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Weekly Round-up for April 12th and 13th 2014
posted: April 14 2014

 

Results  for  12th April 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Warlingham

H

Won 38-16

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup II

A

Lost 31-29

Invicta League

3rd

Snowdon

A

Forfeit

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians

Whitstable III

A

cancelled

Friendly

Vets

East Grinstead vets

H

 Not confirmed

Evergreen Plate

 

 

 

 

 

After the intense focus of the past few weeks, this was a week where the First Team could relax to some extent but whilst wanting at the same time to explore the options for the play-off match vs Gosport and Fareham on 26th April, which will be without doubt, the highest stakes match of the season.  

It was a good opportunity to try out different combinations, with a view to making sure that the strongest team can be taken to Hampshire, which also included making sure that some other contenders got a decent run in the 2nds after a few weeks off.  As such, competition for places in the 18 man squad will be intense but fortunately, we should be at full strength and with good options in all positions.

 

Having watched Jamie Simms have an outstanding match for the Mustangs vs Canterbury last week, it was good to hear that he took the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award for the First Team this week, with a typical storming display. Nice also to see James Douglas getting his name on the First Team score-sheet after scoring many tries for the Mustangs during the course of his first season at the club.

 

Talking of the Mustangs, a fascinating game took place at Sidcup where Skipper Nick East and Manager Richard Weston had managed to scratch together a mixture of 1sts, 2nds, 3rds, 5ths and random others, including Dan and Connor who were making their Maidstone debuts and occupying a wing each, together with the always welcome sight of dynamic flanker Ben Rookledge, making his first appearance of the year. However, they were facing a Sidcup II outfit that looked capable of running in multiple tries, courtesy of their fit and fast back-line.  And so it proved, with Maidstone finding themselves 19-0 down within 10 minutes and a cricket score on the cards.  However, with a pack containing Joel Byford at his rampaging best, with Josh Pankhurst breaking the gain line at speed and with Mayhem doing what Mayhem does best, it was never going to be all one way traffic and so it proved. Having managed to stem the flow of Sidcup tries and turning round 24-5 behind, there was a slight slope and wind now in Maidstone’s favour and the Mustangs pack had their tails-up and proceeded to batter the Sidcup pack in both tight and loose, with powerful running and excellent short-passing and support play.  As the half progressed, thoughts turned from “consolation” tries and the salvaging of pride to actually overturning the lead to win the match.  In the event, had the last try been converted, the game would have been drawn, but the narrow loss felt like a moral victory and the team went home feeling quite euphoric.  And all of this after having only 11 names on the team sheet at selection on Tuesday and a forfeit looming.

 

With a number of the 3rds in the 2nd team, the 3rd team game was forfeited yet again, which resulted in their expulsion from the League after failing to play more than 25% of their games.  This is the first time we have had a Maidstone Team expelled from the junior Leagues and is no reflection on the ability and commitment of the players who started the season in the team, but a combination of injuries, call-ups  and unavailability’s has conspired against David Ruaux, who came forward to skipper the team when a leader was needed.   However, that’s history now and we can look forward to re-structuring the middle of the club for next season, to make sure that as many players as possible get to enjoy their rugby in settled teams, playing at the right level for competitive fixtures.

 

NEXT WEEK

Next week is Easter weekend and, as a club we have tended not to play on Easter Saturday.   However, we have agreed to host the Empty Brains touring Vets Team on Saturday, so anyone who is vaguely over 35 and would like a game, should make themselves known to Steve Vincent. (Empty Brains are the unlikely combination of  Vets from Emmen in Holland and from Braintree in Essex)

 

Talking of Vets rugby, East Grinstead have been very elusive this week and have not yet confirmed that they can send a team to Maidstone for the Evergreen Plate Fixture.  We are still hoping to get a game on for Bank Holiday Easter Monday but there’s not much we can do, all the time that Grinstead fail to return calls.

 

The Players Dinner and awards night is on Thursday night.  We had better warn the First and Last in Bower Place to expect their biggest night of the year on Thursday, as last year, the pre-dinner drinks session ran them out of real-ale amidst a sea of stripey blazers.  Forewarned is fore-armed.   See you all there.

RCE

Fixtures for  19th April 2014   (Youth section round-up below)

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 

 

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

 

 

 

Invicta League

3rd

 

 

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians

 

 

 

Friendly

Vets

Empty Brains Touring  Vets

H

 

Friendly

Vets

East Grinstead Vets

H

TBC (Monday 21st)

Evergreen Plate

 

Youth Section Weekly Round Up -

U13 - Jamie Mills

We had a squad at the Kent sevens and also hosted Medway, Cranbrook and a barbarians team for an informal Sevens competition at Maidstone.

At the Kent's the boys played out of their skins in the group stages beating Aylesford, Tunbridge Wells and Sidcup and narrowly losing to Judds to go through to the Cup quarter-finals.  Injuries, tiredness and over familiarity with the ice cream van took their toll and the boys went down 20-5 to Beccahamians in the QF.  Beccs are becoming our nemesis having knocked us out of three competitions now.

For the Maidstone Sevens the games were played in great spirit by all four teams and players who might ordinarily toil away in the forwards were making breaks, scoring tries and drop kicking conversions.
Maidstone won all three fixtures and their seven for all three matches contained three U12s and a Maidstone barbarian was their top try scorer.

U9 - Russell Evans

The U9s had A and B teams playing at the Aylesford Festival today.
The B team played with good commitment against very strong opposition, but despite some close games, lost all 4 pool matches.
The A team also had a tough pool, winning 5:0 against Gravesend A, losing 2:4 against Sevenoaks A, winning 4:2 against Beccehamiaans A, before losing a very good and close match to Aylesford A  5:6.
This gave us a Bowl Final against Aylesford C, which we won convincingly 7:0, meaning we deservedly took home a Trophy.
All players and parents clearly enjoyed the day in the sunshine with some good rugby in hard fought games by all teams.

U7s - Aylesford Festival - Craig Rixon

Some great weather, a fun and friendly festival together with 'champagne' rugby made for an enjoyable day for both players and supporters.

Owing to holidays and non rugby related injuries the U7s just managed to field 2 teams for this weekends festival. Both teams had some very close games narrowly missing out in their first 3 games but fortunes
were reversed in the final game when both teams took on Aylesford in their final group games and come through victorious and with some style. It was a fitting end to their season.

Both Tim and I are really pleased with the progress the children have showed through the season and today we got to see saw some really good attacking and support play leading to some excellent tries. The defence
has improved greatly as well, as shown in their last game today when Aylesford under pressure were forced repeatedly to turn the ball over.


Well done boys and girls !

All the children should be very proud of how well they have played, not only today but in all the festivals this season, as I know the coaches are proud of them.                                                   

            Under 9 A Team Bowl Trophy Winners

 UNDER 9s

Under 10s



Weekly Round-up for 5th and 6th April 2014
posted: April 07 2014

 

Results  5th April 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Lewes

A

 Won 7-59

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Canterbury II

H

Lost 6-29

Invicta League

3rd

Folkestone II

H

Forfeit

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians

  Former Barbarians

 

Won 55-0

Friendly

Vets

No Fixture

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Ben Williams and the First Team on securing the play-off spot in the league with a game in hand (allowing Ben to go off and enjoy his holiday in Florida with objective secured).  There is still much to do but one can only pass one milestone at a time and this was a very important one before the big show-down on 26th April.  Congratulations are due of course not only to the players but to all the people who have helped them to get there during this long season, including of course our former DoR Andy Foley and the supporting team he had assembled to get us where we are and to those who have picked up the baton and run with it after the announcement of Andy’s departure for Westcombe Park.

 

Congratulations to Luke Debnam for his Biddenden Vineyards MotM award this week following weeks of strong performances and for having made his way back into the First Team tight-head spot after the long period of injury leading up to this season. 

Its a shame to see Lewes almost certainly relegated on the back of this defeat but am I alone in being relieved that it means that we won’t be seeing those awful red shorts again for one or two seasons at the very least?   

