pl Pts
1 Medway 10 48
2 CS Rugby 10 40
3 Chichester 10 36
4 Havant 10 36
5 Ldn Cornish 10 34
6 Brighton 10 26

last updated 12/11/17

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