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Weekly Round-up for 13th April 2013
posted: April 17 2013

 

Results for 13th April 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bromley

H

Won 43-10

London South East 3

      2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

Lost 5-8

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Leigh

H

Won 10-7

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bexhill III

H

Won 38-23

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sat

Sun

Nottingham Tour

West Bridgeford Vets

Newark Select XV

 

 

Drew 10-10

Lost 44-27

 

Friendly

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies to our regular readers for the lateness of this week’s round-up.  Three days away with the Vets on tour is a fairly punishing schedule and it takes a while to get one’s thoughts gathered (and to round up the gossip)

 

For the folks left behind at home, Saturday pretty much wrapped up the season, with 4 home fixtures. 

 

The Firsts did what the Firsts do best, by winning in style, completing an unbeaten season and collecting the presentation of the League Trophy.  No need to dwell on the details of the game as its covered more than adequately in the match report, beautifully written as usual by one of our unsung heroes, immediate Past-President  Trevor Langley, who’s effortless prose fills me with envy week after week.

 

The  Mustangs lost for the first time in 2013 – against local rivals Medway, who have pretty much had the edge over us again this season and which is very much the club against which to judge ourselves at the moment, being a similar size and being very old friends and local rivals, although in truth its only very recently that Medway would have been able to claim any kind of hegemony over ourselves. Lets hope it proves to be a very temporary phenomenon.  This result leaves the Mustangs with a 4th placed League finish, behind Tonbridge III, Thanet II and  Medway II, Medway being the only side in the League that the Mustangs failed to beat this season.

 

The 3rd team had no fixture this week, having finished their League campaign last week but Medway III’s thrashing of Ashford II means that our 3rds will finish as runners-up to Medway III, who were worthy champions owing to their uncompromising commitment to youth development at this level.  It could all have been so different if Maidstone’s seasoned 3rd team campaigners could have held out for a couple more minutes in the away match vs Medway in what was an epic struggle of young vs old, youth prevailing to win that battle and ultimately the war.  Well done to Tuggy however for leading such a committed campaign this year, ably supported by propaganda minister David Ruaux and it gives me great pleasure to announce that David has agreed to take over as the 3rd Team Fuhrer for next season, in which role he is sure to do a fantastic job if his leadership is anywhere near as good as his match reporting.

 

Prior to that however, David’s leadership was put to the test as in the absence of the regular skipper he led the 4th team into battle against Leigh, who are the best team in their league.  David provided me with a précis of the match to help me write my round-up but lazily, I have gone for the cut and paste option instead:

 

Great win for us on saturday after coming from 0-7 down to win 10-7.


To be fair the scoreline completely belies the nature of the game with us being totaly dominant for nearly the entire match. I gave Callum the MOTM as he really grew into his role at No 10, and hopefully he'll be back next season.


I got on the scoresheet with our try, however it was an awesome little chip through by Callum for me to chase. Lewis Fagg kicked all our points including a 30m drop goal that in the end turned out to be the winning margin. However to be fair his second attempt a little later in the game didn't quite match the same quality as the first!!! But all in all not bad for a chap playing at flanker.


I'd also like you to give a mention to Mayhem and SC in the weekly round up to. Their penetrative running kept Leigh on the backfoot all afternoon, and it was our whole pack that kept control throughout the game. Also Dave Jackson could be the advert for the Duracell bunny, he didn't stop running all match!    (Editors note: Funnily enough,his new girl-friend has also compared him with the Duracell Bunny)

 

A fair assessment of what must have been a compelling game and one which Leigh will have enjoyed despite losing, as they had already won the League by some margin but had gained 4 walk-overs during the season where their opposition had pulled out, so a narrow loss to them would have been much preferable to a further Saturday without a match. Congratulations to them however on their success this year and on bringing a 2nd team to the leagues for the first time next season.   

 

Lastly, before we leave the subject of the 4th Team, my delight in announcing David Ruaux as 3rd team skipper is matched by the revelation that David Baker will be skippering the 4th team next season and hopefully bringing to the team all the enthusiasm that he has shown since joining the club the season before last. What an improvement to have a skipper who actually gets muddy on the training field each week, rather than turning up with a notebook just before the lights go out.  I hope that we will all give him the best possible support along the way for a successful and enjoyable season.

 

The 5ths entertained Hastings and Bexhill III on the unaccustomed turf of New Line Learning, where, whilst beautifully grassy, the pitch proved sadly to be the wrong shape and blighted by a large whole which rendered play impossible in one corner.  However, a resourceful ref and 2 willing teams, scorned the setback and proceeded to bring the touchline in to the 5 metre line where a rollicking good game ensued between two enthusiastic sides.

3 Tries for Mike Gillies and one each for Richard Nunn, Simon Seal and Tom Clark sealed the win for Maidstone and if they were to pull off a win in the postponed fixture vs New Ash Green II in 2 weeks time, they could finish 4th in their league under the hugely popular leadership of Ian Ausher.

 

What then of the intrepid tourists who set off early on Friday morning, entrusted with a mission to drink the Midlands dry – and play a couple of matches along the way?  On Saturday they met West Bridgeford in a very well matched veterans fixture, that would have started uncontested had our prop-shaped centre Carl King not gamely stepped in to prop for the opposition. As a 2nd-row forward of some 30 seasons, I should probably have realised that his casual scrummaging style in which he rested his outside arm on his thigh, owed less to a disdain for the alleged difficulty of playing prop, than to the fact that no-one had told him about binding and the referee never intervened to suggest that he should grip his opponent on engagement. Notwithstanding this oversight, he seemed to manage pretty well until later in the game when an alarmingly swollen finger dissuaded him from propping or even finishing the match at all.  With the game delicately poised at 10-10 and only 3 mins left on the clock, our trusty fly-half Mick Walker, stepped up for a penalty in front of the posts to take the points and seal the win, but those of us who felt that it was somewhat bad form to be kicking penalties on a Vets tour, were rewarded for our scepticism as he accidentally pushed it wide of the posts for an equitable draw.  That gave both sides something to sing about, which they did with great enthusiasm over copious jugs of beer in the bar. Man of the Match for Maidstone was Ben Rodell-Jones, who’s pre-match aim was to sink 10 pints before kick-off and who then played a blinder (or was it blindly?). Moral of the story?  Had we all had 10 pints we might have won.

 

On Sunday, we faced the stiffer opposition of Newark 3rds/4ths, and bearing in mind that their 4ths had won 90 nil on the Saturday, some of us were feeling that perhaps they didn’t really need the 3rds on board as well. As we pulled up on the coach, many remarks were heard about the fantastic facilities of our hosts (including 8 pitches), although this felt somewhat akin to Christians admiring the architecture of the Colliseum before they were served up to the Lions. Seldom in the field of human combat, has such an elderly and pessimistic bunch of players taken the field as on that Sunday but, with a howling gale at our backs and an empathetic referee, the old crocks of the Vets soon found that, whilst they were never going to win the match, there was nothing to stop them playing their own game. Had it not been for the fact that every time a Newark winger touched the ball he scored, the whole affair could have been a really tight contest, as inch perfect kicking kept Newark pinned in their own half for long periods of the game, enabling Maidstone to amass a total of 5 tries – which must be a record for a Vets Tour. It must be confessed that at half-time, the referee had the inspired idea of forgetting to change ends (the first time this has happened to me in my entire playing career) but it certainly levelled the playing field and gave the youngsters of Newark a more challenging afternoon than they would otherwise have had. (Newark Match report)

 

Modesty forbids me to mention who won the Mankini race afterwards, although I swear I would have done even better had they provided me with the right size Mankini.   All in all, it was another excellent Vets Tour and a good prelude to next year, when we invade Germany and find out if their rugby players are as good as their footballers.

 

OTHER MATTERS

 

Evergreen Cup

I have at last managed by a circuitous route to unravel the mystery of why we have played no further matches since beating Tonbridge Judds Vets at the beginning of February. It turns out that our win was recorded as a loss and all of my enquiries having been ignored, no one even bothered to inform us of the draw, so a competition that has been a shambles this year has turned into a complete farce. (Medway have apparently reached the final of the plate without playing a match) I have no idea whether a final will even be played this year and I can’t imagine that the competition will survive into next season in its current format, which is rather a shame given the excellent stewardship that it formerly enjoyed.

 

RFU President’s XV Player Welfare and Safety Award

I notice that a piece has appeared in the Club News section of the web-site,around this prestigious award posted by our indefatigable Deputy-Chairman Bob Hayton, but modesty has prevented him from “bigging-up” the role he played in the whole initiative, which would undoubtedly have failed even to reach conception but for his tireless hard-work, let alone the successful execution of the project.  Along with anyone else who knows the amazing work that he does for our club, I would like to raise my hat to Mr Hayton.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 20th April 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 

 

 

 

      2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

 

3rd

 

 

 

 

4th

Whitstable III

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

TBA

H

 

Friendly

Vets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 6th April 2013
posted: April 08 2013

 

Results for 6th April 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Vigo

A

Won 7 -106

London South East 3

      2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

A

No game

Invicta II

3rd

Edenbridge

A

Won 15-37

Invicta III

4th

Whitstable III

H

Lost 5-37

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

H

HWO

Early Bird 6

Vets

Ashford Barbarians

H

Lost 17-22

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s not much you can say about a result like Saturday’s – except that had it been a boxing match it would have been stopped during the first half – which implies no disrespect to Vigo but having been on the receiving end of a few scores like that myself over the years, I know that its pretty pointless (not literally) for both sides. On the plus side, one gets to enjoy the Vigo match report, which is always prompt, honest, fair and funny (in at least two of which respects it has the advantage over this feeble effort).  I seem to remember that it is only 3 or 4 seasons ago that Maidstone were themselves on the wrong end of more than a couple of scores like that (albeit 2 divisions higher) and at the end of a long season in which Vigo can look forward to the relief provided by the balm of relegation, they might like to reflect on how much fun it would be to be spared relegation on a technicality and suffer a further season as the whipping boys of the division – as happened to Maidstone at the time. However, that was then and this is now and we wish our friends at Vigo a more competitive season next year, as we ourselves look forward to the challenges of next season (whilst not overlooking the season’s finale vs Bromley at home next week).

 

Playing one division below Vigo next season will be Edenbridge, who  have elected to play in Kent Division 2 next season, rather than in the Junior leagues where they have been playing in recent years. As such, they represented a formidable last challenge of the season for our 3rds, who have themselves prevailed in many memorable battles this season under the dogged and committed leadership of the legendary Maidstone institution that is known as “Tuggy”.   However, facing a 15-3 half-time deficit against a very decent Edenbridge outfit, the omens didn’t look good, especially given that Maidstone’s only line out option was the “towering” presence of Nick East, who is renowned for many things but not usually his tallness or line-out jumping.  Notwithstanding, by the time the full-time whistle went, a somewhat shell-shocked Edenbridge had leaked 35 second-half points to a rampant Maidstone team, re-juvenated by the introduction of Dominic Baxter on his 51st birthday and propped up by the scrummaging technique of 67 year old Ross Laing but most of all by the storming runs of Michal Macher that yielded him two tries.  I am sure that Edenbridge will have easier games next season.

 

At home, the big match on the First Team pitch was the 4th Team (ably supported by the 5th team) vs Whitstable 3rds – which was a somewhat lack-lustre affair versus a team that looked much better than their League position would have suggested.  There were some promising attacking moves from Maidstone in the first half and Ben Blacker got very close to crossing for a try but there wasn’t much continuity – not helped by the loss of scrum-half Alan McCabe to a profusely bleeding head-wound. Whilst Mark Ingram proved a very able replacement at scrum-half, it wasn’t until the second half that Maidstone troubled the score-board themselves, pleasingly through  a try from promising debutant Albert Sanders who looked a good prospect in the back-row.  

 

The 5th team game vs Lordswood II was forfeited by Lordswood on Friday and sadly, no suitable replacement could be found.

 

The Vets played a first fixture against the newly founded Ashford Barbarians club and were gutted to lose the match with the last play of the game but were pleased to have played in a very competitive game and more than held their own vs a team much younger than themselves.  Ashford Barbarians have broken away from Ashford RFC and are looking to establish a new club in Ashford, where their intention is to get back to playing Social Rugby and to re-connect with the traditional values of the game.  They certainly appear to be a sociable bunch and have already established a tradition of elaborate boat-racing for their man of the match and div of the day awards, involving 4 drinks each, one of which is rather disappointingly, lager. (I know a few players who feel that the main problem with the modern game is infiltration by lager drinkers).

James Hall, who played on the wing for Maidstone in the glory days of the 1980s and who scored 2 tries vs Blackheath in a famous Kent Cup Semi-final victory for Maidstone, is one of the founders of the new club and is very well known to many at Maidstone, so we look forward to visiting them at their new ground and playing enjoyable fixtures with them in the forth-coming seasons.

 

Court and Social

Tickets are now available for the Club Players Dinner and Awards night on 10th May at an extremely reasonable £20 per head. Capacity is limited to around 100, so its important to get your ticket early to avoid disappointment.  See the bar-staff to make your payment and secure your place.

 

On Sunday, the club hosted an incoming tour from Farnham RFC Junior section and staged a mini and midi festival that proved to be a great success thanks to the hard work and 6 months of planning that had gone into staging it.  Thanks are due to many people from all sections of the club and one hesitates to name individuals for fear of leaving anyone out, but I don’t think anyone would begrudge Charlotte Goodbody a special mention and also the parents from the U16s who manned the barbecue so efficiently and cheerfully throughout the day, even though the U16s themselves were not involved in the festival.   

 

To quote our First Team Captain Ben Williams: “One Club”.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 13th April 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bromley

H

 

London South East 3

      2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Leigh

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bexhill III

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Nottingham Tour

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 30th March 2013
posted: April 02 2013

 

Fixtures for 30th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Drybrook  RFC

H

Lost 6-16

Senior Vase National Semi-Final

2nd

 

 

 

 

3rd

 

 

 

 

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

 

 

 

 

Vets

 

 

 

 

Maidstone XV

Old Maidstonians

H

Won by 8 tries to 6

Bank-holiday friendly

Oh well – that’s Cup Rugby for you.  There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser.  Defeat in such a crucial game is very hard to accept, especially for our players who worked so hard, gave so much and came so close but all the “ifs”, “buts” and “might have beens” don’t change the outcome. Despite the magnificence of their defence, Drybrook were gracious enough in victory to admit that they felt quite fortunate to be still in the game at half-time – which actually makes it harder to deal with the loss, knowing that we should probably have won it. 

 

Following the quarter-final win vs Cantabrigians, the Cantab’s match report said that it will be a very fine team that prevents Maidstone from going on to take the National title. Drybrook came to Maidstone and claimed that accolade and we now wish them and their magnificent travelling supporters a great day out at Twickenham, where to come back with the cup is actually of secondary importance to having been there in the first place.

 

Despite the loss, it was a great day for Maidstone Rugby, as our own supporters came out in droves to watch what was a gripping spectacle until almost the end. With fantastic assistance from all sections of the club, the whole operation ran very smoothly and it was great to see so many familiar faces from other local Kent clubs in the crowd as well as a good turn out from our own members in both the Senior and Junior section. It’s just a shame that their support couldn’t have been rewarded with a home victory. On the final whistle, I turned round to see a tiny little boy in floods of tears, only to find out that he had had his heart set on a trip to Twickenham. (I think his parents had done a very good job in getting him excited enough to stand around in wintery conditions for 2 hours with the reward of a trip to HQ as the incentive)

 

Talking of children, it was heartening to receive this email from a mum: 

 

Could you pass this on to the first team coach/players.

 

I don’t know whether the  first team realise, the HUGE impact they have on the children who are escorting them out onto the field for the games. The children this week were SO excited that a first team player gave them his name/ asked their name, whether they enjoyed playing, asked them to cheer loud etc.etc…..suddenly the children now have an allegiance to that particular player!!!. A couple of weeks ago a similar situation happened where a child felt like he looked up to his player, and thought his player was touching the sky!!!!....This is undoubtedly making a massive impression, and turning the first team into realistic sports heros.

I realise the players need to concentrate on the game ahead, but please pass on a ‘mums’ thanks for making 2 children incredibly happy.

xx

 

One only has to look at the career of our First Team Skipper Ben Williams to see how a love for one’s club and for the sport is cultivated at an early age and it’s exciting to hear first-hand that players such as Ben can in turn be such positive role models for youngsters coming through the club.

 

Anyway, to coin a cliché, we can now forget the excitement of the cup for another year and concentrate on the league campaign, where an unbeaten season is now the sole remaining objective, all other League objectives having been wrapped up several weeks ago.

 

As an antidote to all the intensity of cup and league, there was a large Bank-Holiday turn-out today for a somewhat incestuous Maidstone XV vs Maidstonians (former pupils of Maidstone Grammar School) friendly match, bringing together players from these two great institutions in the middle of Maidstone that are such bastions of the sport and which have been so closely interlinked for nearly 150 years. 