Good to see former 1st Team player and last season’s First Team Manager, Fin Davis on the touchline in the Gallery photos btw, him now being a Sussex resident  since his move to Crowborough.  Hope we will see him again shortly to play in our Evergreen Plate match – of which more later.

The Mustangs had a tough match scheduled for their home fixture, as they entertained Canterbury’s 2nd Team in the Invicta League.  With a mixture of regular 3rd teamers and Mustangs in the side, as well as some who were very unlucky not to be in the First Team this week, it was not a day for faint hearts and overall, I think that the team could feel that the scoreline did not pay them sufficient reward for the strength and commitment of their performance, having come so close to the Canterbury line at times that a try seemed inevitable sooner or later – although it never came.  Jamie Simms was skipper for the day and was immense amongst the forwards, although Alex Hadi ran him close in patches whilst new player David Williams did not look out of place when he came on, despite not having played since school.  Matt Cooper collided heads with someone and left the field with a cut that would require stitches but one hopes that it wont be sufficiently bad to spoil his wedding photos later in the year. 

Good to see two new babies on the touch-line, Harry Holmes (son of Tom) and William Baker (son of Dave), both enjoying their first taste of rugby at less than a month old although they both seemed rather disappointed that the Mustangs lost.

No 3rd team again this week as we had insufficient 3rd team players to play the home fixture vs Folkestone II

Instead however, we had an extravaganza of nostalgia on the lower pitch as Barbarians of yesteryear  were dragged back by VP and Barbarians icon Trevor Bradley to face their modern counterparts.  It has been a mystery all season how Ian Ausher’s B team could have played the best rugby that our lowest team has played in 10 years, whilst only managing one win and one draw in that time. (The answer says much about the current state of the leagues that our lower teams are playing in). Well, on Saturday, on a hard pitch that didn’t invite too much tackling, the current team put the old faces to the sword in a pretty one-sided affair in which luckily, the scoreline didn’t seem too important.  There were faces there that  I had forgotten even existed, despite seeing them every week for years  (Maff Newman for one: where did he disappear to?)  Its amazing how people in a club can just melt away and the club just carries on without them.  It was an important day for one of Maidstone’s finest names, as Matt Ellesmere had probably his only opportunity to play alongside his brother Stuart and alongside his son Daniel at the same time.  Its a shame that Matt’s father Shaun, who graced Maidstone’s First Team in the 70s and 80s before dying sadly young, was not there to see it.

The Vets had no fixture this week, but there is a sign of life in the Evergreen Plate, as it transpires that Old Reigatians conceded their quarter final to East Grinstead, who now need to send a team to The Mote.   Dates currently under discussion are next Sunday (13th April) and Easter Monday bank-holiday. Watch this space for more news.

COURT & SOCIAL

This week represents your last opportunity to get a ticket for the player’s dinner and awards night on 17th April, so if you want to secure your place, its important to get your £20 to Carol asap, as late entries will not be accepted and payment must be made in advance.

RCE

Fixtures for  12th April 2014     (Youth section round-up below)

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Warlingham

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Snowdon

A

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians

Whitstable III

A

 

Friendly

Vets

East Grinstead vets

H

 TBC (Sunday 13th ??)

Evergreen Plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth Section Round-up by David Tugwell, co-youth chair

 

Tag Section

 

The Tag section (U6,7,8) held their end of season awards and disco event that was very well attended by players and parents alike. Awards were presented by Jack Davidson (1st team Vice Captain) Eva and me. A great evening that was very well organised by Charlie Goodbody. (Picture attached)  (Editors note: Tuggy is one of the tall ones in the back row - which is a line that has probably never been written before)

 

U11’s – Training for the finals of the Kent Festival at Aylesford after finishing 3rd in their group last week. Good luck boys.

 

U14 – Took a week off prior to their Wild West Tour to Gloucester.....more of that next week.

U16 – were training in preparation for the Kent Bowl final. Thanks to Alex Hadi, Caleb, Shaun Neaves, Dan Taylor and ‘wee’ Miles Tempan who are currently assisting with training.

 

Raffle tickets are on sale for the Youth Section end of Season BBQ on 4th May, the prizes are excellent (thanks Jasmin Bryan) please buy some tickets and come along to enjoy a celebration of our seasons rugby.

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for March 29th and 30th 2014
posted: March 31 2014

 

Senior Results for  29th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

Won 63-3

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II

A

Lost 34-5

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

H

Forfeit

Premier East

Barbarians

Hastings & Bexhill

A

Lost 35-7

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Footscray Vets

A

Won 0-10

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

For the many who made the trip to Aylesford to watch our U14s on Friday evening, the weekend was already looking good before Saturday had even dawned. 

 

It was hugely pleasing to see the enterprise with which our boys performed in this local derby but it was also very good to see how the spectators, parents and coaches on both sides conducted themselves, not to mention the players themselves.  Everyone knew that local bragging rights were at stake – especially as the boys from both clubs attend many of the same schools – but comments and applause from the touchline were quite muted out of respect for the players on the two rival teams and in the interests of keeping the whole thing as low-key as possible, given that it was all about the playing rather than the winning. Nevertheless, it was good to drive away from there in the knowledge that our youth are in good hands and that the future fortunes of the club continue to look bright.  (More detail to follow in Tuggy's Youth Section Round-up below)

 

On to Saturday then, where a large crowd was attracted by the spring weather and by the chance to support our First Team in their efforts to pass another mile-stone en route to London One. 

 

Amongst the luminaries on the touch-line were a number of former 1st Team Skippers (I counted at least 6), not least of whom was Stuart Milsted who skippered the First Team in the mid eighties when I, as a young Sevenoaks player, first started watching Maidstone and following their exploits week by week in the KM, (courtesy of Ray Vale’s match reports). I seem to remember that Stuart played No 8 in what was an enormous pack by local standards and it was no surprise when, on the back of some dominant years at the head of the Seven Counties Merit Table, Maidstone found themselves propelled into the newly formed Courage Leagues playing in National Three, (the first game being a home tie vs Vale of Lune at the Mote according to Jim Tinsley, who still has the Telegraph Match report in his scrap book – if only he could find the scrap-book)  Anyway, the point of the story is that its always interesting to meet people who one has watched play in the dim and distant past and its certainly great to see them coming back to visit the hallowed turf of The Mote – whilst its still there!!  (Don’t get me started)

 

Anyway, back to the present and on to the rugby.  This was certainly no foregone conclusion as Colfes have had some good wins this season and are a decent mid-table side but with Maidstone firing on all cylinders this week, they were brushed aside by some excellent play, including a combination of quick hands, strong running  and clinical finishing.  Jason Smith caught the eye amongst the backs and  Ben Brill had another stormer, although Jack Davidson took the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award for his good work at blind-side flanker.

 

Away from the Mote, it was another challenging week for the Mustangs as a combination of regular 2nds and 3rds made the trip to Gravesend to play the twice postponed fixture.  Although the score suggests a comfortable win for Gravesend, it was apparently a very well contested match, with Maidstone’s pack more than up to the job based on a 60 stone front-row of Mayhem,Cezar and Will Fox.  (Will Fox hooked in case you’re wondering – or played in the middle at any rate. Not sure how much hooking he did)

 

With no spare 3rd teamers, the 3rd team match vs Ashford 2nds was forfeited.

 

The B Team faced the usual scarcity that always arises when the words Hastings and Bexhill are mentioned but, unlike H&B III earlier in the season, they scraped a 16 together to cross the county boundary and then rather wished they hadn’t.   The game didn’t kick off till 3:30, owing to a colts game prior to their match but at half time Maidstone were well in touch albeit trailing 12-7.   Hastings then made a number of changes from amongst their numerous subs (prompting the question of where they all were for the forfeited game at Maidstone) to take the full time score to 35-7, although skipper Ian came close to removing his team from the field of play owing to the number of cheap shots coming in at every break-down.   All in all, not a very rewarding experience. 

(Thanks are due to Nathan Fitzpatrick who, home from uni for his Easter break, volunteered for the B team this week only to miss the meet-time owing to heavy traffic and drove himself to Hastings to lend his considerable presence to the team. Its such a bonus for a skipper to get a late call from the likes of Nathan, with his willingness to play anywhere for any of the teams, so lets hope that he and others keep coming back for more)

 

The Vets also had an away trip, to a re-arranged fixture vs Footscray 3rds/Vets, in what is always a pretty enjoyable contest.   They thrashed Footscray 0-10, which is quite a big winning margin for our Vets this season, and everyone felt that it had a been a good competitive affair.  It was good to get Ollie and George Coomber back on the field together this week, alongside the old man Keith and most amazingly, not one of the three came off injured  - although to be fair, the old chap is actually pretty resilient despite his diabetes, whilst it is the two youngsters who keep “breaking”.

NEXT WEEK

Since the B team have no opposition for next week, Trevor Bradley has organised a re-union of all former Barbarians to come out and play a match vs this season's regulars.  They have apparently answered the call from far and wide and will be jetting in from all over the world.   Kick off time TBC but it will probably be 1:45.

COURT & SOCIAL

Around half of the available places for the club dinner/awards night on 17th April have already been taken, so if you want to secure your place, its important to get your £20 to Carol asap, as late entries will not be accepted and payment must be made in advance.

 

RCE

 

Fixtures for  5th April 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Lewes

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Canterbury II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Folkestone II

H

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians

Former Barbarians

H

 

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUTH SECTION ROUND_UP

 

The curtain raiser for a weekend of rugby was Friday night for the U14's floodlit game at Aylesford.

 

Before I focus on the rugby it is worth reporting that there were considerable behind the scenes discussions and conversations between the coaches and opposition during the lead up to this fixture. We tried very hard to make the evening about the boys enjoyment rather than shallow tactics and bragging rights. That seemed too much to ask, so we kept true to our selection principals with all the boys getting at least a full game and substitutions only for injuries. This extract of a message sent out by out Head Coach I think is worth including. We are convinced and proud that we are developing a whole squad of skilled players, who enjoy the game and where everybody gets a chance.

Well done to all the boys, parents & coaches for fully supporting this.

 

'....This is a special fixture, not because of the opposition, but because of the venue & the experience. Please remember that this is all about the boys, not about us… Playing with determination, spirit, enthusiasm and to the best of their ability is all we ask of them – if they do this then the winning will come, but we’ll manage them in a way that makes this their achievement, not our requirement of them. There is a huge rivalry between Maidstone and Aylesford, and from what I have heard we will have a lot of support from across the Club – however as coaches we’ll be focusing with the boys on the contest on the pitch, not the ‘baggage’ that comes with this fixture. Please do remind them of that if you get a chance. ......' Allan Crosbie.

 

On with the rugby....

 

When the 'call to arms' go out boy does this club react! Be that a 1st XV, U16/U17 cup game or this U14 fixture. What an amazing club, what an amazing crowd...thank you all so much for the support. The boys talked excitedly about how the roar of the crowd inspired them, how much they enjoyed it and how they really want to play for the 1st team and experience that more often. 

 

U14’s

 

It was much hyped, and the banter at various schools reached fever pitch during the week prior – boasts and brags exchanged in equal measure by passionate and committed players on both sides. We ran the risk of turning up and starting slow on a flood-lit 1st XV pitch at Aylesford Bulls, overcome by the pressure… How wrong we were !

 

A very strong forwards dominated Aylesford side (including guest back row player) looked to play a tight game running hard lines against the Maidstone front 8. In previous encounters we may have held back and not made our first time tackles. Not tonight, our tactic of pushing hard in defence and making our tackles was carried out way beyond what we could have hoped for. Almost hunting in packs, runners were cut down and turn overs made – our defence was focused and awake, allowing very few runners more than a 10m break.

 

Moving the ball from the breakdown quickly the backs made very good use of the ball in hand at times with exquisite passing and interplay. A change of tactic practised for the night saw the high kick and chase, Alfie picking up the loose ball Maidstone ran in their first try, converted by Ollie Jenkins.

 

The second half was even more thrilling, with everything to play for bodies were thrown into every attack and defence. Both sides were unwilling to give any quarter, and early on Aylesford came back strong - when a gap appeared it was exploited to score under the post and converted, bringing the score to 7 – 7.

 

The driving runs of the forwards were matched by the backs pushing hard for the last score. Aylesford to their credit held up well but Alfie was on hand again showing great 1 on 1 skills to step his way to the try line and a much deserved win 7 – 12 win. A great game with a very high skill level on both sides but Maidstone were clearly the deserving winners.

 

After such a great opening game the second game risked being a poor follow up. But the 10 subs that Maidstone brought on and 4 out of 5 original players out of position had other ideas. We’d moved Anup from hooker to 8, Luke from Prop to Hooker, Alex from the centres to Scrum Half, and Alfie from the Wing to the Centre. All of the boys started  determined to up their game, and even prop Ben in only his third game looked like an old hand.

 

The pace and intensity was the same from both sides, a thrilling encounter. Aylesford again played a forwards game, with strong running and committed defence. Maidstone were not quite so slick in the backs but not through lack of effort at all. However the forwards stepped it up a gear, and to everyone’s surprise excelled in an aspect of the game that previously would have been targeted successfully by the opposition. The boys were 10 – 0 up after a try from Alfie, and other from Luke crashing over the line from a couple of yards, when Anup – Hooker & 8 – stepped up and converted Luke’s try with a level of style more often associated with a fly half. Even the introduction of the Aylesford ‘A’ full back – an outstanding and extremely strong player - was not enough to open up the Maidstone defence, with yet another try being scored just a minute or two after his entrance by Alex from a ruck on the Aylesford line. The match ended with Maidstone the victors at 17 – 0.

 

Man of The Match went to Alfie Hayward and Jamie Tuck – with Jamie claiming the Stones a Triple by winning the orange juice boat race in the clubhouse after the match. What a couple of games, what a couple of wins – awesome, as was the huge support from across the Club who turned up and helped give our boys an experience like none they have ever had.

 

On Saturday Eva & Tuggy hosted a buffet for the U17’s to run them through the plans for their introduction to the senior section. We have worked closely with Shaun Neaves, Sean Charlton, Dan Taylor and Mike Lawrenson to agree a structured plan that will pitch the boys as our Academy Team supported with a front row and experienced players as our new 4th team. Thanks for everybody's involvement and good club....senior squad summer training starts soon!!

 

 With Mothers Day at the front of everybody's mind the U6,8, U13's & U14's took a Sunday off, the U16's trained for their final and the U17's seemed to have hung up their boots early!

 

That left an early start for the others at the Medway festival for the U11’s at Medway and U10’s at Blackheath

 

The U11's travelled to Medway for the Kent qualifiers and faced a difficult pool with Medway, Folkestone, Whitstable and Old Colfeians.

 

First up a credible draw against Folkestone which showed the increased improvement in defensive line speed as we shut them down very quickly. Then a great draw against a very strong Medway which is the best result we've ever had against them. Then along came Whitstable with arguably the biggest pack in Kent (at our level). Not only did we match them in the scrum our defence was massive giving them no space and again a draw which left the whole team on a massive high. Last game against Old Colfs the forwards secured the ball through numerous phases releasing the backs who took the game to a brave but out-gunned OC's and we won 3-0!!

 

Some of our best play to date leaving us in equal second place, our best result yet. Coaches and parents justifiably proud of a great performance.

 

U10's

Have been kindly provided with nice new training tops by Beadles Skoda via Steve Philpott, Under 10 coach and father. Picture attached. (This should have made the round last week but Eva was out of the country and John Smith took his foot off the pedal - big mistake!!)

 

 

U9 Kent Prelims at Cranbrook.

 

A very well organised festival at Cranbrook today, together with great weather produced some good rugby and an enjoyable day for all.

The U9s A had a tough pool, but played very well and with great commitment, especially in defence, and also scored some cracking tries. 

We beat Whitstable A 2:0, drew 4:4 with Blackheath B, drew 2:2 with Aylesford A, before beating Beccahamians A 6:0.

This gave us Runners up position in our pool with a QF against Blackheath A.