 

There was some fantastic champagne rugby played, interspersed with plenty of amusing incidents but above all, it was a chance for players on both teams to play for the fun of the game, alongside and against friends that they may have gone to school with or with whom they play club rugby week after week. It is quite a challenge to referee such a game but thanks are due to Bob Judd for officiating and keeping the game flowing at such a fast pace, whilst credit is also due to Jonathan Davies for assembling the Maidstonian team and Richard Weston for co-ordinating the Maidstone XV (or Westonians as he liked to call them). 

 

There was a rumour before the game that DoR Andy Foley was going to don his kit for a cameo appearance but he showed up at the ground in possession of a small child and a dog and no kit which gave him a ready made excuse for seeing out the proceedings from the comfort of the touch-line (if you can call an arctic April wind comfortable).

 

Looking ahead to next week, there are 6 matches scheduled for Saturday, with only 2 or 3 weeks of the season left to play, so anyone who is keen to play some rugby whilst there is still a chance should make sure that they have made their availability known – by Tuesday if possible. Both the Mustangs and the 3rd team are still in with a realistic chance of taking their League title or runner’s up award, so lets keep the enthusiasm and commitment going right until the season’s end.

 

Don’t forget that the players dinner and awards night has been scheduled for Friday 10th May and tickets are already available at the bar, so with capacity limited to around 100, make sure that you don’t miss out on what is always a memorable event.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 6th April 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Vigo

A

 

Senior Vase National Semi-Final

2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Edenbridge

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Whitstable III

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Ashford IV

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 23rd March 2013
posted: March 25 2013

 

Results for 23rd March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Gillingham Anchs

H

Won 19-10

London SE III

Young 2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

H

Won 22-7

Invicta II

3rd

Gravesend III

H

Home Walk Over

Invicta III

4th

Cranbrook II

A

Drew 5-5

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesnd IV

*recorded as a 5-5 draw for League

A

Lost 10-5*

Early Bird 6

Vets

Folkestone Fossils

A

Cancelled as Folkestone had no team

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a disappointment.  6 good teams selected and only 4 games played. 

 

Having spent all week juggling to find pitches for all of our scheduled home games it was galling that the 3rd team match was cried-off at 12 noon on Saturday.  Prior to that, the Vets had lost their scheduled opposition - twice.  Firstly Folkestone had been unable to raise a vets team – which was a fair enough call on a Tuesday.  A replacement fixture was found vs Sittingbourne but on Friday that was also cried-off and nothing else came along despite holding out until Saturday morning.  Ho Hum.

 

Luckily, the fixtures that took place were pretty satisfactory on the whole.  Whilst the first team missed out on a bonus point, it did them no harm to work hard for their victory vs Anchorians, especially having faced a 10 nil deficit at half-time.  The far-from satisfactory part of the proceedings was the injury sustained by winger James Davies – which has proved to be a broken leg. This is not only a blow to the team ahead of next week’s semi-final but is also a huge personal blow for James, who has been an ever-present since the start of the season and who has now lost his chance to play at Twickenham – whatever the outcome of next week’s match.

 

The Mustangs recent run of excellent form continued against Tonbridge Judds 3rds, who thanks to their games in hand are still in pole position to take the Invicta II title but are now being hotly pursued by Maidstone. Apart from illustrious former 1st Team Captain Dave Charlton, who at 42 was over twice the age of at least half the team, it was a young and hungry side that took to the field against TJs and despite their callowness, it was the superior discipline of Maidstone that won them the match, whilst TJs collected yellow cards.  Will Miles collected three-quarters of a full house with a try, conversion and a drop-goal whilst Matt Vickers and Ally Moss collected a try apiece, DC adding a conversion.  After playing against The Mustangs last week, 3 MGS players played FOR the Mustangs this week and made a vital contribution to the team.

 

Apparently, the snow flurries on Saturday morning prevented Gravesend 3rd Team players getting to their ground for the away trip to Maidstone (although the Gravesend 1st and 4th Teams managed to play at home and our 5ths managed to reach Gravesend without incident).  Oh well.  Some of our players took advantage of the week- off to go shopping, whilst one even made an unscheduled visit to Anne Summers – (with his fiancée, I hasten to add) so it wasn’t all bad.  The 4 League points and 40-0 result wont hurt the 3rd Team league campaign either.

 

The 4th Team had the luxury of selecting 20 players this week (without the assistance of the Vets) and were able to take 18 of those to Cranbrook for an enjoyable league match, spoilt slightly by the necessity of uncontested scrums when a Cranbrook prop failed to show up. Dan Cummings played his first match since the opening 10 minutes of the season when he injured his knee at Deal & Betts, but he seemed to come through unscathed – aided and abetted by two of his amigos in Ian Davis and Simon Cripps, only one of whom made it beyond half-time.  Maidstone’s try came from a good three-quarter break finished off by Andy Smith – although a searing solo break from the same player soon afterwards was his last activity of the afternoon after a heavy tackle.

 

Two debutants,Luke Cox and Callum Smith made a very good impression on their introduction to senior rugby, and 19 yr old Callum in particular did well to slot straight into the number 10 slot, despite not having touched a ball since he was 14.  It was especially pleasing that they both agreed to play without feeling the need to go training first.  If I had a pound for every new player who never got beyond the training pitch, I would have quite a few pounds by now.  That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with training but its my belief that the best introduction to rugby is to actually play the game – and then go training to get better at it.

 

Talking of training, the 5th team appreciated their scrummaging session with 1st Team Forwards Coach Lee Evans on Thursday night and did so well in the scrums against Gravesend IV that Gravesend were forced to go uncontested midway through the match.  That thoroughly spoilt Tight-head Will Fox’s afternoon, but not as much as having his try disallowed under the posts.

 

Although Maidstone lost the game 10-5 and acknowledged that it was a genuine Gravesend 4th team they were  playing, the rules of the Mid Kent League state that If a club forfeits a senior game but continues to honour lower league fixtures on the same day and IF the lower side(s) win, the game will only score as a draw (3 points each) and the lower score will apply to both teams”.   Kind of tough on Gravesend 4ths but the rules were introduced to prevent abuses and to encourage proper selection procedures.  However, since neither of the two sides is in any danger of relegation or promotion at this stage of the season, its all kind of academic really and the main thing is that a good competitive game took place.

 

NEXT WEEK

 

Its another massive day for the club next weekend as we welcome Drybrook RFC to the Mote for a match that neither team could bear to lose.  So far, our First team have swept aside all obstacles and made light of some high-flying opposition but with each stage of the cup, the stakes get higher,although the tantalizing prize of a day out at Twickenham is perhaps more precious than winning the cup itself, which means that this game is arguably the biggest of the season. Having fallen at this hurdle last year, it’s a comfort to reflect on how much better the Maidstone team is this year than it was a year ago. Fingers crossed.

 

It goes without saying that volunteers will be needed for all sorts of jobs on the day but supporters are equally important, so make sure that the date is firmly in your diary.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 30th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Drybrook  RFC

 

 

Senior Vase National Semi-Final

Young 2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

 

 

 

Invicta III

4th

 

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

 

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

 

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 16th March 2013
posted: March 18 2013

 

Results for 16th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Cantabrigians

H

Won 57-7

Senior Vase

Young 2nds

(Mustangs)

Maidstone Grammar School 1st Team

H

Won 19-3

Friendly

3rd

Aylesford III

H

Won 19-0

Invicta III

4th

No fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Car Park Duty

 

 Thanks to Ian and the crew

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

H

 Lost 17-27

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

To the amusement of everyone except English fans, Wales stuffed England by a record margin on Saturday but it doesn’t really matter as I expect it will be quickly forgotten by both sets of suppporters !!??

On the other hand, Maidstone’s clinical demolition of Cantabrigians will live long in the memory of the many supporters who braved the filthy weather to line the First-Team pitch, although the match was effectively over as a contest within the first 6 minutes, (which brought up Maidstone’s second try). Not that Cantabrigians weren’t “up for the cup”, but it was an unequal contest as the Maidstone boys showed the full panoply of skills despite the rotten conditions. Incidentally, It was good to see Richard Parker take the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award, some 20 years after making his First Team debut in an away match at Southend.

(Cantabrigian's match report can be viewed here). 

Lets hope that there will be a substantial improvement in the “spring” weather in time for the National semi-final vs Drybrook in 2 weeks time – although I have just heard on the radio that an Easter “wash-out” is forecast, which is very disappointing.

In fact, the weather had a huge impact on what should have been a feast of rugby at the club on Saturday, although all games went ahead as planned. 

The “young Mustangs” match vs MGS 1st Team, had to be moved at the last minute to the Grammar School pitch, but there was no respite there from the Mud, and within not many minutes, both teams were indistinguishable from one another.  Despite the age, size and strength advantage held by the Mustangs, they still needed to give a good account of themselves vs a well-drilled and combative MGS side, but 3 tries from Sam Weston sealed the game for the Rugby Club.

The next match to kick-off was the Vets match vs Lordswood 2nds in Mote Park, which was the only game of the day that was not dominated by mud. The Vets could have been forgiven if they had not fancied the opposition much, as Lordswood turned up with a big young side that looked as though they should have been playing our 1sts. Fortunately, many of them were fairly new to rugby and the wise old heads of our Vets were able to keep Maidstone in the game for much of the match, although in the end, the younger stronger legs of the visitors made the difference between the two sides.  It was a fascinating match to watch though, full of incident and amusement and a great advert for “friendlies”, so few of which are played these days.

Meanwhile, on the bottom pitch, for the second week in a row, a Maidstone team was lined up against an Aylesford side in a league game, this one being a 3rd team fixture – although there were a number of the same players on both sides who had featured in last week’s 2nd team clash. The difference this week was the condition of the pitch and the score-line, which whilst still pretty much in Maidstone’s favour, was by no means as emphatic as the 49-5 demolition job of the previous week. We will need to wait for the Dave Ruaux match report to obtain a blow by blow account but from what I saw, Aylesford did well to contain Maidstone to only one try in the second half, despite the half-time introduction of a rampant “Pickle” Bunyan and the loss of Aylesford’s big number 8, who was forced off with a shoulder injury.

All in all, a pretty satisfactory day for the club – especially as it brought back so many of our old players for an “Old Boys” re-union on the day. Ben Williams thanked many people from his “soap-box” in the clubhouse after the game, although the problem with starting to thank people is the danger of leaving out any of the many, many people who contribute to a big day such as this – so I am not even going to begin listing them here. What is great however, is when individuals or indeed whole teams, come forward to take on a discreet task that can then be taken off the shoulders of some of the well known dogsbodies that would otherwise be burdened with those jobs, as well as everything else that they do. The watchword now and for the future needs to be the “One Club” mentality that Ben himself is so prominent in promoting.  Lets keep it going.

NEXT WEEK

There are 6 fixtures scheduled for Saturday, so with only 3 weeks of the season left, lets try to get everyone on board to get all the fixtures played and finish the season with a bang. If you want to play on Saturday, please make sure that someone knows that you are available – preferably by flagging your availability on www.clubhouseapp.com

RE

                       

Fixtures for 23rd March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Gillingham Anchs

H

 

London SE III

Young 2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Gravesend III

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Cranbrook II

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesnd IV

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Folkestone Fossils

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 9th March 2013
posted: March 11 2013

 

Results for 9th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

A

Won 3-33

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Aylesford II

A

Won 3-49

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

A

Won 19-21

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Sheppey II

H

Lost 5-10

Early Bird 6

Vets

Crawley Vets

A

Won 5-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very quick round-up this week, but judging by the results above, the club seems to have managed quite well in the absence of me and the other ski-tourists who were AWOL for 2 weeks and therefore unavailable to play.

 

 Regrettably, our veterans ski trip was rendered “uncontested” on the first morning when the best skier in the party, loose-head prop Ian Crickmore, face-planted onto a rock and needed air-lifting to Geneva and a metal plate inserted into his face to help restore his good looks. The rest of us soldiered on “propless” although irrepressible Irishman, Brian Costello (sole conqueror of the legendary “Swiss Wall Black-Run”) has declared that he’s going to switch from centre to prop in Ian’s absence. We all hope to see Ian make a full and rapid recovery, although following her unscheduled rescue-trip to Geneva, whether his wife Beth will let him out to play in future, remains to be seen.

 

The First Team, crowned league champions last week, continued their unbeaten run this week at 2nd placed Sheppey at the aptly-named “Ditch”.  Great to see Andy Bacon starting his 1st First-Team game since the start of the season and taking the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award alongside Neil “The Train” Graves.

 

Result of the week was The Mustangs comprehensive win vs Aylesford’s 2nd team, which was very welcome after the disappointment of the early season loss against the same opposition when a 19-5 half time lead was thrown away. Nick Bunyan has come back from injury with a bang, announcing his considerable presence with 3 tries, whilst Jack Naismith bagged two.  There was also one try each for Will Miles, Josh McKenzie and Tom Matley whilst Dan Eastwood kicked a penalty and 3 conversions.

 

Selection worked extremely well this week, with a good deal of mixing and matching to get the 4th, 5th and Vets fixtures played. It was a good advert for the emerging “one-club” mentality and gave lots of players a chance to play with players they don’t normally play and socialize with.

 

To avoid a repeat of the mis-match that occurred when the 5ths played Sheppey 2nd Team in the league earlier in the season, the bulk of the 5th team went to Sittingbourne to play the 4th team league game and pulled off a marvellous win, although it was a nail-biting victory as a 0-21 half-time lead was eroded to 19-21 with a conversion attempt missed with the last kick of the game. Great to see Craig Bowden back in action and playing his first match since the Vets Derby Tour at the end of the season before last – and full of praise for the 5th Team spirit that contributed to such a good win.

 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a beefed-up “5th team” scored first against Sheppey 2nds and a very competitive game ensued, although Sheppey were the ultimate victors in what was a much more satisfying game for all concerned than the corresponding “away” fixture, the home team taking a bonus point from the match for finishing within 7 points of the winners.

 

With 6 or 7 regulars away, the omens were not good for the Vets to fulfil their away fixture vs Crawley Vets, although Crawley had turned up to their great credit, at the home fixture with only 8 players. As it happened, Steve Vincent managed to assemble 16 players for the trip and despite conceding a quick try at the outset, they dug in for a notable victory and enjoyed the great Crawley hospitality all the more. Notable additions to the side were youngsters Toby Young and Scott Andrews, who both played out of position in the back-row and had the game of their lives, greatly impressing the rest of the team who were all at least twice their age.  

 

NEXT WEEK

 

It’s a big “club day” next week with the obvious attraction of the home draw for the 1st team in the Senior Vase Quarter Final.  We are keen to give as many players as possible the chance to play and also watch the Cup-Match, followed by the England vs Wales match in the club-house.  The day commences at 11 am when a young Mustangs team plays the current MGS First Team in an exhibition match. The 3rd team and Vets also have home matches, which we hope will be kicked off early. There is also an “Old Boys” gathering for former players and members on the same day, so there is a feast of Rugby and entertainment for anyone who wants to make a day of it.  We are in need of assistance with lots of jobs on the day, from car-parking to programme selling, so please rally round and volunteer your help – especially if you are not playing on the day.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 16th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Cantabrigians

H

 

Senior Vase

Young 2nd

(Mustangs)

Maidstone Grammar School 1st Team

H

11:00 pm KO

Friendly

3rd

Aylesford III

H

KO  time tba

Invicta III

4th

No fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Tour

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

H

 KO time tba

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 2nd March 2013
posted: March 03 2013

Results for 2nd March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

Result

Competition

1stXV

Horsham

H

Won 95-12

London 3 (SE)

Mustangs XV

 

 

No Fixture

 

3rdXV

Deal & Betteshanger 2

A

Won 38-23

Invicta III

4thXV

Weavering Warriors

H

Draw 15-15

Dragonfire 5

5thXV

O Gravesendians 2

H

Won 47-5

Early Bird 6(W)

Veterans XV

French Alps

A

?

Word is, that it’s been a downhill battle so far

The usual author of this weekly summary has ‘buggered off’ with the rest of the ‘Old Farts’ in the Veterans XV to Les Gets in France for a week of skiing, so it has fallen to me to compose something for this week.  I should add that it was good of Richard to ask me, otherwise I would only have found out by reading last week’s missive!!!!!!

Well, what a day Saturday turned out to be with a great set of results across the board.  Topping the bill was the big news that the 1st XV secured the London 3(SE) league title, and in some style with a mammoth 95-12 win against Horsham side that were probably a bit “shellshocked” to say the least,  as they travelled back to Sussex, although they have been very magnanimous to the county town club in their own report (click here).  That said, they did not come to make up the numbers and started the match brightly and were prepared to run the ball when they got the chance, but the side ably led by Ben Williams just packed too much firepower for the visitors as they ran in 15 tries with hat-tricks plus for Bulldog and Willie, as well as three for the skipper, as the side galloped through the 1000pt barrier in competitive league & cup matches this season 

Apparently after seeing Willie B's dive over the line to score a couple of weeks ago against Park Hse the skipper felt that he was lacking a bit in technique, so took the opportunity this weekend to offer up a couple of demonstrations!!  