A very close match which we should have Won, but they snatched it with the last play of the game winning 2:1.

The players were very disappointed not to make the finals again, but were told by coaches and parents that they should be proud of the way they played, and how hard they tried.

 

Our B team also played well in the development competition, winning one, drawing one, losing one.

We look forward to the Aylesford Festival in two weeks.

 

Russell   

 

 

U7’s

 

The U7s took 2 teams to a hot and sunny Dover for the Kent County TAG festival. Both myself and the other coaches are really pleased and encouraged with the progress the children are showing. We saw some great attacking play leading to some really good tries as well as some excellent support play and the defence improved as the day progressed. Our fortunes were mixed but All in all it was a great day of rugby but most importantly all the kids had fun. (photo attached)

 

 



Weekly Round up for 22nd & 23rd March 2014
posted: March 24 2014

 

Senior Results for  22nd  & 23rd March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoaks

H

 Won 18-14

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham II

A

Forfeit

Invicta League

3rd

Sevenoaks II

A

Forfeit

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Sheppey III

H

Drew 21-21

Friendly

Vets

Lordswood II

A

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a feeling that it was going to be “one of those days”.

 

It started when I tuned in to the 12:45 kick-off on the radio and overheard the gory details of the debacle that was occurring at Stamford Bridge.

 

The same feeling then persisted throughout the first 80 minutes of the First Team game vs Sevenoaks but, 7 or 8 minutes later, when Neil Graves broke through a desperate Sevenoaks defence and outpaced them for the 15 metres to the try-line to pull off a last minute injury- time win, the feeling was proved well and truly wrong.

 

It was a compelling game to watch. Having watched the corresponding away fixture, which Sevenoaks won, there was the same feeling that Maidstone had the greater fire-power but could not turn that power into points, whereas Sevenoaks accepted every chance that came their way (aside from the 2 or 3 longish kicks at goal in this match, that could have put them out of sight). Fortunately, two home scores in injury time rescued this match and kept Maidstone’s promotion challenge firmly on track.

 

Ben Brill really caught the eye for his dynamic display for Maidstone, repeatedly breaking through the opposition forwards with ball in hand and he deservedly took the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award, presented by his Dad Brendan, who is over from New Zealand to visit sons Ben and Sam.

 

Sad to report that we were forced to forfeit the 3rd team game vs Sevenoaks 2nds, which we called off on Wednesday following selection when it became apparent  that  most of the available 3rd team players were needed to fill gaps in the Mustangs.  Sadder still to report that by Friday, there were only 11 or 12 players still available to travel to Beckenham for the Mustangs fixture, and so that game was forfeited as well.   On top of that, our Vets were due to play Lordswood II but Lordswood were otherwise engaged, so we found a replacement match vs Vigo III.  This game was called off by Vigo late on Friday night, and so three of our teams did not get to play.

 

Not so our B team, who not only played but pulled off a creditable draw vs Sheppey III after trailing 7-21 midway through the second-half.  Mike Gillies opened the scoring for Maidstone in reply to Sheppey’s first try but it took late tries from James Greengrow and Will Fox to overhaul Sheppey’s lead.  One gets used to seeing big guys in a rugby clubhouse, but Sheppey had not just one but two “giants” in their side who hopefully proved to be of the quite gentle variety, although full credit must go to 10 stone winger Luke Cox for his fearless tackle that felled one of these behemoths in full stride.   On another note, full marks to Sheppey for their new club shirts incorporating a Rams head and horns.  They look terrific.

 

There doesn’t seem to be a Youth Section Round-up this week (Might have something to do with Tuggy’s day out at Wembley with Eugene and Mayhem on Saturday, which may have required an extended recovery period.) However, please see the following message from Allan Crosbie of the U14s

 

Hi Everyone - the U14s will be playing on the Aylesford 1st team pitch under floodlights this coming Friday, 2 matches - an 'A' fixture closely followed by a 'Development' fixture, slightly more than an hour of quality rugby. Fair to say this is a pretty big deal for the boys, whom many of our 1st XV have coached this season - they get a real boost from seeing you all on the sidelines when we have a home fixture, and it would be awesome if we could fill the touchline on Friday with support from across the Club... Especially as I'm sure Aylesford will be doing similar. So, if you're free please try to get down, bring your mates, get grandad out his chair, use it as a warm-up if you're going into town later, bring your squads if you're an age group coach - we're really looking forward to seeing you there to watch the Maidstone Lions roar :-D

 

RE

STOP PRESS:  IGNORE THE ABOVE.  YOUTH SECTION REPORT BELOW

Senior Fixtures for  29th and 30th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

H

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Hastings & Bexhill

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Footscray Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUTH SECTION ROUND_UP

U6,7,8’s – The tag section were all training on the mini pitches and when you consider the ages the application and effort that I saw was very impressive. Lots of coaches working hard to make enjoyable sessions and lots of players with smiles on their faces – a perfect Sunday morning. Well done to all those involve and parents who are taking their first steps at getting on the pitch – thanks.
 
U11’s – Had a good  2 – 1 at Aylesford – well done.
 
U13’s  - The coaches decided on going up to the park so that they could use a full pitch and keep off the somme which is a little rutted in places and rapidly heading towards dry and dusty!
 
U14’s
 
For the first 20 minutes Maidstone were clearly the stronger team. As they cut out basic unforced errors and brought structure to their performance so the tries came, scoring 35 unanswered points. Improved positioning for the props at the scrum (I am told!) enabled a number of turnovers and the backs looked slick and confident running at pace. Jacob Arbury cut some great lines and has learnt how to pass at the right time again, together with two well taken tries by winger Ryan Ellesmere took the man of the match awards.
 
Unfortunately the game was stopped at the end of the first half due to an injury to a Gravesend player and hopefully his trip to A&E turns out to be precautionary. We wish him well for a quick recovery.
 
U16’s
 
On the bottom pitch the U16’s came second to a very strong Cranbrook Side. Steve Skip reports that they were a very well drilled side, who were fast and had technical quality from 1 to 15. However, you stuck at it well and continued to compete for the whole game, which good to see.
 
Lots to look forward to and happening off the pitch -
 
FRIDAY 28th 7.15pm – U14’s Floodlit game at Aylesford.
 
The U14’s are playing Friday evening in their first floodlit game in what should be a very close and competitive game.
 
Aylesford want to play two 30 minute games to give everybody a run, but whatever their format and tactics the boys are really looking forward to a great game.
 
I know many of you have circulated details to your teams and Ben Williams has invited the senior players so it should be a great evening. Your support would be very much welcome to cheer the boys on.
 
Saturday 29th
 
The 1st XV have another home game and were very grateful of the Youth Section support, they certainly made it a thriller although a big points win will equally be enthusiastically cheered this week. Come along and support if you can.
 
Eva, Mike Laurenson and I will be holding a buffet for the U17’s players, coaches and parents to run through the plans we have agreed with the Senior club for their integration into the senior club next season, followed by watching the game. Next season looks very bright for a very talented squad.
 
First Aid
 
Every age group now has their own First Aid record keeping book and has been issued with the new Youth Section guidelines.
 
Dave ‘The Ice’ Grice put his newly acquired qualifications to good effect whilst out on his bike when he came across a mountain biker that had crashed in the wilds of rural Kent. Giving first aid and guiding the emergency services in by calling 112 rather than 999 so that could location him by GPS. Top skills Dave.


Weekly Round-up for 15th & 16th March 2014
posted: March 17 2014

 

Senior Results for  15th & 16th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield and Waldron

A

Won 7-78

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

Lost 41-10

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judd IV

A

Forfeit

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Weavering

H

Lost 14-39

Friendly

Vets

Gravesend Moles

H

Lost 7-10

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a lovely day for Rugby on Saturday and, for the enthusiast it was a veritable feast at the Mote, culminating in a pulsating end to the 6 Nations competition with a nail-biting win for Ireland that all but the most die-hard England fans will have enjoyed as a wonderful send-off to the  rugby legend BO’D.