Lastly, spare a thought for our match reporter Trevor Langley, I was not quite sure how he was going to pick the bones out of such a dominant performance for his match report without it turning into a rather large tome, but as ever he has done it admirably, and I love the comment about the 'The Willie Brown show' for his 40-point haul in the match. 

Anyway, a big 'WELL DONE' to all the senior squad for what has been an outstanding season so far; and it's not over yet.

On the wider front, the club fielded four sides, the Mustangs didn’t have a scheduled fixture and with RE disappearing to France no real effort was made to arrange one.  Additionally, with a substantial portion of the Veterans XV also away, players from both those sides were available to backfill some of the other teams in their fixtures.  Especially with players such as Nick Bunyan returning from injury and needing some much needed match time.

The 3s made a worthwhile journey to Deal and came back with a solid winning result to maintain their chase for honours in Invicta 2.   I am led to believe that the 3rds resident scribe David Ruaux will no doubt be producing a match report in due course. 

I once thought that draws were a rarity in rugby but looking at the various tables they seem quite prevalent, especially this season and the 4th XV added another to the statistics as their match with Weavering ended 15-15.  However, speaking to a couple of guys in the clubhouse afterwards, they did feel as if they’d been mugged when Weavering asked if they’d mind them playing some extra subs as they had about 20 players.  Now, I know our esteemed FixSec is a great one for everybody getting a game and would have wholeheartedly endorsed the 4s agreeing; however, it transpired that Weavering ended up with 27 players and pretty much lined up for the second half with a completely different 15 to those that played in the first!! I suppose with neither team really challenging for honours in the table it didn’t really make any difference and on the plus side 45 players got a game.  Although they wouldn’t if someone hadn’t dragged Paul Ehrhart out of the clubhouse; with both sides ready to play they realised they were missing a ref, so poor old Paul who had come along to support the 1st XV with a number of other Veterans was pressed into action, with some borrowed kit and a pair of boots that were two sizes too big.

It was back to school for the 5ths, well at least onto the MGS rugby pitches as they faced an OGs side for the second time in two weeks.  Strangely OGs 2s seem to be less able than their 3s, as last week the 5ths went down heavily to an OGs supposed 3rd string, but came back this week to wallop their 2nds 47-5.

NEXT WEEK

Finally, a request to all players, in the absence of RE, Duncan McLintock has stepped in to cover the FixSec duties along with his own Chairman of Selectors role; can you all make life a bit simpler for him by making sure your availability for next week is submitted early.

BH

Fixtures for 9th March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

Result

Competition

1stXV

Sheppey

A

 

London 3 (SE)

Mustangs XV

Aylesford 2s

A

 

Invicta II

3rdXV

tba

 

 

 

4thXV

Sittingbourne 3

A

 

Dragonfire 5

5thXV

Sheppey 2

H

 

Early Bird 6(W)

Veterans XV

Crawley Vets

A

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 23rd February 2013
posted: February 24 2013

 

Results for 23rd Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

A

 Won 17-37

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Pulborough II

A

Won 73-0

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

H

Won 25-5

Invicta III

4th/Vets

Tunbridge Wells IV

H

Lost 5-21

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford IV

Played OG Club XV

A

A

Away Walk-Over

Lost

Early Bird 6

Friendly

Vets

Tonbridge Judds V

A

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Considering that a couple of years ago, obituaries were being written for Maidstone Rugby in certain quarters, I think its fair to say that we can be reasonably happy with the situation we find ourselves in this weekend.

 

Not only is the first-team promoted with 5 matches to spare but on a non-league, “six-nations”, snow-bound weekend, there will not have been many clubs in the country fielding 5 teams.

 

Admittedly, not all of those sides won, but of course playing rugby is not all about winning and a willingness to play when there is a danger of losing is an obvious but often over-looked component of being a prospering club. This is exemplified for instance by our 5th team, who seem to be willing to go anywhere and play anyone in order to play the game they love. Gifted a rare “Away Walk-Over” this week, there was no thought of taking a week off and watching the Internationals in a warm club-house but instead they were immediately on the hunt for a friendly somewhere – and believe me there were plenty of those on offer this weekend as matches were cancelled willy-nilly.

 

Anyway, enough of all the self-congratulations and just a quick word about the 1sts and Mustangs.  I havent heard anything about the coach-trip from Pulborough, although I gather that there was going to be a “Harlem Shake” involved (whatever that is?) A long traffic jam on the M23 must have afforded plenty of opportunity, so I hope their hardy fellow travellers had a high tolerance threshold.  Playing hard is the reward for working hard however, and the Senior squad guys, led by inspirational captain Ben Williams, deserve huge credit for the enthusiasm and dedication they have brought to the job this year (eg there were over 40 players at training on Tuesday and Thursday again this week).

 

Congratulations to Jason Smith for picking up the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award on the back of a 2 try performance at centre and also, well done to Jack Lamb for lending his considerable talent to Pulborough 2nds against a rather rampant Mustangs side.  STOP PRESS: SCORERS FROM SATURDAY. 3 TRIES FOR MACIEJ, 2 TRIES EACH FOR MICHAL AND DEBUTANT DOUGLAS, AND ONE EACH FOR WESTON, GOODHEW,BACON AND ALEX EASTWOOD, MAKING HIS SENIOR DEBUT AND SCORING ON THE SAME DAY AS HIS BROTHER DAN SCORED FOR THE 1STS.

Lastly, this weeks marks a sad farewell to Lucian Morosan and Alex Sterzu, who have been such wonderful ambassadors for their country in their time at the club and such good players at 1st Team level.  We look forward to their return next season, when they will no longer need Visas to come to England.  STOP PRESS: IT APPEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN HANDING OUT THE VALEDICTORY PLAUDITS A LITTLE EARLY, AS I GATHER THAT THEY ARE HERE FOR ANOTHER TWO WEEKS. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, who on earth was the cool dude at the bar in the authentic cowboy hat ?  

 

No, it wasn’t JR Ewing (showing my age there) or a Texas Ranger (although he is from Dallas) but none other than Stephen Meier, Kent Society Ref, deputed to oversee the 3rd team game vs Canterbury 3. Thankfully, toting a whistle rather than a gun, our Texan match official proved to be a very decent referee, but apart from being from Texas, the story gets stranger, as Steve actually lives in Brussels and drives to Kent via Eurotunnel (at his own expense), referees, stays overnight in a hotel in Ashford and then drives back to Brussels on the Sunday.  Understandably, having arrived for 2 cancelled matches in recent weeks, it was a pretty fraught business again this week in respect of the snowy weather, but fortunately the pitches proved playable and Canterbury did their part by making the snowy trip with 14 players and only one prop. Full match report to follow from David Ruaux (who appeared to have written quite a bit of it in the changing room before taking the field).

 

The 4ths and Vets combined once again to play the 4th team league fixture against a well-matched T Wells fourth team, although, much as in the corresponding away match earlier in the season, Maidstone failed to cope with the strong running of the ‘Wells centres and shipped some easy scores.  Andy Smith scored Maidstone’s only points but Man of the Match by many accounts was Jamal, who would have scored a try after a storming solo run if only he hadn’t stopped before reaching the try line.  Thanks to Steve Vincent for skippering the combined team and to Will Rush for playing in his least favourite position.

 

Havent heard too much about the 5th Team match (including the score) except that a couple of gaps in the team were filled by Dartfordians players who happened to be there.  Not quite sure what transpired there as I thought Darts were playing a re-arranged league game vs OGs but always glad to get assistance when needed, whatever the circumstances.

 

NEXT WEEK

 

No weekly round-up next week as the regular writer is scheduled to join half of the Vets Team on a ski-trip to Les Gets (French for “The Old Gits – or if its not, it should be!!), although it wouldn’t surprise me if the indefatigable Bob Hayton managed to pen a few words after finishing all the other amazing work he does on the web-site every week.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 2nd March 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

H

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

Deal & Betteshangar II

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Weavering

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Sheppey II

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Dartfordians Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 16th February 2013
posted: February 17 2013

 

Results for 16th Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

H

Won 114-3

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Colfeians II

A

Won 5-34

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

Won 24-38

Invicta III

4th

Sheppey III

A

Won 7-19

Friendly

5th

Bexley II

H

Won 34-10

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

No Fixture

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Played 5, won 5!!”  It has a nice ring to it and could only have been improved upon by “played 6, won 6”.  We weren’t quite there this week to get all 6 sides out but it was good to have 5 competitive teams in the field – especially at a time when so many other clubs in Kent are struggling to get fixtures played at all.  Thanks are due to the players, who keep coming back for more week after week and to the skippers, who work incredibly hard to make sure that their fixtures get played.

 

I haven’t yet seen the 1st Team match-report but I gather that, despite 7 changes in the side from the week before, we edged it !!

After a 70 nil loss last week, it can not have been an inviting prospect for Park House to turn up at The Mote this week, but turn up they did and stuck at it for 80 mins – without feeling the need to resort to any of the foul play that has been seen in other recent games. Its no fun to be on the wrong end of a League Table for a whole season (still less for two seasons when you escape relegation on a technicality – only to be hammered for a 2nd consecutive year, as happened to Maidstone not very long ago) but hopefully Park House (one of Kent’s few FC rugby clubs, like ourselves) will enjoy a better season next year.

Congratulations to Sam Brill for receiving the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award.

 

Have heard absolutely nothing from the Mustangs about their away win at Old Colfeians except the result. If Richard Weston were to send me a brief summary, I would append it here without delay. OK  StopPress: Played on a surface resembling quick-sand, the Mustangs opened their first-half account with tries from Cezar (First try for the club), Alex Goodhew and Dan Eastwood, with Goodhew converting for a half-time score of 17-5.  In the second half, tries came from Lucian Morosan, Dan Taylor and Eastwood again with Eastwood adding the extras. for a 5-34 finishing score. Would have been more had "Dick of the Day" Jack Hart not dropped the ball after crossing the line.  Overall, another very strong performance from a team that is playing its way into contention for an assault on the League title.

 

The third team were due to play away against Tonbridge Judd IV but the TJ pitches were unplayable, so TJs very sportingly sought to get the game played at Maidstone rather than just take a week off and go for a postponement. Unlike the war of attrition that saw a 3-0 win for Judds earlier in the season, this game was a much more free-flowing affair on the high veldt of Mote Park but with a much more  satisfactory scoreline for Maidstone on this occasion.  I don’t know if there will be a David Ruaux in-depth match report to follow but if not, maybe Tuggy can remember a few scratchy details to add here later. Full marks once again though, to TJs for getting this match played.  STOP PRESS: It was all going pretty badly Tuggy tells me, until he gave the team some pretty direct feed-back on their performance whilst stood behind the posts after a TJ score.  Then SC went off for 10 minutes and the team scored 3 tries whilst he was off the pitch.  Further details will follow tomorrow when David Ruaux delivers his match report, although given that we have only today received the Ashford report from 3 weeks ago, Mr Ruaux is in serious danger of getting fired (and dropped) if he cant get his reports done in a timely fashion.  Luckily, there's a vacancy for a match-reporter in the 4th team !!

 

In contrast, at 9am on match day, a call came from Whitstable to say that their pitches were unplayable and that the 4th team game vs their 3rds would need to be postponed - for a 3rd time - owing to weather. Faced with no game, a quick text to all the fixture-secs in Kent had produced no result by 11am. At this point, I decided to inform our players that there would be no rugby for them this week and had written a text and inserted the names to send it and cancel. Before I could press “send”, a call came from Sheppey to say that Ash II had dropped out at 11am and they were without any opposition, so we went and played Sheppey instead, at the aptly named Ditch. 

We chose the deep-end for the first half and were two tries up at half time, thanks to Ben Jones and George Coomber (who came away with a broken finger and foot for all his typical swash-buckling, try-scoring exploits) and a maiden try from Dave Baker in his new role as open-side flanker sealed the game in the second half. Thanks are due to Andy Hosken and Shaun the Shep at Sheppey for getting this game played and for structuring their teams on the day in order to make sure that the game was not a mis-match.  Thanks also to the 6 or 7 Maidstone Vets who joined the 4ths for this game and for whom this was by no means their first Island visit of the season.

 

The 5ths had the luxury of a rare home fixture, although their own opposition (Anchs III) had cried off during the week and so instead, they stepped up to play a friendly vs Bexley II that was originally tabled as a 4th team fixture. Bexley is a nice club and we have had some excellent friendlies with them in the last 6 or 7 years and this was no exception, our 5ths proving to be more than a match for them on this occasion (although a combined 4th/Vets team had spluttered to an unconvincing loss in the corresponding away fixture earlier in the season). More details to follow if any reach me.

 

TABLE TENNIS

It was good to see the table in use after the matches again on Saturday, with deadly Dane showing off his fearsome forehand, although sadly with no back-hand to back it up. I noticed when I got home, an entry on Facebook indicating that Table Tennis has become quite the “in” thing in bars in London lately, so its good to see that if not “ahead” of the curve, we are at least keeping pace.

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 23rd Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

A

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford IV

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Tonbridge Judds V

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 9th February 2013
posted: February 11 2013

 

Results for 9th Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

A

Won 3-33

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

H

Won 65-0

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

H

Lost 12-29

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

A

Lost 37-0

Dragon Fire 5

5th

TBA

 

No fixture

Friendly

Vets

Old Wills II

A

Lost 42-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

Another good win for the First Team this week in what proved to be quite an unsavoury encounter against a robust Ashford team that were still harbouring promotion hopes of their own – prior to the match. Ivan Walkling took the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award for another outstanding performance at Scrum-half, (presented to him by Chairman of Selectors Duncan McLintock, who made his long-awaited return to action this week after a frustratingly long lay-off).  Congrats to Alex Goodhew for making his First team debut this week, after joining the club last season at 4th team level and working his way through the ranks where his undoubted talent stood out at whatever level he played.

 

The Mustangs showed how far they have come recently with an emphatic win against Bromley II, who have had the whip hand in this fixture in recent encounters.  This match was  a very different story and marked a 4-try haul for back-row dynamo Sam Weston. Its good to see that so many of the Mustangs are in genuine contention for 1st team places whilst playing the team into contention for the Invicta II title by the end of the season.  It was good to welcome two new triallists to the  side this week, and judging by the impact they made, Maciej and Pawel will be very useful additions to the senior squad next season. We look forward to welcoming them back to Maidstone.

 

The 3rd team took a real stuffing earlier in the season when they sent a woefully understrength team to play Ashford II away, in a top of the table League Fixture.  Since then, the 3rd team title challenge has faded but there have been some really gritty performances against tough opposition. Fielding a much stronger team than before, this could have been one of them had it not been for 3 early Ashford scores that put the game out of reach, although tries from Mayhem and Ian Howson brought them back into contention in the 2nd half. Stand-out performances came from flankers Simon Wright and Lewis Fagg.

 

The 4th team were given fantastic support by the 5th team this week, to make sure that the away fixture vs Dover IV could be played and a worthwhile contest took place – particularly as it allowed various players to play in positions they had never before tried, including Jason Smith at Fly-half, Andy Smith at Scrum-half and Dave Baker in the back-row. Ian Ausher came on in the 2nd half and announced his presence with a massive tackle and then spear-headed the forward attacks with some storming runs. Paul Hodges made a great interception in the middle of the park for what could have been Maidstone’s only score, but found that his legs were 5 years too old to outrun the defence.  Thanks to Bob Purfit for joining the team for this long away trip and skippering the team on the day.

 

The Vets were due to play Canterbury Vets at home but, when the opposition couldn’t raise a team, they agreed to play away at Old Williamsonians where the early kick-off must have got the better of them as they succumbed to a 42-12 defeat against much younger legs, despite tries from Ben Jones, Keith Newman and a conversion from prop Pete Gray. (There’s something deeply wrong about props thinking that they are allowed to kick the ball. There MUST be something in the laws of the game to prevent this occurring)(Perhaps its the bad example being set by the 1st Team front-row who seem to think that they are not only allowed to touch the ball but score tries as well).  

 

RE

                       

Fixtures for 16th Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

H

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Colfeians II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Whitstable III

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Anchs III

H

 

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 2nd Feb 2013
posted: February 04 2013

 

Results for 2nd Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Priorians

H

Won 38-0

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park II

A

 Won 5-12

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

A

Lost 57-3

Invicta III

4th

Wjitstable III

A

Postponed (waterlogged pitch)

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Sheppey II

A

Lost by lots

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sheppey Vets

H

Won 19-5

Friendly

Over 35s

 Tonbridge Judds

H

Won 15-5

Evergreen Cup

Something had to give and something gave!! Fortunately it wasn’t Maidstone’s unbeaten record that gave way as the home team ended the visitor’s winning streak and destroyed Priorian’s Twickenham hopes in emphatic style. They were by all accounts a very friendly bunch in what was their first ever visit to Maidstone and we wish them well for the rest of the season as they now concentrate on closing out their promotion campaign in London North West 3.  Meanwhile, Maidstone have been fortunate enough to benefit from another home draw in the next round, which will take place on 16th March.

 

The Mustangs took a strong side to Charlton Park to play their snow-postponed fixture and came away with a very useful win, to reverse the result in the corresponding home fixture in the earlier part of the season. Well done to Veteran Richard Gray for changing his plans for the week-end in order to step in and provide a more than adequate front-row replacement after 2 props were lost in the build up during the week. Its good to see that the 2nds are putting together some excellent results in the 2nd half of the season and are certainly capable of beating any opposition in their league.

 

Snow postponements scuppered the 3rd team prospects this week, as only two or three regular 3rd team players were available on what was due to be a blank week-end.  This meant that the 4th team had to step up to make the long trip to Thanet, only to get there and find that Thanet II had no fixture meaning that, having watched Thanet II lose to the Mustangs last week, there were many familiar faces in the opposition line-up. It would have been a tough proposition at the best of times but its always much easier to play a team when a club is at full stretch to get its teams out.  Ho hum. Sometimes rugby is like that and full credit to the guys who made the trip and stuck at it till the end. Outstanding for Maidstone were both Bens, Rookledge and Blacker, whilst Tom McMulkin showed great leadership and fighting spirit. The highlight of the whole day was to welcome former 4th Team skipper Mark Staples into the side, even though he hasn’t played any rugby since he left Maidstone and moved to Margate two years ago. He was a great loss to the cause when he moved away, being a very versatile player and excellent club man but its great to see him flourishing (and procreating) in East Kent as he and his lovely wife Beth celebrated the birth last week of a 2nd son.

 

With the 4th team stepping up to the 3rd team fixture, the 5ths were prepared to step up and play Whitstable III on behalf of the 4ths. However, a call came from Whitstable on Friday evening?!! to say that their pitch was waterlogged leaving the 5th team without a game. A quick text to Kent clubs produced an away friendly at Sheppey II, which was accepted with some trepidation as the 5ths were not at full strength and had suffered a heavy league defeat to Sheppey II before Christmas. However, rather than stay at home and watch the cup match, our intrepid Barbarians headed off to the island for almost certain defeat.  I gather that despite the points gap, the game and hospitality was all in a good spirit and the lads came back none the worse for the experience, especially having scored the first try.  Much as we were grateful to find a game for the 5ths this week, on a wider note, one has to question how the 2nd team of a 3-team-club where the First Team play at the same level as our First Team, can be realistically pitched into the same League division as our 5th team. On another note, one wonders how Ian Ausher finds the time to run the 5th team AND fulfil his duties as manager of Reading Football Club (I’m sure I spotted him on Match Of The Day on Saturday night!!)

 

Back to Sheppey again, as their 3rd team arrived at Maidstone to play our Vets under the cheerful leadership of Shaun the Shep, who is Sheppey’s most loyal member but who, when he cant get a game for Sheppey, pitches up at Maidstone to play for our Vets. A good game ensued and the Vets were able to teach the Sheppey youngsters a few things about ball-retention as they closed out a somewhat scrappy affair with a 19-5 victory.

 

This was not the end of the story for Veterans rugby for the weekend, as on Sunday, Maidstone played its first Evergreen Match of the season. This was the 3rd time that Maidstone have drawn Tonbridge Judds in this competion but the first time that TJs have actually fulfilled the fixture, which seems amazing for such a well-established and successful club. As the bulky TJ forwards started arriving in the clubhouse for the game, it was with some trepidation that one looked around the home changing room to see that there were some big guns missing, with virtually no front-row cover and a 67 year old loose-head prop. However, despite some absences, there was still plenty of talent in the home team and with Mayhem in splendid form and Fin Davis adding some (relatively) young legs to the back row, the threat from TJs bulky pack, largely failed to materialize. With a scant 3-0 lead to show for massive first half possession whilst playing down the hill and with the wind, the omens were not brilliant for the home team at half-time but the sight of “Maffs” on the bench, “fresh” from his 10k run at Ashford was enough to boost confidence.  Maidstone continued to enjoy most of the possession in the second half although Dominic in particular took a couple of massive tackles whilst trying to break through the TJ defence. Undaunted however, he was on hand to take a pass from Neil Cole to skip over for a try that posted an 8-0 lead midway through the second half.  A further Neil Cole run was off-loaded to produce a well deserved try for Tuggy in the corner, converted by Dave Charlton to great applause from the touch-line which effectively sealed the match although TJs produced a late flourish to gain a consolation try before the end.  It was a good game on a heavy pitch and the 2nd of the weekend for 5 or 6 of the Maidstone players, against worthy opposition. (Commiserations to Tom Challis who capped his usual immense display at number 8 by breaking his finger when it became entangled in a TJ sock. Lets hope it doesn’t hinder his fungus foraging too much!!)

Lastly, it was good to see so many First Team players and the DoR on the touch-line supporting the old gits, although I gather that many of them were actually supposed to be in Morrisons or Sainsburys, doing the weekly shop as far as their other-halves were concerned. (Pictures of Evergreen in gallery)

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 9th Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

A

 

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

TBA

 

 

Friendly

Vets

Canterbury Cardinals

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 26th January 2013
posted: January 28 2013

 

Results for 26th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Tunbridge Wells

H

Won 29-6

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

H

Won 22-11

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford III

H

Postponed

Invicta III

4th

T Wells IV

H

Postponed

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford IV

A

Postponed

Friendly

Vets

No fixture

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to Mayhem and his (select) band of volunteers who turned out on Friday to make sure that two pitches were playable on Saturday, as it would have been a travesty to have played no rugby on such a mild day. Thanks also to the match refereee Johann Delport, for taking the time to make early inspections in order to see for himself whether it was feasible for the game to proceed. Clearly, it was a popular decision to play, as sizeable contingents turned up from near neighbours Aylesford and Cranbrook to watch the match and drink some beer afterwards.  They are of course, welcome to visit every week. 

 

Although it was unusual to see a game proceed with two inches of snow on most of the playing surface, it did at least mean that both teams had fairly clean shirts at half-time and the conditions did not interfere with the main components of any rugby match ie first you need to win the ball and then you need to use it. A neutral observer would probably agree that Maidstone deserved the win on both fronts.

 

Congratulations to Lee Evans for winning the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award for a typical storming display.

 

Anyone who strayed from the top pitch to the bottom pitch at half-time, where the Mustangs were entertaining league leaders Thanet II, would have been treated to an enthralling 2nd half in a bruising encounter where both teams were determined to secure a win.  Trailing 3-6 at half time, and then conceding a push-over try for a 3-11 deficit, our 2nds were certainly up against it, but wave after wave of attack finally led to a break-through with Jason Smith going over under the posts and converting, to bring the scores to 10-11.  Maidstone were now in the ascendancy and further tries from Josh Mckenzie and Ali Moss  set the seal on a fantastic fight back.  Men of the match (one in the backs and one in the forwards) were those gun-slinging, rooting-tooting sharp-shooters, Smith and Weston.

 

Unfortunately, the rest of the fixtures were victims of snow-covered pitches where we didn’t have any control over the outcomes.  This has contributed to a rather difficult back-log of fixtures, to be played during the 6 Nations season when availabilities are always stretched to the limit.

 

NEXT WEEK

Of course, the main focus of next week is the Senior Vase cup-tie with Old Priorians, which is a must-win for all involved in the hard-work going on at the top-end of the club.  However, there are 4 other league games that have now been scheduled for the same time and date and on top of that, there is a strong chance that we will be playing an Evergreen Cup fixture vs Tonbridge Judds on Sunday 3rd.

 

Its very important that anyone who can play at the weekend, makes their availability known to one of the skippers or Duncan McClintock as early as possible, so that we can manage our playing commitments effectively.

 

TABLE TENNIS

Anyone who stayed around late after the game on Saturday, will have noticed the re-introduction of a table tennis table into the clubhouse.  Of course, there are lots of rugby players at the club for whom rugby is not even their best sport. Willie Brown for instance, has never played for the All-Blacks but has played badminton for New Zealand. I would not be surprised to find that amongst our number, we are harbouring some very fine Table Tennis players. (Andy Foley certainly fancies himself). I feel that a small competition should be considered to find out who really knows their ping from their pong at MFC.  A doubles competition would also be good, as it involves more people and demands certain attributes such as team-work, trust, co-ordination and forbearance.   Watch out for further details but, if you have aspirations (and your own bat) chuck it in your kit-bag for after training.

 

I also notice that there’s a bit of impromptu music making taking place on a Saturday night recently, with this week’s star turn being a harmonica playing crocodile who was there in honour of Australia Day.  Tom Clark has also been bringing his guitar recently and treating the 5th team faithful to his Wonderwall renditions. If you can play something, why not bring it along.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 2nd Feb 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Priorians

H

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Wjitstable III

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

New Ash Green II

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Sheppey Vets

H

 

Friendly

Over 35s

 Tonbridge Judds

H

Sunday 2pm

Evergreen Cup



Weekly Round-up for 12th January 2013
posted: January 13 2013

 

Results for 12th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

H

Won 50-7

London SE 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

H

 HWO (sidcup cried-off 9.30 am Saturday)

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

A

Lost 13-12

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

A

Won 41-22

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Aylesford IV

A

Won 15-48

Friendly

Vets

Sevenoaks V

A

Lost 33-13

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having selected 6 strong sides on Tuesday evening, the pessimistic view was that the week-end’s rugby would be ruined by the weather. How wrong that proved to be as, apart from a little bit of cold on the windswept “steppes” of Medway (that would have had brass-monkeys running for cover) it was a perfect day for rugby.

 

The pessimistic outlook was proved to be right on a different front however, when a fairly predictable call came through on Saturday morning at 9:30 to say that Sidcup weren’t coming to play the Mustangs and once again our players were left without a game. Hugely disappointing but somewhat understandable when Sidcup III find themselves stuck in a challenging league and missing many of the players that won them the League title last season. It will be tough for them to see out the rest of the season. However, whatever the commiserations to Sidcup III with their current problems, this was the 4th time that a London side in Invicta II has failed to show up in Maidstone this season, 3 of them crying off on the morning of the match.  It is often said that London sides dont like to travel outside the M25 (one practical reason being that lots of their players dont have cars) and so  maybe it is time to restructure the Invicta into Metroplolitan and Rural districts?

 

Sometimes when a Maidstone Team loses its opposition on match day, the other skippers utter a silent prayer of thanks and gladly snap up the newly spare players to replenish depleted ranks. On this occasion however, not one of the Mustangs were needed in the 3rd or 4th team and whilst Josh Mc, Hadi and Jason Smith were so desperate for action that they went to Aylesford with the 5th Team, only one of them was allowed on the pitch at any one time and two of them ended up in the Aylesford Team and scoring against Maidstone.  More of that later.

 

The First Team juggernaut rolled on at home, this time crushing Uckfield, who are Sussex’s leading challengers for the promotion spot in this division. Matt Vickers was awarded the Biddenden Vineyards bottle of bubbly for his performance although I gather he was only on the pitch for 60 minutes. Sam Brill got a hat-trick and the gallery photos reveal a number of other try scorers including skipper Ben Williams, Neil Graves and Matthew Iles. The match report will reveal more when it arrives. STOP PRESS:  Our Match report is now in. (Link above)   See also the very flattering match report from Uckfield  BRILLIANT MAIDSTONE

 

The Third Team faced one of its toughest challenges in the way of winning the Invicta III title as they travelled the short distance to Medway to play against the excellent Medway Development side. Faced with extreme youth and pace, Tuggy’s cunning selection policy was to counteract it with extreme age (and pace?) and whilst some attempt was made to count up the combined age of the team afterwards, I would hazard a guess at an average of 43, the youngest being 30 and the oldest 67. Suffice to say that it nearly worked as with a minute left on the clock, Maidstone were winning 12-6, only to concede a penalty try that cost them victory and probably any realistic chance of winning the title. However, there is still the runners-up spot to play for, (which brings with it two free hot-meals at the Kent RFU Awards dinner in April, which is not to be sneezed at when you’re a pensioner).

 

The 4th Team skipper couldn’t quite believe his luck when he looked at the players in his team this week and thought he had strayed into the land of the giants. The team was fit, fast and young (apart from the skipper) and would not have looked out of place as a Mustangs team this time last year. 31-0 up at half-time (playing with the wind) it seemed to be a stroll in the park but Medway had some very good players in their side and two quick tries straight after the restart made the game a much more competitive affair than hitherto, although the first-half cushion proved to be sufficiently comfortable to see Maidstone home to victory. Tries were scored for Maidstone by Chris Finch, Matt Cooper, Chris Tomlin, Jack Davidson, Will Rush and two for Lewis Fagg, who also kicked 3 conversions and took the MotM accolades.  Lets hope that they will all be in the 4th team again next week.

 

The 5th team scheduled fixture versus Uckfield III proved to be a pipe-dream by Thursday, at which point Uckfield had persuaded only two players that a coach-trip to Maidstone for an early kick-off was a good idea. An alternative friendly fixture was quickly found at Aylesford, and a pretty beefy forward-heavy regular 5th team side went down there, supplemented by the aforementioned “luminaries” from the Mustangs to fill a vacancy at centre (although none of them were centres of course).  By all accounts, an extremely good-natured contest took place and when the Aylesford numbers fell below a quorum of 15, Maidstone players were drafted in to supplement their ranks, resulting in two Mustangs finishing the match in the Blue and Red of Aylesford. Lets hope that the score-line can be repeated in two weeks time when the 5ths return to the same ground for their League game against the same opposition.

 

17 vets turned out for the game against Medway Holcs, supplemented by a couple of our friends from Sheppey RFC who couldn’t get a game of Rugby on the island when they wanted one.

At half-time it was all going so well, with a lead of 13-0 but Medway teams are never so dangerous as when they are two scores down and so it proved as Maidstone lost their way, the lead and ultimately, the match. Were the vets downhearted?  No, they were freezing and couldn’t wait to reacquaint themselves with their thermal under-wear back in the changing rooms, but were quickly revived by the unfeasibly good beef stew that had been cooking all night in the Medway kitchen for their post-match sustenance.

 

The atmosphere back at the Clubhouse was pretty exuberant – despite the break-in and thefts that had dampened spirits when they were discovered on Friday.  Ben Williams elicited nominations for Man of the Match and Twat of the Day from each of the 5 sides that played and raced them against one another in a boat-race, which was lost quite comprehensively by Quinny, the 4th Team’s nominated twat.  The 3rd team had organized a Curry night at the Mughal Dynasty, which was attended by around 20+ players and which retired afterwards to The White Horse and the Old House at Home where beverage was taken until 2am. Goodness knows how long the party would have lasted if they’d had a victory to celebrate instead of just a losing bonus point??

 

All in all, a pretty good weekend’s rugby and if the attendance and enthusiasm seen at training last week is anything to go by, there should be many more before the season’s end.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 19th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

A

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

New Ash Green III

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Dartfordians Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 5th January 2013
posted: January 06 2013

 

Results for 5th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

A

Won 0-80

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians

A

 Won 9-26

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdown Colliery

A

Won 16-21

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone IV

H

Won 15-13

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway 5

H

Lost 15-22

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

A

No Fixture

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, here we are in 2013 and yet it seems like only minutes since I was writing the last round-up of 2012.   Funny how that happens.

 

Anyway, what a blistering start to what one hopes will be a great year for Maidstone Rugby.

 

The Firsts were somewhat motivated by the Folkestone match-reporting after the home game on 22nd December and were keen to show that no flukey interception tries were needed to separate the two sides. I think one can say that they made their point quite convincingly although, sadly it was the Folkestone players rather than the match reporter who bore the brunt. Having said that, free-speech is a marvellous thing and Folkestone’s web-site is always lively and interesting to read, which is one reason perhaps that it sits at No 6 in the Pitchero Club web-site rankings. We of course have many friends at Folkestone and we wish our fellow “Stones” the very best for the rest of their season.   STOP PRESS: Great video footage on the Folkestone Website 

 

James Iles took the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award for his contribution to this emphatic win, the timing of which might be just as well as Andy Bacon heads back towards full fitness after a long lay off and competion for places at the top will be fierce.

 

The Mustangs headed for Old Dunstonians (which is apparently in Dunstonia according to Rich Weston) with a side that was pretty close to full strength and made a good job of taking the points in what was by all accounts a somewhat scrappy affair. It was nice for Michal Macher to score the last try for Maidstone against his former club, where he had a very happy time on his arrival in England.

 

The thirds meanwhile, faced a gruelling trip to Snowdown for one of their sternest tests of the season, depleted by the loss of two important players on Saturday morning. When I arrived in our Club-house at 1pm and saw that Tuggy was still there, still making phone calls (trying to get Dominic off the Golf-course) and waiting for Lorraine to bring a car so that he could get to the game, I feared the worst. (How David Ruaux managed to get lost on the Canterbury Ring Road whilst trying to get to Aylesham from Maidstone is anyone’s guess but somehow, Tuggy managed to “talk him in” and prevent him setting off in the direction of Amersham!!). However, despite the most ominous build-up, the 16 3rd teamers of the day, dug deep and battled it out on the pitch to come away with a fantastic 21-16 win.  Oh to have been a spectator, especially given the return to the Maidstone colours of SC, the prodigal son, who being 2 or 3 years older than when he left, must almost be an elder statesman figure now, spreading peace and love everywhere he goes. Newer readers might wonder why Nick East should be immortalized by the initials SC, but now he’s back, it probably won’t take you long to find out.  Suffice to say that on this day, he was immense in a memorable victory.