 

The First Team were away at bottom club Heathfield and restored their promotion campaign to good health with another emphatic win over the brave but embattled Sussex side, consigning Heathfield to relegation in the process. It was very pleasing to see that Matt Vickers had been selected for the First Team on the back of some very strong recent performances for the Mustangs and went on to take the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award.  Matt is a great example of a home-grown player who, like his late brother Andy, came through the youth section as part of a County Championship winning team and then turned out for any of the senior teams that had a space for him, proving his versatility in the back-row or three-quarters before he was old enough to play senior rugby in his then normal position of hooker.   He and the club are now benefiting from that versatility.

 

With call-ups to the First Team depleting their ranks, the Mustangs had the unenviable task of taking on Medway’s 2nd team (despite having beaten them at home in the first half of the season) and on this occasion they proved to be second best, lacking the pace needed to deal with Medway’s expansive style of play.  On the plus side, Maidstone did at least turn up for the fixture, unlike Medway’s previous 3 opponents who had all failed to honour the fixture, two of them crying off on a saturday morning. See Medway's excellent match report here

 

Regrettably, we found ourselves with insufficient players to have any hope of fielding a viable 3rd team this week and were forced to forfeit the league fixture vs Tonbridge Judds, although we gave them three days notice to enable them to find new opposition in time for Saturday.

 

The Barbarians were at home on the First Team pitch for the local derby vs Weavering and pulled out all of the stops to find themselves ahead by 14 points to 10 at half-time.  Unfortunately, they were not able to defy gravity for the whole 80 minutes and shipped four or five second-half tries against a club side that is playing at least one or two divisions below where they should be for meaningful competition.

 

The Vets meanwhile, were on the lower pitch (although not actually subterranean as would befit the Gravesend Moles) for one of the classic fixtures in their annual calendar.  The Moles are one of the great social sides in Kent Rugby, comprised largely from the coaches and parents of the Gravesend RFC youth section, playing only friendly fixtures and touring each year with style and panache.    Its usually a good contest although not necessarily very friendly on the field of play and this was no exception – albeit rather scrappy for the multitude of spectators who turned out to watch.  Maidstone looked comfortably in control in the first-half but spurned too many scoring opportunities that could have established an unassailable lead, turning around with just an Ian Howson (converted)  try to show for all their possession and territory. This proved to be fatal when a late Moles revival produced an unconverted try with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, followed by a last minute try that stole the win for the visitors.  Once again however, for the 11th time this season, the Vets had played in a match where the result was in doubt until the final whistle, which is a pretty good advert for social rugby fixtures. 

 

Youth Section round-up follows the senior Fixtures for next week.

 

RE

 

Senior Fixtures for  22nd & 23rd March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoaks

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Sevenoaks II

A

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Sheppey III

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Lordswood II

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUTH SECTION ROUND_UP

 

After a thrilling end to great 6 Nations competition I am sure the boys were inspired on a bright sunny Sunday morning to train or play that bit harder. I had the opportunity to go to the Beckenham festival where I was very impressed with U10’s defence, where the term bodies on the line would be very adapt. A certain fly half seems to have inherited the side step and eye of gap of his father – well done Matthew Howson.

 

The U11’s played some exciting rugby, their defence was equally fearless and they are really progressing as a squad.

 

Irrelevant of which team it impacts (although Maidstone for a second time!) the decision of a semi final or final coming down to the toss of a coin just seems incredibly unfair on the boys who have trained and then played so hard all morning. They may be the rules but it doesn’t make them right!

As the coin fell and Maidstone lost, the Westcombe Park team were understandably very excited. But their coaches were very quick to halt the celebrations and they exchanged handshakes. A great example of just how special our game is.

 

U10’s TBA

 

U11’s

 

What a great morning with a disappointing end. In a great advert for what this squad has been aiming for the players took to the field without the customary slow start against a back to strength Old Colfians. In a very evenly contested game a scoreless draw was a fair result as both sides gave it their all. After a decisive win against OC's Beckenham faced a more confident Maidstone. At 0-0 in the last few minutes a penalty gave Beckenham a try. Maidstone deserved more which was justified when the Beck's coach came over to say we were the better team. In the second place semi final we played Westcombe park with a sizeable crowd on the touch line. With no score at full time the dreaded "golden try" rule was used. After 2 more halves of massive defence and no tries it was a coin toss to decide and sadly we lost. Credit to WP but a HUGE pat on the back for us with 3 games and only one try conceded. 

A fantastic morning and hopefully a sign of things to come, well done!

Kent qualifiers in 2 weeks! – Dave Smith

 

U14’s

 

The U14’s trained at the Mote and enjoyed the combined efforts of two guests coaches. Steve Matthews worked with the forwards on line out skills and then got his whistle out to provide an insight from the referees view point (no doubt commenting in some of his previous advice!!).

It was also great to see Dan Taylor our new Youth Coordinator helping Allan Crosbie and the backs.

 

Parent, Roger Berry who organised the biggest and best raffle I have ever seen at the recent Race Night has had an article published Find Rugby Now, thank you and well done Roger -

http://findrugbynow.com/2014/03/maidstone-rugby-u14s-fundraising-idea/

 

 

U16’s

 

Unfortunately Sam Skipp dislocated his shoulder in the second half of the U16’s match against NAG. The score was 14 - 19 to Maidstone when the game was abandoned. due to Sam's injury.

Everybody from the team and the club wish him well for a quick recovery.

 

U17’s

 

The U17s along with a number of Dads and one or two brothers visited Belgium on Saturday for a day tour to Belgium and their final trip together as a group. After leaving the club at 6.15am they arrived in Charleroi at midday in time for a 1pm kick off. The boys put in a storming performance as they scored 5 tries to one in a 29-5 victory. The hosts, Charleroi Black Star, however gained some measure of revenge in the post match boat races!

After being fed and watered by their hospitable hosts, the group made their way 45 mins north to Brussels where Charleroi had arranged for complimentary tickets for the Belgium v Russia RWC qualifier played at a ground adjacent to the Heysel Stadium. Following this (and catching the final moments of Ireland's successful clinching of the 6 Nations being shown on the big screen) some free food and drink was laid on before leaving to catch the 11.35pm train home (complete with court & presentations).

As to the name of the tour - that can be left to your imagination - with the culprits being mainly from the older generation. But it is fair to say the bus will need a good airing! Thanks to the hosts and to those who organised for a very successful and enjoyable day.  - Matt Ellesmere

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 



Weekly Round up for 8th & 9th March
posted: March 11 2014

 

 

Senior results for  8th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Deal & Betts

A

Lost 16-11

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Gravesendians Development side

H

Won 41-0

Invicta League

3rd

Gravesend III

A

Void (Gravesend withdrawn from League)

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Uckfield Presidents XV

A

Lost 71-7

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only is the Round-up late this week: Its also very short.  (Your correspondent was lucky enough to be skiing in Les Gets with a number of the Maidstone Veterans and was therefore somewhat out of the loop)

 

On landing at Gatwick on Saturday night, the first thing that I looked at was the RFU Results site, to see that the First Team had suffered an unexpected defeat away at Deal & Betteshanger, serving as a reminder that there are some very good teams in this division and very few foregone conclusions. Having become used to seeing our Firsts sweeping all before them in recent seasons, its something of a reality check each time that they suffer a defeat but no-one doubts that promotion is still firmly within their own grasp this season.

 

The Mustangs + a few of the third team, took on a young but spirited Old Gravesendians Development side at home and whilst recording a 41 point win, felt that the scoreline did not reflect the competitiveness of the play. At least it was a home game at the club, where there would have been otherwise no fixture.

 

The Thirds were due to play Gravesend III in the League but just this week, Gravesend’s 3rds were expelled from the League for exceeding the max number of forfeits.  There was then talk of playing a friendly instead but owing to the fact that we needed a home game and G3 had failed to travel to Maidstone for the previous two League games, it seemed fair to ask them to come to Maidstone – but no agreement could be reached,

 

The B Team were due to travel to Llanishen on Saturday, for their annual tour expedition but for various reasons the tour became unviable. Instead, VP and Barbarian elder statesman Trevor Bradley arranged a sunday trip to their old friends Uckfield RFC, to play an Uckfield President’s XV as a precursor to the England Wales match. The score proved to be somewhat one-sided in favour of the home side but I don’t suppose that anyone was too fussed as there was a 6 Nations cracker and plenty of Harvey’s available afterwards to sweeten the pill.