 

A composite 4th team enjoyed top billing at home on a muddy 1st Team pitch, comprising 5 regular vets and 3 regular 5th teamers, as well as a few who still think of themselves as 4th teamers through and through.  It was great to welcome Chris Hogg back to the club after a couple of seasons and to see Ben Jones back in action, hitting break-downs and scoring tries as though he had never been away. A solid start also for Dan Adams, joining us from Faversham.  Composite teams can often be disorganized and lacking in morale and against a lumpy and experienced Folkestone side, a torrid afternoon could have been on the cards, Instead it was Folkestone who had the torrid afternoon as they were beaten all over the park, except in the set-scrums where they failed to make their dominance pay. Man of the Match for Maidstone was Paul Glover at No8, who’s line out work and loose play was superb all afternoon, including a steal from a Folkestone quick line-out that earned him a try, not forgetting Fergus Carty who marked his return to the 4th Team with an opportunist try of his own.  This was a fine game to play in, reffed extremely well and between two well matched sides that wanted to play rugby, Folkestone counting themselves unlucky not to win it with the last play (which was a scrum 5 yards out from the Maidstone try-line).

 

Down on the bottom pitch, the 5ths came up against a very good Medway 5th team (or Old Holcombeians as they are usually known – a reference to their origins as a Chatham Grammar School old boys side back in the mists of time- I believe) This is the closest that Medway come to a Vets team and whilst their season has been less triumphant than last year, they still present formidable opposition, which is why to lose by only one score at the end of the match was no disgrace for our 5ths and a measure of how far they have come to stand toe to toe with such vaunted opposition, earning a bonus point in the process.

A neutral observer provided the following match analysis:  A close encounter with Stones and Medway with an even open match but where 5ths got away with it in the previous game by an intercept try, this time they were out-fought in the spirit and aggression front. Medway were outplayed for first 20 but took advantage of slack defence to get on top. Stones woke up in second and showed some fight for first 20 gaining parity but went off the boil allowing them to win. Medway were particularly strong in the maul where they kept stripping Stones of the ball. Stones could have won, Medway wanted it more.....

Mike Gillies got two of Maidstone’s tries, which brings his try count to 5 in 2 games. Wish I could boast of 5 in 2 seasons, or decades for that matter !!  

 

LOOKING AHEAD

I note that there is virtually no chance of the scheduled fixtures for the Vets and 5th Teams taking place next week, as their respective opponents are now unavailable.  A neat solution might be to revisit the annual Vets/5ths fixture (over a full 80 minutes this time) and see if the 5ths can post back to back wins either side of the New Year.  That really would be something !!

STOP PRESS:  Contrary to what I wrote above, it appears that Uckfield are indeed planning to send a contingent to play the 5th team,  prior to the First-Team match between the two clubs.  This continues a long tradition of Maidstone 5ths making the journey to Uckfield in previous seasons, so lets hope that Uckfield are able to reciprocate when it comes to the crunch.  This means that the search for suitable Vets opposition must be resumed elsewhere. 

RE

 

Fixtures for 12th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

H

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Uckfield III

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Sevenoaks V

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 22nd December 2012
posted: January 06 2013

 

Results for 22nd December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Folkestone

H

Won 36-7

London South East 3

Maidstone XV

East Peckham

H

EP Withdrew

Friendly

5th

Maidstone Vets

H

Lost10-12

Memorial Game

Vets

Maidstone 5ths

H

Won 12-10

Memorial Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Christmas came and went and seasonal torpor prevented the reporting of the last day’s rugby of 2012.

 

Suffice to say that a straightforward win for the 1sts in atrociously muddy conditions rounded of their year very nicely whilst, in the big event of the day, the 5th team recorded their first win against the Vets in 13 seasons after the Vets surrendered a 10 nil half time lead. The game was marred by an injury to Alex Soles after 20 minutes, which resulted in a 40 minute delay before play was resumed on an adjacent soccer pitch. Fortunately the injury proved less severe than at first thought but the day’s rugby had been badly disrupted. However, it was played in the traditions we have come to expect on these occasions, when the Vets in particular remember former Team- mates and a glass of port (or two) is raised in their honour.  Our roving reporter Jim Tinsley has recorded the event for posterity in his inimitable way.  

Memorial Matchhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmrxHRAJbwI&feature=youtu.be

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 5th Jan 2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

A

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdown Colliery

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Medway 5

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 15th December 2012
posted: December 17 2012

 

Results for 15th December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Vigo

H

Won 71-14

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath Blades

H

Won HWO

Invicta II

3rd

Edenbridge

H

Won 15-10

Invicta III

4th

Whitstable III

A

Postponed

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

A

Lost 19-17

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

A

No fixture

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a a great pleasure to welcome Vigo to the Mote on Saturday for the first ever League fixture between the two clubs - not least because Dan and Pat Norton are both key members of the Vigo side and well known to us through their father Steve, who is one of Maidstone’s longest serving players (although he is currently plying his trade with the whistle on the Kent Referee’s circuit).  Before a recent illness interrupted his playing activities, Steve was the kind of player who was always up for a game and you could call him on a rainy Saturday morning for an away trip to Thanet and he’d be up for it. That’s my kind of player – although it’s a shame that he never managed to get his sons to adopt the Maidstone colours except for numerous guest appearances – mainly for the Vets. However, they are enjoying playing together in Vigo’s First Team at what is a super friendly village club and one hopes that their London SE3 season will get better from here on. 

 

One doesn’t need to say too much about the Maidstone performance this week, as Vigo’s excellent match report says it all, including the plaudits for Maidstone’s Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match this week, Willie Brown.

 

Having acquitted themselves with great aplomb on the field of play and in the clubhouse, the Maidstone squad followed up with a mass outing to Maidstone in their Santa suits, the highlight of which was a visit to Zizzi’s, where Ben Williams was having dinner with his girlfriend and was treated to a medley of Christmas Songs  - along with all the other diners.  What a festive treat !!

 

Talking of Festive Treats, any spectators who grew tired of what despite spirited resistance ended up as a pre-Christmas “turkey-shoot” on the 1st Team pitch and who made their way to the lower pitch, were treated to a thriller as Tuggy’s 3rd team dug deep to vanquish Edenbridge 1st Team, which arrived at Maidstone bright and early and fully expecting to continue the rampage through Invicta III that had seen them win their previous 4 matches by more than 40 points to nil.  At half-time, Tuggy’s team were 5-10 down and Edenbridge looked like closing out the game with a potent combination of youth, power and pace to call upon – but Maidstone were all heart and grit and experience and a converted try from Dan Taylor regained the lead before a penalty under the posts sealed one of the best wins of an exciting campaign.  Lets hope that they can keep it up after Christmas, when nothing less than the Invicta League title will be in their sights.  As a foot-note, it was good to see Andy Bacon come through 40 minutes unscathed en-route back to full match fitness, whilst the spectators were highly amused to notice that Dane Smith managed to survive such a gruelling match in such muddy conditions with a clean shirt.  His explanation: “I was too quick for them”

 

The 4th Team game at Whitstable was called off on Saturday morning, owing to the waterlogged pitches, which was a shame as there was a pretty useful line-up assembled for the match.  The game is now likely to take place on 2nd Feb. The Mustangs also failed to get a game as predictably, Blackheath could not raise a side to play their fixture.

 

Meanwhile, the 5ths played out a thriller of their own as they visited Lordswood to play Lordswood II in the League, going down by the narrowest of margins despite a hat-trick of tries from Mike Gillies and a conversion by Matt Ellesmere. No doubt a blow by blow account will reach these pages by mid-week from the 5th Team’s mystery correspondent, with more detail than you ever thought possible (or desirable?).

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

Next week, with all due respect to the minor matter of the postponed 1st Team fixture with Folkestone, the major event is undoubtedly the annual Memorial Match  between the Vets and the 5ths, the result of which has never gone the way of the 5th team in my time at Maidstone – but there has to be a first time??   Maybe this will be the year?   The memorial game commemorates former players who have sadly failed to outlive their boots and is always very well supported by the families, friends and team-mates of the deceased. Despite having retired from playing at a mere 70, Paul Ehrhart will be pulling on his boots for Saturday’s game, in order to have a chance to play alongside his son and two grand-sons for the first and (presumably) only time. One wonders whether the great 5th Team War-horse Paul Arthurs, who apparently retired from Rugby 2 or 3 weeks ago, might be persuaded to come out for one last head to head with his old adversary?

 

Meanwhile, any players not involved in the 1st Team or in the Memorial Game have the opportunity for a home game vs East Peckham.  East Peckham have played against Maidstone every year since their formation and were keen to maintain the tradition with this perfect pre-Christmas friendly, bearing in mind that they are not pitched against any Maidstone teams in the leagues this year. Maidstone have of course benefited from the services of a number of former Peckham players over the years, most obviously Andy Bacon, who has been a First Team regular for Maidstone for 10 years but also the illustrious Duncan McClintock and Danny Baker.  If Andy is not required for the 1st Team this week, one can expect to see him lined up against his former team-mates and relishing the friendly encounter.

 

Afterwards, the club-house will be warm and welcoming with the traditional Christmas carols and a Christmas song-fest, so make sure you don’t miss it.  Children very welcome.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 22nd December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Folkestone

H

 

London SE3

Maidstone XV

East Peckham

H

 

Friendly

5th

Maidstone Vets

H

 

Memorial Game

Vets

Maidstone 5ths

H

 

Memorial Game

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 8th December 2012
posted: December 10 2012

 

Results for 8th December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Gillingham Anchs

A

Won 3-48

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

A

Lost 38-19

Friendly

3rd

Gravesend III

A

Lost 32-12

Invicta III

4th

Cranbrook II

H

Forfeit

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesend IV

H

Won 21-15

Early Bird 6

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

Won 27-0

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first ever league game between Maidstone and Anchs (I believe), there turned out to be only one potential outcome on Saturday, although Maidstone went into the game with a healthy respect for their opposition and were taking no chances in what was a fairly local derby game.  As a contest, the game was virtually over within 5 minutes but to their credit, Anchs competed from start to finish and slowed down the Maidstone juggernaut to prevent the score reaching 50.   The Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award went to Paul “Melon” Highland for his outstanding performance, although Matt Iles ran him close.  Nice to see James Iles join brother Matt on the scoresheet this week btw, especially as 2nd Row forwards aren’t normally allowed near the ball in open play.  Nice also, to see the MoM award being presented by 1st Team stalwart Andy Bacon, who is close to a return from a half-season injury lay-off.

 

The Mustangs travelled to Tonbridge where they were slow to get into the game and paid the price by conceding early scores, although coming away with the last try was a small consolation.  Outstanding performances for Maidstone came from Sam Weston and also from scorer of 2 tries, Chris Tomlin. 

 

The 3rds had a tough game at Gravesend and came off 2nd best, as well as somewhat battle scarred, Mayhem receiving concussion and  James Sullivan breaking his nose (in his first game for ages). Well done to David Ruaux for organising the team in the absence of skipper Tuggy, who was unavoidably detained by a pastrami on rye sandwich in NYC.  (Hope those gherkins aren’t still repeating when he gets back for next saturday)

 

With insufficient players available this week to fulfil all 6 scheduled fixtures, for various reasons it was decided to forfeit the fourth Team league game vs Cranbrook II. This meant that despite winning 19-15, the 5ths could not take the  points from their win against Gravesend IV and the result will be recorded as a draw in the League table. Notwithstanding the League situation, it was an excellent game in which Maidstone came from behind to pull off a last gasp win and there were lots of happy players still in the bar at 6pm.  An independent observer sent the following report but there is a much longer one  on the fixtures page from a less independent source. 5ths got away with it against Gravesend who were short of skill and knowledge but lots of energy. None of their players could hardly kick the ball into touch and Stones were superior in most areas but did not make it count and were a bit over confident. Second half they went to sleep and Gravesend just doggedly took it on up front and were rewarded by taking the lead deservedly with 2 mins to go 15 - 14. Their game management let them down, as instead of keeping Stones pinned back they threw the ball and then had an interception try right on full time and lost 21- 15.

 

Meanwhile, there were all sorts of worries over the Vets game, as the word came from Crawley Vets that they only had 10 players available and it appeared that of the 3 home fixtures, we had cancelled the wrong one.  In the event however, Crawley did turn up, albeit after the scheduled Kick Off time and with only 8 players.  There then ensued a 15 a side match, with Maidstone’s spare players joining forces with Crawley, to make sure that everyone got a game.  Its in this type of game that players often get to try out new positions and discover their hidden talents. Thus it was that Neil Cole got to play 10 for the first time in his life and Jamal was able to enjoy himself in the Centre where he impressed everyone with his straight running, whilst  Karim took the full-back slot. Fair play to Crawley Vets, as there are not many sides that would travel for an hour to an away game, with just 2 car-loads of players and it was good to see them still in the bar at 6 o’clock.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

Hurrah!! At last we have a home draw in the Senior Vase, against unbeaten Old Priorians from Ealing.  This will take place on 2nd February at 2pm and should be a thriller.  Its interesting to look at their web-site and see how different their club-profile is from ours, having only been re-formed in 2008 and running far fewer sides than us, but they are clearly doing something right to be in their current position.

 

Next Saturday, the 1sts, 2nds and 3rds are all at home and Sam Bailey is planning a bit of a Christmas Social, for which Santa Hats will be de rigeur.

 

For a 2nd bite of the cherry, we will also be having the traditional Christmas Carols this year, but on the 22nd  - spiced up with some Christmas Karaoke if David Ruaux can find the music for all our favourite Christmas Songs in time, being now officially designated as honorary club musician as well as 3rd team match reporter extraordinaire.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 15th December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Vigo

H

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath Blades

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Edenbridge

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Whitstable III

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Lordswood II

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 1st December 2012
posted: December 03 2012

 

Results for 1st December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Hitchin

A

Won 13-39

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Lordswood XV

H

Won 5-49

Friendly

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Bexley II

A

Lost 31-19

Dragon Fire 5

5th

No fixture

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Tonbridge Judds V

H

 TJ couldn’t raise a team

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great win for the 1sts on their travels in the Senior Vase.  Lets hope that the next round brings us a home draw, (which will at least obviate the need for a coach-trip and all that goes with it). Congratulations to Josh McKenzie for gaining the Biddenden Vineyards man of the match award after an all action display (and lets face it, you cant miss him with that multi-coloured Scrum Cap). Despite the euphoria of the cup win (not to mention the England result) the whole day was somewhat more restrained than we have come to expect on such occasions, owing to the U12 and U16 Christmas Party being held at the club in the evening, for which everyone was on their best behaviour.  Sam Bailey very obligingly, (although involuntarily), provided most of the entertainment with an impromptu game of “Hunt the Leprauchan”, for which he had thoughtfully dressed up. 

Commiserations to “Pickle”, who appeared to have broken his ankle within the first 5 minutes, although it didn’t apparently necessitate a trip to casualty, so he’s probably going to have a go at mending it himself with some 15mm copper pipe and plumber’s mate. 

(This week’s match report is uncharacteristically late, as although it was written and sent on time by our indefatigable correspondent Trevor Langley, it failed to reach the normal recipients. However, it will be published by Monday evening)

 

The Mustangs had an enjoyable friendly against some of our nearest neighbours, when they trotted up the hill for an early kick off against a  Lordswood XV, which resulted in a comfortable win – although it was by no means one way traffic against Lordswood’s heavy pack. However, the Mustangs had too much pace out wide and scored 9 tries, through Alex Goodhew (2), Will Pearson (2), Allie Moss (2) and one each for three of the forwards, Dan Taylor, Sam Weston and Ben Wilson.

 

A skeleton 4th team went to Bexley, bolstered by the whole of the Vets team  and a number of 5th team players, owing to the fact that the 5ths had no fixture and the Vets opposition had cried off on Thursday.  Everyone got at least a half and it was an enjoyable fixture, ably refereed by our own Paul Ehrhart, who probably had the best game out of anyone in the Maidstone contingent, aside from Ian Davis perhaps, who wore the number 9 shirt and scored 2 tries on his return from a long lay-off. The post match hospitality was good, including a Saveloy and Chips and an England win on the big screen (which was only partially attributable to Bexley hospitality – although I’m sure they would like to claim all the credit)

 

Looking ahead to next week, we have six fixtures scheduled and it will be a great chance to get everyone playing a full game, but its extremely important that anyone who can possibly play, makes sure that one of the skippers knows of their availability by Tuesday. 

 

EVERGREEN CUP

Contrary to earlier rumours, the Evergreen Cup is continuing to function and whilst we had a bye in the first round, we have been drawn against Tonbridge Judds Vets at home. Although TJs ought to be able to field an excellent Vets Team, this is the 3rd time we have been drawn against them in recent seasons and they haven’t yet managed to get a side out against us, so don’t hold your breath.  Should it actually happen. it would be nice to get it played during the Christmas break if possible, so watch this space.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

There have been a number of requests for a New Year’s Eve party at the club, but it can only take place with an advance commitment from a decent quorum of members and parents.  If you like the idea of doing something, maybe you could make your views known to Carol and the planning can commence.