 

With so many of the Vets away ski-ing, there was no Vets game this week but I’m pleased to say that there was at least the normal quota of alcohol consumed and plenty of rugby songs sung, albeit in the French alps at Keith Newman’s beautiful Chalet Aurora, which is a great place from which to ski the Port Du Soleil or to spend a summer holiday for anyone that might be interested in booking. 

Preparations for the Veterans German tour in April are well underway. We applied to the Deutsche Rugby Verband last week for permission to tour (a pre-requisite before applying to the English RFU for permission) and the officially stamped permission arrived back in little more than 20 minutes, contrasted with the four weeks notice required by the English RFU.

 

On Sunday morning, it was a beautiful morning at the Mote and the Junior section was out in force and two exciting games kicked off at 11am. Unfortunately, I only had time to watch 5 minutes of each game but was treated to Oscar Newman’s first try for the U16s in their semi-final vs Blackheath before having to reluctantly drag myself away from what proved to be a thriller.  

 

For more detail, the Youth section report follows next week’s fixtures below.

Dont forget that its a 6 nations week at the club again next weekend and the England game kicks off at 12:30, so there should be time for the two home teams to watch the game in the clubhouse before going out to play their fixtures at 3pm

RE

 

Senior Fixtures for  15th & 16th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield and Waldron

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judd IV

A

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Weavering

H

 

Friendly

Vets

Gravesend Moles

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth Section Round-up

 

Thanks to everybody that attended the First Aid course and to Jasmin Bryan for organising.

 

The U14’s had a great performance against a strong Cranbrook side and the result of the weekend goes to the U16’s with a brilliant cup semi final win – well done.

 

Youth First Aid Course

 

As part of our on going work to improve the welfare and safety standards across of section on Saturday 17 coaches & parents attended a 7 hour First Aid course. Try and pick the coaches out from the dummies!

 

The course is RFU endorsed and the content includes: aims of first aid, role of first aider, anaphylaxis, asthma, bleeding, fractures and dislocations, collisions, head injuries, choking, cardio pulmonary resuscitation – adult, child and baby, defibrillation, eye injuries, first aid kits, fitting, heart attacks, recovery position, shock, spinal injuries, unconscious casualties, burns, climate injuries and soft tissue injuries.

 

U14’s v Cranbrook 22- 24

Partners in The Revolution after deciding to exit the Kent Festival this year, Cranbrook and Maidstone U14s met at the Mote on the 1st XV pitch for the completion of their abandoned fixture earlier in the season.

Both sides entered the fray with energy and passion on the hottest day of the year so far, putting their bodies on the line in a game that found Maidstone 2 tries down in the first 10 minutes. 2 minutes later the Stones were gaining ground, never giving up and defending hard having banged over a stunning try from the hallway line. At half time both sides made their subs and battle recommenced.

Despite frantic pace, crunching tackles and nail-biting changes of possession, both sides fought tooth and nail to the end – if anything the last 10 minutes were the most contested of the whole match. A great performance by both sides, played in the spirit of the game in perfect conditions, Maidstone lost out to Cranbrook by only 2 points – final score 22-24.

Men of the Match went to Alfie Hayward and Ollie Jenkins, with a special commendation by the lead Cranbrook coach for Alex Crosbie. Other players of note included Anup Ale, Ben Tugwell, Jacob Arbury and Jacob Hammond. Well done boys – a fantastic game of rugby ! – Allan Crosbie

 

U16’s v Blackheath - Kent Bowl Semi Final 36 - 17

An opening spell of continuous Maidstone pressure was rewarded with a break from a scrum and a try for Oscar Newman which was converted.  Blackheath responded with what proved to be their best spell of the match with a period of intense pressure on Maidstone's defence eventually leading to an equalising try.  However from that point on Maidstone exerted increasing pressure on the visitors despite a constant threat from their backs.  All round improved performances both from the starting XV and from the bench enabled Maidstone to score another five tries with only two in response giving a winning margin of 36 -17 - not quite the 'nailbitter' of the quarter final but another great game of rugby.

There was no 'man of the match award' today. How can we pick one player when EVERYONE gave 110% for the team?. Above all, it was a true TEAM performance - runs were always well supported, the communication is improving and the organisation in defence was excellent. Although, you were on top in the second half, I think it was those 10 minutes inside your own 22 defending for your lives and not surrendering a point that best defined the grit and belief of this team. – Steve Skip

The final is the 27th April....details will be on the website.

There would be few reasons good enough to miss those games but England’s triple crown winning performance against Wales maybe was the exception!

Cheers

Tuggy

 



Weekly Round-up for 1st and 2nd March 2014
posted: March 03 2014

 

 

Results for 1st March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Tunbridge Wells

A

Lost 34-37

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

A

Won 10-43

Invicta League

3rd

T Wells III 

 Gravesendians II

A

A

Postponed

Lost 67-17

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Sevenoaks IV

H

Won 31-7

Friendly

Vets

No fixture

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures for  8th March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Deal & Betts

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

TBA

 

 

Invicta League

3rd

Gravesend III

A

 

Premier East

Friendly

Barbarians XV

Cardiff Tour

 

 

Friendly

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forget the 1st Team thriller at Tunbridge Wells

Forget the Mustangs rampant display at Thanet

Forget the Junior section’s achievements on Sunday.

 

The big news of the week is that the B team have finally gained their first win of the season.  Its been a long time coming and considering the good rugby they have been playing, its a surprise that it has taken this long but full marks to Ian and the boys for hanging on in there week after week with undiminished enthusiasm,despite repeated losses.  Stand out player for the Barbarians was former Sevenoaks man Simon Seal.  Its always nice to put one over your former team-mates (I expect). (Dont think I have managed it myself).  And here’s what the opposition skipper generously wrote: SRFC Match report

 

Back to the First Team and there were lots of positives (not to mention two bonus points) to take from a topsy turvy match on a steeply sloping pitch, that must have had both sets of supporters running the gamut of emotions until the final whistle – not to mention the players.  Lets not forget that Wells have strengthened considerably since the first half of the season and we were warned by the Medway Head Coach that they were the best team Medway had seen this year, so to put Wells on the rack in the 2nd half was no mean feat.

 

The Mustangs were rewarded for their long trip to Thanet with a convincing win, including two tries for “Pickle" Bunyan at his abrasive best.

 

The Threes were not so fortunate at Old Gravesendians, where they played a friendly vs OG II (rather than their scheduled League Game vs T Wells III which fell victim to a water-logged pitch).  Playing up the considerable slope, Maidstone’s heavy pack scored two early tries but an injury to the OGs prop nullified Maidstone’s strongest suit and the OGs nimble backs were able to run riot with the possession that came their way from the uncontested scrums. Timo Stock got two of Maidstone’s tries and Mayhem got the other (I think).

 

QUIZ NIGHT

 

Grounds chairman Martin Maytum flagged up a few weeks ago that we needed a new pitch marker, costing around £500.  He then organized a quiz night in order to pay for it and over 100 people turned out to support the event with many participants from amongst the youth section parents.  I can reveal that the Shropshire Schnitzel team (comprising visiting girls from Oswestry and Austria would you believe) came last, whilst retaining their cup were the “Quiz in your Face” team (of 1st Team players + Neavesy) who had no need of any external assistance (perish the thought) given that they had Oxford Economics Graduate Jack Davidson in their line-up, who is a walking, talking search engine by all accounts.

I don’t know if the youth-section parents are allowed out very often but they certainly made the most of their night out, many not leaving the bar until after 2am and many of them going on to Lashings with the bar-staff. Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening and a good “one club” event, to the benefit of everyone.   Big thanks to Mayhem and his band of helpers.