 

RE

 

 

Fixtures for 8th December 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Gillingham Anchs

A

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

A

 

Friendly

3rd

Gravesend III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Cranbrook II

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesend IV

H

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



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

 

Results for 24th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

H

Won 31-14

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Aylesford II

H

Lost 19-29

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

H

Won 57-5

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Sheppey II

A

Lost 44-0

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

A

Won 14-5

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a shame that the long anticipated top-of-the-table clash between Maidstone and Sheppey, was played out in such sodden conditions, as the combination of mud-covered players, fading light and a slippery ball, made for a much less entertaining game for the spectators than they might have otherwise enjoyed. However, there were no complaints about the result from the home supporters at least – and to be fair, there were no complaints either in the very fair match-report on Sheppey’s web-site.   Danny Baker took the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award once again.

 

Not having played for 3 weeks, The Mustangs were revved up and raring to go for their local derby vs Aylesford 2nds and they came out for this game with all guns blazing, storming into a 19-3 half-time lead in a game that was all one-way traffic. They then completely imploded after the turn-around as Aylesford scored a try and were awarded a penalty from the restart, which led to another try from the subsequent line-out.   Two yellow card offences resulted in the Mustangs having 13 players on the field and to cap it all, they lost Tom Holmes with a broken thumb before the end.  All in all, a very disappointing outcome but fair play to Aylesford, who stuck at it and must have been delighted with their win.

 

The 4th team played a League game vs Sittingbourne 2nd and owing to various drop-outs, took to the field with only 14 players.  However, opting to play with 8 in the pack and no full-back, the home side still offered far too much bulk and power for a plucky but under-powered Sittingbourne side to deal with.  One has to feel somewhat sorry for any team facing Chris Tomlin, (standing in at Fly Half), with Lewis Fagg on his shoulder at inside centre and Ben Blacker just outside him. Lewis was the stand-out player on the day and proved extremely hard to stop, getting himself 2tries and kicking five conversions, but Matt Cooper was also having fun playing in the back-row and scored 2 tries – as did Andy Smith from the wing.  Sittingbourne stuck at it though and were slightly consoled by the scoring of the last try as their big 2nd row powered over from 10 metres out.

 

The 5ths came up against the well drilled Sheppey development side, quite a number of whom must have played 1st team rugby this season and must be surprised to find themselves playing London SE3 one week and Sheperd Neame Early Bird 6 Rugby the following week. Hence, our 5ths were heavily out-scored in a one-sided game.

 

The Vets trotted up the hill to play a Lordswood side, in the knowledge that both teams were likely to be short of players.  However, undeterred, the game went ahead with 14 a-side and Maidstone came away with a 14-5 win after an enjoyable friendly.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

Saturday night brought the “Mo”vember awards at the club which, coupled with a court-session presided over by Judge “Bad Maffs” Matthews, promised a certain amount of drinking and debauchery, although its pleasing to report that a sum well in excess of £1000 was raised for the Prostate Cancer charity that spawned the rash of “Village People” look-alikes and unsightly facial hair.    

 

Next week, it will be coach-trip time again, so watch out for details on the club web-site.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 24th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Hitchin

A

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Folkestone II

H

 

Friendly

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Bexley II

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

No fixture

 

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Tonbridge Judds V

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 17th November 2012
posted: November 19 2012

 

Results for 17th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

A

Won 24-45

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Alleynians III

A

No Fixture

Invicta II

3rd

Deal & Betts II

H

Won 22-0

Invicta III

4th

Weavering

A

Won 19-27

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Old Gravesendians II

A

Won 12-19

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are not many weeks where one can leave the club on Saturday in the knowledge that all the teams have had a win. To get home, put on MotD and find that Arsenal have thumped Spurs whilst Utd and Chelsea have both lost, takes one into the realms of a perfect saturday.    Life doesn’t get much better than that (although an England win at Twickenham would have been the icing on the cake)

 

Well done to the 1sts for negotiating a potentially tricky fixture at Horsham, and no surprise to see that Neil Graves took the Biddenden Vineyards MoM award, as he is heavily featured in the gallery photos on the web-site.   Looking through the photos, one that stands out is the picture below.  Long gone are the days when a prop could boast of having got through a whole season without touching the ball.

 Some of the best captions so far include: 

KFC announce closing down sale. Everything must go today!,  

Run Forest Run!!!

The start of the slowest 100 meter race in history.

The good the bad and the Danny Baker

One shocking story emerging from the 1st Team game (and its not usual on a forum like this to criticize the host club) is that, in a rather unsavoury display of prejudice against one of the Maidstone contingent, Bramble was banished from the premises on the flimsy pretext that dogs are not allowed at the club. This was doubly shocking in as much as that until this point, few people had realised that the furry bundle attaching itself to our illustrious Deputy Chairman was in fact of the canine persuasion and not a small furry child – or misplaced facial hair.  Lets hope that there will be no repeat of this unseemly embargo on an innocent hound.

It was very disappointing that for a 3rd week in a row, the Mustangs didn’t get a fixture, as the team that they were scheduled to play on the fixture list switched divisions before the start of the season and no-one noticed.  That isn’t to say that none of the players got a game, as six of the team joined the 4ths to plug gaps that needed filling for the ultra-tough battle facing them vs Weavering, where a competitive match was enjoyed rather than the rout it might well have been otherwise.

 

However, more of that later.  The only game on home pitches was the 3rd team fixture vs Deal & Betts II,  which was a potentially tough proposition bearing in mind that Deal and Betts First Team play one division higher than our 1sts. However, a mainly young D&B side were no match for the experience and bulk of Tuggy’s 3rd team, not to mention pace in places where it matters.  No doubt a Ruaux Report is en-route to me even as I write and will be published here as soon as it arrives.

 

Back to the 4th team match, a mixture of 4ths, Vets and the aforementioned Mustangs took to the field against a very bulky looking Weavering outfit, that would have trampled underfoot a less determined defence.  It was a game in which Maidstone always looked to be in control, despite a late rally from Weavering that gave them hope of an unlikely victory.  Mike Blacker and Sam Weston were outstanding amongst the forwards and Alex Goodhew made an impressive return from injury amongst the backs. There were also excellent debuts for Jack Davidson and Will Pearson but most heartening was the return after around 5 years of Mike Blacker’s older brother Ben, who’s extremely promising first season at Maidstone was cut short by injury after only a few games for the club.  Its great to have him back.  Thanks are due to Weavering for allowing us to play a 4th sub, Jamal having turned up at half time, ultra late as usual

 

The 5ths completed the clean sweep of Maidstone wins with a heartening 19-12 win away at Old Gravesendians, including tries from Andy Bell, Paul Hodges and Alex Soles, two of which were converted by Simon Seal. This game was a good advert for sociable rugby, as OGs only had 13 players when MAidstone showed up. OGs conceded the League result and Maidstone supplied them with their only 2 subs, at which point an enjoyable friendly was played, with 30 guys getting a full game - and a narrow Maidstone victory.  Well done to all concerned.

 

The 3rd team have no fixtures for the next 2 weeks (which is just as well as they don’t have many players available) but there are 5 other matches scheduled for next weekend, so most players who want a game should be accommodated without difficulty.  Do remember, that if you want to be considered for selection, you need to be a paying member of the club.  Cases of financial hardship should speak to the membership secretary in confidence about their situation. 

 

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

 

Next week is the last Saturday of November, so the Movember awards are scheduled for Saturday evening, coupled with a Court Session.  Sounds like a typical Saturday night at the club really but with more drinking.  One can only hope that there will be no reprise from Jim Walker of his deeply disturbing “Reach for the Stars” dance routine, which is surely set to go viral on you-tube after Saturday night’s revels.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 24th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sheppey

H

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Aylesford II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Sittingbourne II

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Sheppey II

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

Lordswood Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



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

 

Results for 10th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

A

Won 0-88

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

No fixture

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

A

Won 8-34

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone IV

A

Conceded

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Gravesend V

H

Won 24-19

Friendly

Vets

Sheppey Vets

A

Lost 17-7

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having recently experienced an 80-5 defeat myself, I know that Pulborough’s 1st XV cannot have enjoyed their afternoon very much on Saturday, but their attitude was exemplary and they stuck to their task admirably, unenviable though it was. For Maidstone and supporters, it was an enjoyable afternoon out at Pulborough’s superb ground and clubhouse, and it was a pleasure to see our team firing on all cylinders, executing moves with tremendous pace and dazzling handling and passing. There were a number of outstanding performances including (so nearly) a hat-trick for Matt Vickers on his long awaited First Team debut, but the Biddenden Vineyards MoM award went to Sam Bailey once again (presented by the best looking club-official we could find on the day).    Bearing in mind that we are scheduled to play Pulborough once more in the League this season, I think that there will be many supporters who will be up for another visit to such a friendly club.   

 

One couldn’t help but wonder if the excellent facilities were in some way connected with the unusual sight of several nodding donkeys pumping oil or gas on a site adjacent to the car-park.  Maybe its time to start drilling on the Somme? 

 

Talking of unusual sights, Maidstone’s 3rd team was treated to what they thought was a fireworks display at Canterbury after the match, but was in fact the overhead electrical cables sparking against one another, creating a spectacular show but shorting out all the lights in the clubhouse.  That’s what happens when you ask Sam Rogers to fix the electrics !!   http://www.facebook.com/groups/2357458975/?fref=ts

 

In the absence of Skipper Tuggy once again, Mike Laurenson led the team to a commanding victory but Tuggy has promised to pop in next week again, just to keep his hand in. 

 

Regrettably, we were forced to cancel the 4th team match vs Folkestone IV, which was the first forfeit of the season for the club, but with only around half of a team at selection on Tuesday, the writing was on the wall and there seemed little prospect of getting a team into the field.  The prospects are much better though for this week, and we should be able to put out 5 league sides quite comfortably if players all make themselves available. 

 

With the prospect of no home matches for Saturday, it was a great relief when Gravesend 5ths agreed to come to Maidstone for a friendly, for which we are grateful, especially as an excellent match ensued which was described as the best of the season so far by one of our team afterwards, especially given the narrow win for Maidstone, which suggested a competitive and enjoyable game for both sides.

 

The Vets fared slightly less well in their game vs Sheppey Vets, losing the first half but winning the second, albeit by too few points to win the match.  Lets hope that the First Team fare somewhat better in their top of the table clash vs Sheppey on 24th Nov.

 

RE

 

 

Fixtures for 17th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Horsham

A

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Alleynians III

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Deal & Betts II

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Weavering

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Old Gravesendians II

A

 

Early Bird 6

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 3rd November 2012
posted: November 06 2012

 

Results for 3rd November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

A

Won 15-42

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Colfeians II

H

Home Walk-Over

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

Lost 0-3

Invicta III

4th

No Fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Anchorians III

A

Lost 32-0

Friendly

Vets

Canterbury Zingari (V)

A

Lost 62-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst Saturday’s First Team result looks emphatic on paper, the game came as a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted, especially against basement sides that are scrapping for survival.  Well done to the players though, for closing out the match in the 2nd half and taking a bonus point to go top of the League with a game in hand over their nearest rivals Sheppey.  Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award went to Mark “Bulldog” Dorman.

 

There are few things worse for a fixture secretary than to turn up at the club and find the home team and referee all eagerly assembled in the bar, only to break the bad news that the opposition cried-off 10 minutes earlier.   Colfes suffered a number of drop outs on Saturday morning and found themselves with only 10 players, which is a rotten situation for their skipper and players, but possibly worse for ours, who had already assembled for the game although fortunately not yet changed.  The worst of it was that it was widely predicted during the week that this would happen, but until it actually does, there is no contingency one can put into place. 

 

Instead of watching the Mustangs on the 1st Team pitch, the home supporters were treated to an enthralling (or was it appalling?) match between the 3rds (sans skipper Tuggy) and TJ IV .  It was a game that never really got going, and whilst it always looked as though it was only a matter of time before Maidstone gained a win, spilled passes, missed penalties  and dogged defence from TJs conspired to contrive the narrowest of losses.

 

For those who missed last week’s postscript to the 3rd team match report, it was recorded that our Hon Sec Tom Challis would be unavailable to play this week, as he was due to attend a fungus foraging course !!   I shall be very disappointed if he doesn’t now carry out a pitch inspection prior to each game, as rugby pitches seem to be a very fertile environment for all sorts of delicious looking mushrooms, which sadly are far more likely to be trampled on than eaten – till now.

 

It was good to see Kane Stockwell on the touch-line, albeit bloodied and bruised around the eyes after the injuries he sustained last week, but thankfully in recovery mode and looking forward to returning to action as soon as possible

 

 

The 4ths had no fixture this week but the 5ths played a friendly vs Anchorians III, who were boosted by the non-arrival of T Wells III, which meant that many of Anchs 2nds were also hanging around looking for a game.    Had we but known it, we could have sent our Mustangs over to give them a game.  Despite the scoreline, the 5th team gave a good account of themselves and came away beaten but not down-hearted.

 

This is more than can be said of the Vets, who had suffered their 2nd heavy defeat of the season at Canterbury and whilst acknowledging that it was against a very good team (unbeaten so far this season with an average of 50 points for and 10 against) felt that they had not played anywhere near as well as the previous week and in particular, had not played to their own strengths.
 

NEXT WEEK

 

Saturday sees the excitement of the 2nd round of the Senior Vase, which is to be played away at Pulborough.   Watch the web-site for further details.

  

RE

 

 

Fixtures for 10th November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

A

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

 

 

Invicta II

3rd

Canterbury III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Folkestone IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Footscray XV

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Sheppey Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 27th October 2012
posted: October 29 2012

 

Results for 27th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

H

Won 27-13

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

A

Won 20-22

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

A

Lost 80-5

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

Lost 5-22

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Ashford III

A

Cancelled

Friendly

Vets

Gravesend Moles

H

Won 36-0

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming off the field after an 85-5 loss sustained in a top-of-the-table clash against Ashford’s 2nd Team,  the mood was rapidly improved by the news that the First Team had prevailed against Ashford First Team in the corresponding fixture at home.    Ashford is always a great place to visit, not least because of the superb pitches and the hot bath afterwards, not to mention the pie and chips, but more of that later.

 

In the unavoidable absence of DoR Andy Foley, the First Team completed their own top-of-the-table clash with not only a win but also a valuable bonus point , and whilst it might be tempting fate to point it out, they are now the only unbeaten First Team in the whole of Kent. So far, so good, but no one is forgetting that there is still an awful long way to go.

 

The Mustangs, under new skipper Alex Hadi, negotiated another tough away fixture, this time at Bromley, and dug deep to come away with a narrow but satisfying win against very dangerous opponents.  The scoreline however, paled into insignificance amidst concerns for Tight-Head prop Kane Stockwell, who sustained a nasty injury that required an emergency trip to hospital. We wish Kane a speedy and full recovery – especially as he has been having such a great season in his return to competitive rugby. 

 

Back to the game at Ashford, with 7 changes from the side selected on Tuesday, (which was already missing 2 or 3 regulars) praise is due to the plucky 16 that made the trip to Ashford and especially to skipper Tuggy for holding things together in a difficult week.  The highlights of the afternoon were a 20 minute spell in which Ashford failed to score and in which Maidstone managed a push-over try against Ashford’s huge pack, 66 year old loose-head Ross Laing combining effectively with Toby Young at tight-head (and just one third of his age) and Chris Morton at hooker to more than hold their own in the scrum all afternoon.  Tom Challis, in his first game for 10 months, spear-headed the Maidstone forward effort, although at age 52, that’s a pretty tall order against powerfully built young men, and there were some great tackles from the three-quarters despite what the score-line suggests. 

 

With poor availability this week, the only way of honouring the 4th team game vs Dover was to draft in 5th team players en masse, albeit at the expense of their own friendly fixture vs Ashford.  Happily, although sustaining a loss, the side proved perfectly capable of fronting up at this level, which is one division higher than they normally play and, had a car-crash not prevented regular try-scoring scrum-half Mike Gillies from turning up, who knows how things might have turned out, although by all accounts, Dave Smith did a great job as a stand-in No 9.  Thanks are due to Ian Ausher for marshalling the team and to Colin Frost for skippering on the field (and scoring Maidstone's only try). 

 

The Vets continued their mini winning-streak by recording an emphatic win against Gravesend’s Moles, although the match report makes clear that it was by no means one way traffic.  The Moles seem to travel with a huge number of players and display a great joie de vivre and esprit de corps (and lots of other French phrases too, probably) in their pursuit of social rugby, not unlike our 5th team perhaps. Just like our 5th team however, they tend to founder on the rocks of Maidstone Veterans who have plenty of joie de vivre and esprit de corps of their own but combine it with a certain amount of savoir faire. 