                             MAYHEM SHOWS THE "HAND OF CORRECTION" IN POINTING MODE

tttt

OUR POPULAR WINNERS. WHO LET THEM SIT TOGETHER?  THE INTELLECTUAL IS WEARING SPECS

 

Somehow, despite their exertions and excesses of the night before, Sunday was a big day for the Junior Section, so over to Tuggy our Co-Youth Chair, (pictured below) for the Junior Round-up.

 

RCE

----------------------------DONT BE FRIGHTENED KIDS !!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JUNIOR SECTION

 

Sun and Rugby at the Mote what more can you ask for on a Sunday?

Actually a lay in would have been good after the brain draining efforts at a very successful quiz evening. The U14's & U13's finished joint 3rd which was an impressive result, well done and thanks for your support. The event has paid for a new pitch line marker.

U17's
Maidstone faced a strong Bromley team and despite some good individual performances finished by losing their cup quarter final 29 - 15. Maidstone tries were scored by Louis Frost, Ryan Costello & Dan Fisher.


U16's
If you had charged to watch this game then nobody would be asking for a refund, what an absolute cracker. The commitment and teamwork were really in evidence and all the hard work at training finally paid off. Great to see so many parents watching as well numerous people from across the club including Rich Ewence, President Jim Tinsley, Ben Williams, Hadi, Shaun Neaves, Caleb, Jack Hart, Dan Taylor et al.

Steve Skip writes....Well!! A BIG game indeed and MFC U16s turned up and played some really excellent rugby to beat Tunbridge Wells 41:36. Going down two tries early on would have fazed us in times gone by as would a game that was tight for the whole 70 minutes, but we showed huge maturity and togetherness to fight our way through. You were good against Dartfordians and you were better against TW. The semi final is next......

U14's
Maidstone ran out comfortable winners against a developing Whitstable side 48 - 0. Unusually Maidstone got off to a good start and the opposition were a little shell shocked for the first 15 minutes but they slowly got back into the game. Despite the pressure they were strong in the tackle, nearly scoring. It was good to see Maidstone give a structured and disciplined performance creating gaps, playing as a team and avoiding individual heroics. Man of the match awards went to -
Ben Maxwell - his second ever rugby match, great handling, tackling and carrying as well as being a line out natural... Because he actually jumps :-)
Luke Stroud - great work round the fringes (he also needs a hair cut!) today, winning lots of turnover ball and being all over the pitch.

U11's
Away at the Colfeians Festival saw the U11's lose heavily against a well drilled Old Eltamians squad after starting slowly but the second half was much more even. We then came up against the hosts and really bought it together winning 3-0. A close fought game against Sidcup ended up 2-1 down after a fabulous try from a restart the only difference.
In a 3 way final everyone gave their all, unfortunately their efforts didn't get the results they deserved. We held a strong Sevenoaks squad to 2-0 and were narrowly beaten by the plate winners Bromley 2-1.
Parents and coaches alike were really proud of the commitment all players showed and being only the second fixture in 2 months we're really chuffed with their progress. Beccs Festival in 2 weeks, bring it on.......

U9's
The U9s played in the Beccehamians Festival on Sunday 2nd. We took a squad of 10 players, and had a very successful day, despite the cold, with all players giving very committed performances.
We won our 3 pool games convincingly, beating Old Colfs 2-0, Dartfordians 6-0, and Whitgiftians 6-2, our defence being outstanding in all games, often turning possession over by getting to 7 tackles. We also took our chances very well with good strong running.
This gave us a semi final against Cranbrook and saw us 3-0 up at half time. Cranbrook took advantage of us going off the boil in the second half, and levelled to 3-3 by full time.
Extra time didn't result in any tries, so the game was decided by the toss of a coin, which unfortunately we lost!
Both coaches and parents were very proud of the whole squad who all played strongly with great commitment. Of particular note were hat-tricks from Edward Evans and Joshua McGill, who also both put a lot of tackles in, and some awesome tackling by our enforcer Oliver Parker-Bruce.
We look forward to the next festival, and will be taking a double headed coin!

U7s

First festival of the New Year and U7s took 2 teams to a windy and chilly Beckenham. Fortunes were mixed but encouragingly some really good rugby was played but most importantly all the kids had fun. (Apart from the little chap in the red hat maybe ? Editors note)

Cheers


Tuggy

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 22nd & 23rd Feb 2014
posted: February 24 2014

 

 

Fixtures for 22nd Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

H

Won 27-10

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sevenoaks II

A

Won 26-41

IFriendly

3rd

Canterbury III

H

Postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

Lost 25-36

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Sevenoaks 0ver 45

H

Lost 0-28

Friendly

 

Fixtures for 1st March 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Tunbridge Wells

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

T Wells III

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Anchorians III

H

 

Friendly

Vets

 

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurrah

 

Rugby was played.

 

In fact, Saturday was not far short of perfect (with one or two lapses)

 

1pm KO for a Maidstone Over-45s team vs Sevenoaks Over-45

2:30 KO to watch 1st Team beat Crowborough

4pm KO for pulsating England vs Ireland match

7pm sat down for Veterans “Christmas” curry

9:30pm Main course finally arrives !!

 

How fantastic though, to get back into playing on our own pitches, with Spring distinctly in the air.

 

Congratulations to Caleb for taking the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award and to the First Team for securing a bonus-point win to open up some daylight between themselves and 3rd placed Medway, with 2 games in hand.

 

The Mustangs had hoped to play their postponed League fixture vs Gravesend II but Gravesend were unable to raise a team so it was fortunate to pick up an ideal friendly vs Sevenoaks II.  A mixture of regular 2nd and 3rd team players made the trip to Sevenoaks and collected a good win in a potentially difficult game, albeit showing a certain amount of  ring-rustiness following the enforced wet weather lay-off.

 

The Third Team were due to play Canterbury 3rds at home in a League fixture that has now been postponed 4 times!!  Canterbury called mid-week to say that they couldn’t raise a side, which was actually not the disaster it might have otherwise have been as it relieved pitch-congestion and eased our availability issues, as it would have been a real challenge to get both the Mustangs and 3rd teams out this week.

 

Not so the B team, which had healthy numbers for the long-postponed fixture vs Canterbury V, albeit that there were a number of enforced positional changes owing to gaps in the ranks. I watched the last ten minutes of the match and was there to see Mike Gillies score his third try in what had been one of the best performances of the season for the Maidstone Barbarians. Captain Ian Ausher, leading from the front as usual,  was delighted with his players, especially given the mauling they had received earlier in the season at the hands of Canterbury. There seems to be some dispute over the score but I have the referee’s match card in my possession which indicates 13-29 at half-time and 25-36 at full time, which is a shame inasmuch as that had the deficit been restricted to 10 points, a much deserved bonus point would have resulted.

 

The geriatrics game vs Sevenoaks was an unusually disjointed affair, with lots of stops for rests and recuperation (or so it seemed) until sadly, shortly before half-time and with the score standing at 0-7 in favour of Sevenoaks, their loose-head prop suffered a broken ankle that brought proceedings to a stop for 40 minutes as the ambulance arrived and removed the unlucky individual.  Play resumed with the scrums uncontested (which ironically, was the only thing that Maidstone had been any good at up till then) and the sharper Sevenoaks backs got away for a further three tries, which was at least one more than Maidstone should have conceded without reply if any pride was to be salvaged, (especially as one of the tries was scored by Sevenoak’s rotund but resolute fly-half Steve England, who was already old and slow when I was a young (and slow) player for Sevenoaks in the 1980’s).

 

Anyway, enough of all this talk of “has-beens” and “never-weres”.  What about the young people of Maidstone, I hear you ask?

 

And, as if to order, here is Tuggy’s Youth Section round up:

 

YOUTH SECTION REPORT

 

With the Mini’s all training it was finally game time for the Youth Section

U10s

Training went really well this week. We split the group in to a forwards and back session. 

The forwards, needing some focused line out practice and then some scrummaging technique, with particular attention to binding, were with Mark and John. They listened intently and then applied what we showed to some really good standards as we put them through their paces. 