 

Amidst all this French phraseology, it’s perhaps not the best time to announce that the destination for the 2014 Vets tour is now decided upon as Germany, with yours truly as the designated tour-meister, following my semi-successful invasion of Poland 5 years ago. (I say semi-successful, as I promised the tourists free beer and a luxury hotel next to a nurses home in Krakow, whereas we ended up without any of the above and in Warsaw – but no one seemed to mind).  Sceptics would argue that this tour plan is just another excuse for me to don my Lederhosen and eat Sauerkraut but it turns out that the aforementioned Moles toured very successfully in Koln quite recently and have confirmed that it is an excellent destination.  Watch this space.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 3rd November 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Park House

A

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Colfeians II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

H

 

Invicta III

4th

No Fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Anchorians III

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Canterbury Zingari (V)

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 20th October 2012
posted: October 22 2012

 

Results for 20th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Tunbridge Wells

A

Won 12-19

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

A

Lost 36-0

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford III

A

Won 12-27

Invicta III

4th

No Fixture

 

 

 

5th

Aylesford IV

H

Won 33-19

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Lordswood II

H

Won 12-10

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results this week will have spread good cheer for rugby fans throughout the Borough of Maidstone (although I gather that the mood changes rather abruptly as one crosses the border into the Borough of Tonbridge and Malling).  Experienced players know that highs and lows are inevitable for every team and every club, but there is no harm in celebrating the highs when they come around.

 

One needs to pause first however, to express sincere condolences to the team-mates and family of the player who sadly died at Thanet, whilst our Mustangs were warming up on the other pitch. When one hears of a player in their 60s dying in such circumstances, playing the game that they clearly love, there can be a view that there are worse ways to leave this life, but to die at age 42 seems tragically young. Life is very unpredictable and such incidents serve as a reminder that it hangs by a thread.

 

Saturday brought for me personally the rare luxury of being able to don a Blazer and travel away with the First Team to watch a match and enjoy the very pleasant hospitality offered by old friends and rivals Tunbridge Wells.  This was significant in as much as that, this time a year ago, we needed all hands on deck every week to plug holes in teams, but the whole picture looks a great deal healthier this year.

 

It was a nail-biter at Tunbridge Wells, where despite the fact that a Maidstone win looked pre-ordained, Wells had clearly not read the script and gave a tremendous account of themselves, showing determined defence and considerable attacking flair.  It was a credit to Maidstone that they kept their heads and discipline to set up wave after wave of attacks which would eventually break down the Wells defences.  Man of the Match for Maidstone was Danny Baker for his performance in the scrum and his ball-carrying in close contact.

 

Despite the tragedy at Thanet, the games there went ahead as planned and a very young and relatively lightweight Mustangs team took on an experienced and battle-hardened Thanet II.  Despite what looks like an emphatic defeat, coach Richard Weston was full of praise for the team’s performance in adversity, saying that he felt more proud of the team than after their big win against Sidcup III.  It was good to welcome James Hughes back to Maidstone colours after a long lay-off, although I’m sure that he would have appreciated an easier game for his return. Well done also to the two Mustangs debutants in Olly Wilgoes and Jeremy Carr.

 

Tuggy’s 3rd team wagon goes rolling along, although at times this week, there were perilously few wheels left on it and he looked to be in serious danger of capture by the Cherokees (a metaphor that will be wasted on most of you except those old enough to remember the old song on Junior Choice on Saturday mornings – ie most of the 3rd team !!)   It would be wrong to dwell on this local victory for too long – especially as one can add little to the superb match report written by hat-trick scorer David Ruaux, who has the amazing ability to talk into a Dictaphone whilst fending off tacklers on the wing.  Much respect !!   Just a footnote to add whilst mentioning Tuggy and that’s to pass on his thanks to Gravesy, Chunk McClintock and Willie Brown for their coaching session with the U13s on Sunday morning, which they all really enjoyed.   STOP PRESS: FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUNGER READERS   http://youtu.be/9Y18z-18tJw

 

What could be better than a win in a local derby, other than two wins in local derbies? Its pleasing to be able to report that the 5th team served up just such a tasty delicacy as they enjoyed an exciting and competitive game against their local nemesis, in a game that was a good advert for 5th team rugby.  Looks like Thursday night’s tackling practice paid off.  No details of scorers or outstanding performances have yet emerged, although a Quinn Special match report is eagerly anticipated and will be published here as soon as it becomes available. STOP PRESS:  IT TOOK A WHILE TO ARRIVE BUT IT MUST HAVE TAKEN 2 OR 3 DAYS TO WRITE!!   THE AUTHOR IS UNKNOWN BUT IS RUMOURED TO BE SALMAN RUSHDIE.  match report

 

The Vets were also at home and in a good advert for Vets Rugby, they gave two of their best players to Lordswood to make up a 15 and proceeded to play out an excellent 15 a side game, which had the pleasing outcome of a 12-10 win for the home side. Highly satisfactory for all concerned (except for those players who would really rather play only a half these days).  Thanks to Lordswood for making the trip and for being prepared to travel without a full side.  

 

Just a small foot-note to this story is that the visiting team was supposed to be Sevenoaks 4th/Social side but Sevenoaks are robustly refusing to pick players who have not paid their annual subscription and consequently, chose not to field a 4th team rather than provide rugby facilities to non-payers.  I believe that Medway have adopted a similar stance and its certainly true that some players at Maidstone were rendered ineligible for selection this week owing to their non-payment of subs.  No one wishes to embarrass players where there is genuine financial hard-ship, and arrangements can be made with the Membership Sec in such cases, but there are players who have evaded making any payment for a number of years and by popular consent, there is no longer any room for such evasion at Maidstone and (by the sound of it) at other local clubs either.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

As predicted here last week, the big event of the week-end was the mini-festival on Sunday and it gives me great pleasure to report that despite the efforts of the weather to ruin the day, the whole thing was a great success, supported as it was by members from all sections of the club.  Whilst it would be wrong to start thanking people, as one would inevitably leave out many deserving helpers, one can certainly pay tribute to the excellent planning that went into the event, with nothing at all left to chance. I reproduce here a note circulated this morning by Alan Crosbie, which is worthy of a wider audience:

 

A lot of people came up to me yesterday and thanked me personally for arranging the festival… Whilst my ego is suitably flattered it was a little embarrassing because in reality I just arranged some meetings and sent out a bunch of emails, it was all of you who actually made it happen - the people on the ground manning the gates, flipping burgers, dealing with disputes (of which there were few), refereeing, running scores, and generally trekking around in typical October weather doing the stuff that needed done without complaint and with good humour at all times.

 

Sincerely, and on behalf of all the coaches and children – thank you so much for all your help. All the coaches from visiting clubs I spoke to seemed to have had a great time, and when it comes down to it they reflect the views of their parents and children, the latter of whom are the most important of all. I saw loads of exceptionally broad smiles shining through the mud, so great job :)

RE 

Fixtures for 27th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Ashford

H

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Bromley II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Ashford II

A

 

Invicta III

4th

Dover IV

H

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Ashford III

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Gravesend Moles

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 13th October 2012
posted: October 15 2012

 

Results for 13th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bognor

A

 Walk Over

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park II

H

Lost 7-19

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Leigh

A

Won 15-27

Dragon Fire 5

5th

Hastings & Bex III

A

Lost 51-0

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Sittingbourne III

H

Won 21-15

Friendly

 

So much for the best-laid plans of mice and men. (and I leave you to judge whether I should rank myself amongst the men or mice)

 

With a childless weekend to ourselves in prospect, I had generously planned a romantic weekend in West Sussex for myself and my lucky wife, the highlight of which was to have been the Senior Vase fixture between Maidstone and Bognor on Saturday afternoon. When the news came in on Tuesday that Bognor had conceded, I managed a deft side-step and claimed that I had changed my mind about the rugby, diverting to Eastbourne instead, where a pleasant time of shopping, eating and theatre ensued. I wobbled once or twice as we packed the car, wondering whether to chuck my kit in the car and make a small detour to Hastings where the 5ths were short-handed vs Hastings & Bexhill, but common-sense prevailed in the end and rugby took a back seat for once, although I must admit that I couldn’t help looking at my watch as kick-off time came and went, whilst we ate our cream teas on Eastbourne Pier.   (Its lucky that the very good lady in question doesn’t read this nonsense, or I certainly wouldn’t dare to publish it).

 

So, frustration all round really, (I’m back to the rugby now btw) as the First Team were left kicking their heels, although in fairness, a number of them got games in the lower sides where they were needed to plug holes that had appeared in some of the teams – principally the 4ths where a good game was played out at Leigh where the outcome would either have been a sound thrashing at best or a forfeit (like last year) at worst, which would have done no-one any favours.

 

The Mustangs were the star attraction at home but sadly, they contrived to lose a very winnable game, failing to take numerous chances of their own and gifting Charlton Park 3 second half scores to lose the game in front of home supporters. Commiserations to Alex Sturzu, who sustained a broken nose and to Luke Debnam, who suffered a recurrence of his shoulder dislocation: one hopes that they will both be back in action sooner rather than later.  

A surprise for Maidstone supporters was to see former club stalwart and first-team player Rob Jeffrey in the Charlton Park front row (alongside the 57 year old Rev, who is extremely well known in Kent rugby circles and unmistakeable for his trade-mark pony-tail). The surprise at seeing Rob was that, each time he disappears from Maidstone with a career-ending injury, he seems to pop up somewhere else in Kent before finding his way back to Maidstone – where the door is always open for a player of his quality.

 

The 4ths travelled to Leigh with Club Captain Ben Williams on board and with Melon in the back row, each of whom scored 2 tries, with first team winger, Ally Moss scoring the fifth from his position of outside centre.   Some might question whether such illustrious players should have been playing in a 4th team game but it was simply a case of playing the hand that we had been dealt this week. Had Bognor not cried off, it would most likely have been that a heavily outgunned 4th team would have been murdered by an unusually strong Village team, which has the advantage of playing together every week.  As it is, a competitive game ensued and Leigh were able to deploy all of their 6 or 7 subs and make sure that everyone got a game. The return could prove to be very different. Big thanks to Steve Quinn for working so hard to get the 4th team together and for attempting to assist the 5th team in their mission at Hastings.

 

The 5ths headed off to Hastings with several key players missing and knowing also that Hastings 1sts and 2nds didn’t have any fixtures, which would mean at best that Hastings 3rds would not have suffered any drop-outs or late call-ups.  Their worst fears were realised as they succumbed to a 51-0 defeat but full credit to the guys who rallied around and made the journey. Hastings probably suffer more cry-offs than any other club in our Leagues, so it’s a source of pride that our 5ths always make the trip come hell or highwater (or worse).

 

Sittingbourne called on Friday to say that they could muster a team to come and play our Vets at home and by all accounts, a very good game ensued between two well-matched sides. One cant ask for more than that (although a match report would be nice)

 

NEXT WEEK

Without doubt, the big event of next week (aside from the usual selection of senior matches on Saturday) is the Maidstone Mini festival on Sunday, which has been months and months in the planning and which is of huge importance to all those involved in Mini Rugby at Maidstone.   If you have not already made your services available to help out on the day, then please email our youth chair Ian Wilkinson and he will no doubt tell you where to go (in the nicest possible way of course). It’s a great opportunity for players in the senior club to show their support for the future of Maidstone.  See you there !!

 

RE

Fixtures for 20th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Tunbridge Wells

A

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Aylesford III

A

 

Invicta III

4th

TBA

 

 

 

5th

Aylesford IV

H

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Sevenoaks Social

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 6th October 2012
posted: October 08 2012

 

Results for 6th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

H

Won 43-0

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

A

Won 8-61

Invicta II

3rd

Thanet III

H

Won 54-27

Invicta III

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

A

Lost 43-31

 

5th

New Ash Green II

H

Lost 7-48

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Canterbury Cardinals

A

Lost 52-10

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six teams were selected this week and six teams played – with a full set of subs each and skippers having to turn players away for lack of spaces.  Cant be bad.  There is certainly a buzz around the place, with very decent numbers at training and with players enjoying their rugby at whatever level they play within the club.  This coupled with improvements around the bar and clubhouse and in the light of developments with our new partners, The Mote Cricket Club, the future has never looked brighter.  Lets keep pulling together to maintain the momentum at all levels.

 

The First Team entertained a decent crowd to an emphatic win over League new-comers Pulborough, James Davies collecting the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match Award and Skipper Ben Williams collecting his weekly try. This performance sets the team up nicely for next week’s Cup match at Bognor, where Maidstone will be hoping to launch another good run in the National Senior Vase competition after making it through to the Semi-Final last year.

 

The Mustangs rattled up a big score against Sidcup III on the beautiful surface of Sidcup’s First Team Pitch, although there was such a shortage of vehicles in which to travel, that there was some doubt as to whether the team would ever make it out of the clubhouse at Maidstone.  Sidcup III won this division at a canter last season and punched well above their weight, based on a large hard core of former First Team players, but something has gone wrong this season, as they have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats already.  It is only 2 or 3 seasons ago that the Mustangs were defeating Sidcup II by a similar margin and it is to be hoped that by next season, parity will be restored in Invicta I, where a club of Maidstone’s stature should expect their 2nd Team to play.

 

The 3rd team revival continues under Tuggy’s enthusiastic leadership, although anyone watchers who were hoping for another battling comeback and a last gasp win, would have been sadly disappointed by a relatively comfortable stroll to victory over the visitors from Thanet, although I didn’t hear any of the players complaining.  Long term followers of this team who have been treated for many years to the sinuous skills of Paul Massey in the line-out, will have been thrilled that at last a worthy replacement has emerged in the towering figure of Richard Gray (this is not a mis-print), who cleaned up in the middle of the line, proving the old adage that props might fly !!

 

Despite losing 3 good players on Saturday morning (one of whom will never again drive his van to Dorking –or anywhere else I hope- without a spare wheel) the 4th Team travelled to Tunbridge Wells for their First Away League match, with the mouth-watering prospect of having a back-row containing such luminaries as Mike Blacker and Ed Adams and the expectation of a comfortable win. When Dominic Baxter strolled across the line for a try under the posts within 5 minutes, it all looked as though it would be a stroll for the visiting team, until Wells hit back immediately with 3 tries of their own, which left Maidstone reeling. Twice, Maidstone hauled back 2 tries of a 3 try deficit, and with 5 minutes to play, needed one more try to win –only to concede a further try in the attempt.  The key to the game was that Wells tackled harder than we did and deserved their win.  Mike Blacker scored 2 tries, Tom McMulkin got one and Scott Andrews, stepping up from the 5th team, got a fine try in the corner and came very close to a 2nd.

 

At the annual pre-season League meeting, New Ash Green protested long and loudly that their 3rd team would get murdered if they played in Division 6 of the Shepherd Neame leagues this year, so consequently, their 2nd team are playing there instead and murdering all comers, including our gallant 5ths, who know a mismatch when they see it.  The Shepherd Neame and Invicta Leagues are showing fewer blatant anomalies this year than last, but this fixture is, I am afraid, one of them.  

 

The Vets were pleased to be able to revive their fixtures with Canterbury Cardinals (Vets) this season, but were less pleased to be on the end of a 40-0 first half deficit whilst playing up the slope on Canterbury’s 1st team pitch.  The 2nd half was a much closer affair as the score-line was held to 12-10 in Canterbury’s favour and some honour was restored  - although if an age adjustment were incorporated into the score-line, Maidstone would have emerged as comfortable winners (or so the old codgers claimed when they got back – before drinking all the guest ale that had been provided for the Oktober Fest evening). 

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

It was certainly a lively day at the club, with Old Boys and Sponsors attending a pre-match lunch. There was also a cheque presentation to the Injured Players Foundation on behalf of the club and attended by Tom Hughes, who is continuing to recover from the neck injury he sustained last season whilst playing for the Mustangs, although there is still a long way to go. The day was rounded off with Sam Bailey’s Oktoberfest evening, the details of which are not fit for printing in a family publication but which were attended by two unusually hairy (although strangely attractive) frauleins, who apparently flaunted their dubious assets all over town after the club closed.   Leaving aside Vickers and Hadi, as no photos of them have yet reached me, I leave you instead with another lovely bunch of frauleins (without a jungfrau in sight).  Quite how a certain lurker penetrated the group, only he could possibly say.

RE

 

Fixtures for 15th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bognor

A

 

Senior Vase

2nd

(Mustangs)

Charlton Park II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta III

4th

Leigh

A

 

 

5th

Hastings & Bex III

A

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 29th September 2012
posted: October 01 2012

 

Results for 29th September 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

A

Won 5-46

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

Won walk-over

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

H

Won 19-17

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

H

Won 17-5

Dragon Fire V

5th

Edenbridge II

A

Lost  22-5

Friendly

Vets

Drtfordians IV

A

Won 15-26

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time in 2012, we selected 6 sides this week although in the event, circumstances conspired to ensure that only 5 matches were played.

 

There were some excellent results amongst those five games though, including an emphatic win for the 1sts (after their enforced lay-off last week) for which Richard Parker picked up the Biddenden Vineyards man of the match award.

 

Having forfeited their Invicta II League matchvs Sidcup III last week, it was no great surprise to receive a call from Old Dunstonians II on Saturday morning to say that they were down to 13 players and not coming. Fortunately, we were able to re-distribute around half of the Mustangs team to plug gaps in other sides, which were in truth, looking a little thread-bare prior to that call.

 

The 3rds demonstrated their battling qualities by coming from behind once again to seal a narrow victory, this time vs Medway’s excellent development team under the tutelage of former Maidstone player coach Paul Essenhigh.  It took a penalty try in the last play of the game to wrap up the win, with the conversion making the difference between the two teams.

 

The 4ths enjoyed a good tempered match vs Medway IV on the bottom pitch, where the introduction of Mick Walker (borrowed from the Vets) at fly-half, gave shape and organisation to the back line, whilst the windfall of having Tom McMulkin return from his tour of Afghanistan to take the number 9 spot, meant that the 4ths went from having no half-backs to having a very effective half-back combo.  Alex Bus got the first try and Josh Nhisamazingtechnicolourscrumcap got the other two.  Scrummaging presented quite a challenge, as Medway IV have a prop who must be the tallest in Kent at 6ft, 10 inches, especially as their hooker was only 5ft, 6inches. 

 

The 5ths made the awkward trip to Edenbridge (there is no easy way to get to Edenbridge) and came away with a loss but were not too down-hearted upon their return, having had a useful run-out and given playing opportunities to a number of players who are more used to waiting on the bench. New convert from Rugby League, Carl Baker received a claret welcome to Union as he left the field early with blood gushing from his nose, although I’m quite sure it wont have been the first nose bleed he will have ever sustained on a rugby field..

 

The Vets faced a trip to Dartfordians IV with just 14 players but were pleased to pick up the somewhat useful pair of friends from the Mustangs, Sam Weston and Tom Matley.  In a full blooded contest, the Vets were pleased to return from their First proper outing of the season with a respectable win.

 

COURT & SOCIAL

Saturday should be a big day at the club, with the first home league game, together with a sponsor’s event and an Old Boys day, culminating in the Oktoberfest  Social in the evening, organised by Sam Bailey.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 6th October 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Pulborough

H

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup III

A

 

Invicta 2

3rd

Thanet III

H

 

Invicta 3

4th

Tunbridge Wells IV

A

 

Dragon Fire 5

5th

New Ash Green III

H

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Canterbury Cardinals

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 22nd September 2012
posted: September 24 2012

 

Results for 22nd September 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

Postponed

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

Lost 32-26

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdown Colliery

H

Won 33-31

Invicta III

4th

See below

 

 

 

5th

Medway V

A

Lost 30-10

Early Bird 6 West

Vets/4ths

Vigo II

H

Lost 5-68

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The very sad circumstances that unfolded at Folkestone RFC last week, in which John Lord, an iconic club stalwart lost his life following an on-field head injury, had a very direct bearing on Maidstone’s fixture card this week, as the Folkestone exec cancelled all their Saturday fixtures, including those against our 1sts and our Vets.  Many moving tributes to John have been posted on the Folkestone website http://www.folkestonerugbyclub.co.uk/news/john-lord-671812.html, not least from our Deputy Chairman Bob Hayton, who played 1st Team rugby at Folkestone and has maintained many friendships there.

 

The up-shot as a far as the 1st Team are concerned is that the fixture will need to be played later in the season, at the earliest free date, although with various cup commitments, this cannot yet be determined.

 

Instead of playing their fixture, the First Team assembled for a training session and then went to Medway to watch the Mustangs vs Medway II in their opening Invicta League match.  In the two corresponding fixtures last year, the win went to the home side and this was no exception.  Rich Weston specializes in succinct match reports:  

 

The first league game of the season and the Mustangs travelled the short distance to Medway.

The home team started the stronger and threw the ball about , and after 30 minutes were 17  points up, Jason Smith pulled back 5 points and Sam Ellis converted. A penalty made the score  20 points to 7 at half time.

As per the week before, this then woke up the Mustangs, and began to play .Thomas Matley  went over twice and Alaistair Moss once , Sam Ellis added 2 conversions.

Medway themselves  scored 2 converted tries to set up a tense last couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, top billing at home went to the 3rd team, who served up a scintillating thriller of a match in front of an appreciative crowd, which has been superbly documented once again by David Ruaux, who must keep a Dictaphone or at the very least pencil and notepad in his shorts, judging by the detail he manages to include. (See Match Report) Well done to Rooky, for getting the MoM accolade after a typical barn-storming display, which included the winning try.

 

The 4ths had no fixture this week but combined instead with the Vets to play a friendly vs the well-drilled opposition of Vigo 2nds.  Despite the 68-5 scoreline, it was a worthwhile replacement for the Folkestone Fossils and was a great deal better than not playing at all.  It gave a number of new players their first outing in Maidstone colours and also some returners such as Will Rush, who had his typically action-packed game at scrum-half. Maidstone’s only try came from Dan Heasman, playing his last match prior to setting off to read Physics at Oxford University, where I am sure his rugby skills will be as greatly appreciated as his undoubted brain-power.  Overall, despite the uneven scoreline, both sets of players contributed to a very well disciplined and good tempered match, ably officiated by Chris Francis, making his debut as a referee and showing every sign of being as fine a performer with the whistle as he was as a player.

The 4th team have their 1st League game of the season next week and it will be crucial that they have good availability from which to select, in order to get their season off to a good start.

 

The 5ths went to Medway for their first League outing after a long summer of commitment and training, and came away from Medway V with a respectable loss (bearing in mind that Medway V won the division at a canter last season and are likely to do the same again this year).  Both Maidstone's tries came from Mike Gillies, who is one of those players that has a predatory instinct for finding the try-line. Next week the 5s have a friendly at Edenbridge II, instead of the anticipated trip to Uckfield, as Uckfield III are involved in League games and can’t host.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

Saturday 6th October marks the first home-match for the First Team after our re-possession of the clubhouse from The Mote CC.  Sam Bailey, who gallantly stepped into the vacant Social Sec’s role at the last AGM, is organizing an Oktober-Fest style social evening for that date (at which Bavarian costumes will be De Rigeur).  As the proud owner of an authentic pair of Lederhosen, I for one am highly delighted to be able to wear them as to be honest, there are not too many occasions on which the opportunity presents itself.  Just hope that our lovely Bar-staff will be squeezing themselves into Dirndls once again.

RE           

Fixtures for 29th September 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Uckfield

A

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Dunstonians II

H

 

Invicta II

3rd

Medway III

H

 

Invicta III

4th

Medway IV

H

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Edenbridge II

A

 

Early Bird VI West

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 15th September 2012
posted: September 17 2012

 

Results for 15th Sept

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bromley

A

Won 19-25

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sevenoaks II

H

Lost 27-31

Friendly

3rd

Ashford 2nd/3rd

H

Won 38-19

Friendly

4th

 

 

 

Dragon Fire V

5th

Gravesend Moles

A

Lost 27-24

Friendly

Vets

 

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

It was a beautiful day for cricket at the Mote on Saturday, which made it rather hot for playing rugby but it was beautiful nonetheless.

 

The first team were away at Bromley where they notched up an important opening day win, albeit that it was rather hard work despite being largely in control throughout. Man of the match was Sam Ellis although he was run close by all accounts by Sam Bailey who had a storming game in the forwards, despite sustaining a cut eye early on.

 

At home the Mustangs entertained Sevenoaks 2nds and allowed them to rattle up a 22-nil half-time lead, before coming storming back into the game in the second-half, only to fall short by 4 points at the death. Alex Goodhew joined the team at half-time and give a very strong performance at outside centre in his first game for the club at this level. It was a shame that the team was weakened prior to kick off by some drop-outs from the selected team, although it was still a very strong team and there continues to be strong competition for places.

 

Down on the bottom pitch, a rejuvenated 3rd Team under the leadership of the ever youthful Tuggy, contained such up and coming youngsters as Dave Charlton, Ian Howson, Ian Wilkinson and a young fellow by the name of Ross Laing, who retired from rugby 18 months ago, during which time he hasn't got any younger although you couldn't tell by looking at him. Had he not had his pension book with him, you wouldn’t have known that he was a day over 64.

It was a great match in which to play as, against a pretty strong Ashford team, Maidstone combined youth and experience to display all the skills and were in control throughout, despite shipping 3 tries in the second half as concentration levels dropped. Veteran (just) Justin Evans, playing his first match for Maidstone after moving from Harlow RFC where he has played since a junior and still trains mid-week, scored 2 tries. Scorer of 3 tries, David Ruaux has produced a superb match report (which guarantees his place in next week starting line-up if he promises to produce such a good report every week). 

Sincere thanks to Bob Purfitt for agreeing to referee the match(after the appointed ref got a better offer), having expected to be playing his first game for more than a season - and against his old club Ashford.

 

 The 5th team took a large squad of players to Gravesend, including many old faces and many new, most of whom have been in training since early pre- season, for a friendly versus Gravesend Moles. The only report I have heard of the outcome was from Steve Pooley who I met in the bar afterwards.  Steve said it was a super game and everyone had a great time which, given steve's propensity to enthusiasm could mean that Maidstone won by 50 points or were thrashed by 70, although the true answer probably lies in between.

Steve is another player who is now officially a pensioner but he continues to make the journey from his home in Devon to train on a thursday evening and play on a Saturday. That's extreme loyalty for you!!

STOP PRESS: I gather that in fact two evenly matched sides scored 4 tries each and the Moles, under the genial leadership of their skipper Gary Theobald, just edged the win 27-24.  What a great opening fixture.

 

NEXT WEEK

Next week there are 4 league games, plus the Vets are playing their first fixture  of the season away at Folkestone.  The following week we hope to put six teams into the field so it is vitally important that anybody who is available to play, makes your availability known. This is the crucial time of the season when teams are getting established and a pattern is set for the whole season. Anyone who thinks they would like to play some rugby during the season should try to play in the next 2 weeks if possible because otherwise we may find that we cannot proceed with 6 sides and spaces will be very limited if you drift back later in the season and we only have 5 regular sides playing. 

 

To assist yourselves and us with notifying availability it would be extremely useful if players could go to the sign-up tab at www.clubhouseapp.com and register themselves for Maidstone Rugby. This is equally or actually, especially important if you are only an occasional player, because you will be able to flag up in advance the weeks when you know you will be available and when you will not be available, or indeed, when you are not sure.  You can also add comments for the benefit of selectors. If players were to follow this simple procedure it would become much easier for us to see at a glance who is available; to decide what fixtures are required for the following Saturday and to react accordingly. The process requires a tiny amount of effort from each player in comparison with the effort expended by the club officials, team-managers and skippers who are tasked with a massive job every week of getting 100+ players into the field. I have heard one or two players say that they don't want to be bothered by e-mails from the club but my response would be to ask how they would fancy having to chase 18 players individually to make sure that they will be at the game on a Saturday. Its not much fun and could be made so much easier if players were to co-operate fully. (NB You do not have to be a paid-up club member to register on Clubhouse but will be expected to begin paying a membership fee if you wish to be selected)

 

 Evergreen Cup.

Maidstone have taken part in this Veterans Cup competition for the last 7 years and have reached four finals, sadly not yet winning one. After many years of having been well administered, the long-term organizers have stepped aside and the organization of it now seems to have become quite shambolic, giving rise to serious question marks over whether the competition will happen at all this season and indeed, whether it will be able to continue at all in its current format. One problem is that there are far too many walk-overs and also there is rather a mismatch between the playing resorces of large clubs and small clubs. It remains to be seen what will happen but my prediction is that if the new organizers do not “up” their game it may be taken over by another club or clubs that can do a better job than currently.

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

One of the many reasons for playing rugby at Maidstone is that we have such wonderful bar staff at the club. However in addition to their undoubted charms, most people will be unaware that amongst their number is someone who has completed a solo channel swim and who last month completed a double crossing of the channel in a relay team of 3.  Being an extremely modest person I won’t reveal her name in this blog but leave you instead to guess for yourselves (the webbed feet are a bit of a give-away).  However, I think we can all applaud such a fantastic achievement.

 

I must have been the last to know that Jim and Charlotte Walker are pregnant, although I gather that the conception was flagged up on face-book some weeks ago.  Lets hope that the club-house will soon be full of little Walkers, (other than Jim and Charlotte).

 

Lastly, if this weeks humble offering has presented as something of a “stream of consciousness”, perhaps it’s because this is the first week in which I have used a voice recognition program to construct the week’s piece.  It is surprisingly difficult to marshall one’s thoughts and dictate to a tablet computer, but I think I have got away with it – just.

 

RE

           

Fixtures for 22nd September 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Folkestone

H

 

London South East 3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

 

Invicta II

3rd

Snowdown Colliery

H

 

Invicta III

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

Medway V

A

 

Early Bird 6 West

Vets

Folkestone Fossils

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 8th September 2012
posted: September 10 2012

 

Results for 8th September 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Deal & Betteshangar

A

Won 19-20

Kent Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

Deal & Betts II

A

Won 10-42

Friendly

3rd

 

 

 

 

4th

 

 

 

 

5th

 

 

 

 

Vets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, here we are again loyal reader. Thanks for logging in for another season of thrills and spills and all the news that no one else would want to print, faithfully reproduced in these humble pages for your exclusive consumption.

 

3 weeks into the season seems a reasonable place to throw off the carefree weeks of summer and pick up the weekly record that was started back in 2005 and which has appeared in every week of every season without fail since then.

 

This is not to belittle the excitement of the Presidents XV match on 26th August (which raised in excess of £6000 for the Injured Players Foundation – thanks mostly to the vision and organizational skills of our truly amazing Deputy Chairman Bob Hayton), and the successful training match last week versus Dorking 2nds, or even the Vet’s outing to Ashford last week but they all took place in the cricket season so it now seems fitting to commence with the  adrenalin rush that goes with a Cup fixture at Deal & Betteshangar.

 

Staggered start-times allowed both sets of supporters to enjoy an hour of the Mustangs game as an hors d’ouevre prior to the commencement of the cup-fixture at 3pm.  I arrived just in time to see our winger break-out in the middle of the park with only 60 metres ahead of him to the try line, only to relise that it was Tuggy and there was no chance. (20 years ago, perhaps   ? )

 

The Mustangs, under the watcheful eye of new coach and manager Richard Weston, wasted little time in asserting their dominance over a Deal and Betts 2nd team that showed plenty of commitment but could not match our players for pace and power.  Mr Weston writes:

 

On a scorcher of a day , the Mustangs faced a Deal 2nd string and from the start Maidstone made it clear that moving the ball through hands at every chance would win them the game. A solid mixture of youth and wise heads was a key point, Andy Bacon,Dan Cummings, Mike Laurenson , Tuggy and Mayhem, the older players of the team, and 9 under 20 younger players proved to be too strong for the home team.

Hunter,Weston and Hollingsworth all went over in the 1st half and Holmes adding the conversions.All trys came from some great inter passing and support play which left the defence all over the place.

The 2nd half saw another trio of trys for the Mustangs, with Hunter grabbing two and Vickers , who also converted his own try, Ellis converted 2.

Deal scored two unconverted tries in the 2nd half, and never gave up battling for points.

Simple passing and support play proved to be the winning method in a very entertaining game”.

 

Standout player for Maidstone amongst a number of good performances was Ben Hunter at open-side flanker.  What a shame that he will be disappearing off to uni next week, although with so much talent competing for places, it will relieve some pressure at selection.

 

Having watched the Mustangs cruise comfortably to victory, I would have appreciated a similarly emphatic score-line in the Cup-match but was treated instead to a white-knuckle ride that did little for the steadiness of my nerves and general composure. After Maidstone regained the lead with 10 minutes of the match remaining, there then ensued a dogged defensive battle to retain that lead, during which time D&B threw at Maidstone everything they possessed in their armoury until it seemed that they must find a way through to clinch victory.  To the great credit of our players, they withstood the onslaught and defended their line to the final whistle, claiming the win by the narrowest of margins and earning a home draw vs Dover in the next round.

 

When Gravesy went over the line for the try that won us the match, natural delicacy prompted me to avert my eyes as the desperate defenders pulled his shorts down in their attempt to stop him.  No such delicacy from the long lenses of the paparazzi though, as within hours, his ample buttocks were being displayed all over facebook, (openly flouting any rules about posting offensive material).  One sincerely hopes that it was the camera of Bob Hayton that captured the offending exposure, rather than that of Mollie McKenzie, as no 15-year-old girl should be confronted with such a sight at such a tender age, especially through a telescopic lens.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next week, we get a further two teams into the field and the 1st Team League season kicks off in earnest.

 

Its very pleasing to report that more and more players are signing up to pay their membership subscription by direct-debit and the level of compliance is already far higher than in previous seasons. Rest assured that we are completely aware of anyone who is not signed up to pay their fair share and you will each be hunted down and killed (or worse). At the very least, you will render yourself ineligible for selection.  You have been warned

 

RE

           

Fixtures for 15th  Sept 2012

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Bromley

A

 

London SE3

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sevenoaks II

H

 

Friendly

3rd/4th

Ashford 3rd/4th

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

5th

Gravesend Moles

A

 

Friendly

Vets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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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

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