Backs were split to work through using the space and attacking at pace with Steve and Ian. A good session with hard tackling drills set up by Tim. The group then combined and played contact, non lumpy forward interrupted game play. There really are some excellent ball players and runners in this squad. 

The final 50 minutes of the session was a full game. 9 a side, no subs and plenty of effort. 

We are producing some very good players now, some of the oldies stepping up a level and some newer kids really pushing them hard. Handling is getting better. Spatial awareness is developing. The rucking and counter rucking is really showing that practice in drills can be applied on the pitch. One thing we have not lacked for is commitment in the tackle and today was no exception. 

It seems unfair to single out players today, BUT I will mention a fantastic try saving cover tackle from Izzy Moore when a score seemed certain. Heroic!! Text book!!

We have a selection headache for Sunday at Old Colfs. But I like that kind of headache :-)

John Smith, Under 10 lead coach 

 

U13’s – U13s defended well against a very strong Old-Elthamians side, who scored more than Maidstone (!) but the 3 home tries were warmly enjoyed and celebrated. But as is the Maidstone way, the whole squad got a decent run out.  Man of the Match: Owen Hughes; Player of the week for tackling himself to a standstill: Luke Reeves

 

U14’s – Prior to the game Maidstone had agreed with Old Elthamians to field a mixed team throughout the game so that they could save some players for a very strong Sidcup side that their big squad faced after us. Maidstone started slowly and were 2 tries down in 10 minutes but eventually started to find their feet and with renewed confidence the backs ran some impressive lines resulting in tries by Alex, Jacob and Alfie. Having pulled the game back to 19 – 17 in the second half it was briefly starting to be a very interesting challenge, so it was disappointing (being polite!) that OE’s then brought on 5 players from the depths of their squad (who later ran out against Sidcup) and finished winners 31 – 17. Ben in the forwards played his first game for the team with a great 20 minutes....something’s are more important than a win!

Man of the match awards went to Ollie for great game management and tackling at 10 and Gareth for his great tackling and running at full back.

 

U16’s drew 21:21 with Dartfordians in the late kick-off. We were able to field a team of 21 and everyone made a positive contribution including Tom R. back from a knee operation and new boy Will R. We struggled to catch the restarts and gave a couple of penalties away by being offside at the ruck, all of which proved expensive. However, on the positive side, our scrum and line-out were both immense and the backs and back row combined well repeatedly throughout the game. All bodes very well for our Kent Cup fixture next week.

 

U17’s V’s Thanet in Kent Cup

Clearly both teams were pent up after waiting weeks to play this cup fixture.

The 1st half was thrillingly competitive, physically intensive and very well matched, with the visitors just nosing ahead before half time with a long range penalty kick, after Maidstone had failed to close out a number of try line attempts.

Maidstone started a little slower in 2nd half and a number of errors let Thanet through to score a couple of quick tries.

Maidstone keep their heads up and rallied with a couple of well worked tries themselves.

However in the last quarter of the game Maidstone’s lack of fitness and thus intensity showed, eventually loosing 39 – 12.

 

Social -

The U14’s held a very successfully tour fundraising Race Night event at New Line Learning – well done to all involved for a great evening enjoyed by over 100 people.

 

It is Quiz night at the club on Saturday 1st March – the U14 fathers have a formidable team and could be Youth Section Champions unless a challenge is launched – get a team organised and help support this event which is paying for a new pitch marker. Details from Carol or Mayhem.

 

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 



Weekly Round-up for 15th & 16th Feb 2014
posted: February 17 2014

 

Results for 15th Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield

A

Postponed

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath III

H

Postponed

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

H

Postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Hastings & Bexhill III

A

Postponed

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Faversham II

A

Cancelled

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures for 22nd Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II  (TBC)

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Sevenoaks 0ver 45

H

1pm KO

Friendly

 

Once again, the rain prevailed and spoiled the weekends’ sport, (apart from at the Emirates, where the outcome was quite satisfactory).

 

The First Team squad took advantage of the enforced lay-off to get a useful trainings session under their belts, whilst for the youth section, the training and activity carries on unabated:

 

Youth Weekly Round Up

 

There is a good update and pictures on the website from the Ground Chairman 'Mayhem' clearly highlighting the current pitch challenges and I refuse to allow this update to become yet another adhoc weather channel so on with the rugby!!!

 

We made an early start to secure facilities at New Line Learning and Cornwallis Schools so that the training could continue for as many age groups as possible. Thanks again to Dave Smith for juggling all the requirements and rotating everybody around from indoors, hard courts and pitches......not as easy as it sounds!

 

Youth rugby is all about fun, developing your rugby knowledge and abilities.... whilst having fun. So I was delighted to get this report from Craig Rixon......

 

‘After a good training session in the dry and warm at Cornwallis Academy,  the U7 coaches took time out to ackowledge and celebrate the achievements of the team and to present some awards to individuals whom they feel have stood out and shone during Dec and Jan.

 

Trophies were given out for Player of the month, Most improved Player of the month and Team Player of the month. So well done to Frank, Jake, Sion, Noah, Patrick and Daniel and to the rest of the players whom showed great sportsmanship by celebrating their team mates' success.’

Off the pitch (sports hall!!) more evidence of our One Club ethos...and I am pleased to advise that we have agreed with the executive committee to jointly fund a defibrillator, all jokes aside about the Vets being allowed to take it on away fixtures, it is an expensive bit of kit that we actually never want to use but underlines our commitment to providing a safe environment to play rugby at all levels. Thank you to Jasmin Bryan for organising this and the Kent Rugby match funding.

 

Self confessed petrol head and U14’s Director of Rugby Allan Crosbie missed mid week training to be in the audience for Sunday’s Top Gear programme, he hopes to be on TV near the start of the programme ‘behind the orange sports car’! His more glamorous wife, Cheryl, is pictured with James May. I hear from an unnamed source (Miles ‘lofty’ Tempan) that Allan declined a picture with Richard Hammond because he is taller than him! And on that bomb shell.......... hopefully rugby on grass next week.

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 8th & 9th Feb 2014
posted: February 10 2014

Results for 8th Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

H

Postponed

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

Postponed

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

Postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Weavering

H

Postponed

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Old White Bears Calais

Cranbrook Vets

H

Cancelled

3 way Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures for 15th Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath III

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Hastings & Bexhill III

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Faversham II

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby Report for the weekend:  

 

Rain vs Senior Rugby  sat 8st feb       Walk-over

 

Rain vs Junior Rugby  sun 9nd Feb     Youth section fight back in the face of adversity

 

All of Saturday’s senior games were cancelled once again but its pleasing to report that the youth section refused to take the rainy weather lying down.

 

Before handing over to Tuggy for his weekly update, just a quick note to draw your attention to the news story on the home page regarding the marathon-running exploits of Martin Arnold and Ben Court (who between them, must have played well in excess of 500 First Team fixtures for Maidstone).  Ben (our current club Treasurer, for which he deserves a medal regardless of the marathon-running) is entered into the Brighton Marathon and Martin is entered into the London Marathon, both of them supporting very worthwhile charities.  You can easily give them your support at:

 

Ben - www.justgiving.com/Ben-Court

Martin - www.justgiving.com/MartinArnold56

 

RE

 

YOUTH SECTION ROUND UP

 

The threat of another Sunday without rugby was too much to bear and so plans were made with our community partners at New Line Learning and Cornwallis Schools for training indoor, outdoor and even green grassy areas!! We are very grateful for their assistance and provision of excellent facilities.
Planning ahead for next season,  I confirmed this week arrangements with NLL to use their indoor hall for a Wednesday training session from the start of November to the end of February. No muddy, cold Somme.....I am sure parents will approve as much as the boys!!

We are also in discussions with the senior coaching team and Chairman about how we integrate our older age groups mid week training next season with the senior section and there are some exciting plans being considered with great support from all sides. More to come as that develops.

The U14's had great training support from Ben Williams and Sam Bailey. The boys were put through their paces on a progressive session focusing on body positions going into contact , rucking and defence.  The boys really enjoyed it and there was clear improvement to be seen. Cheers guys.

Sam also found time to go over to the hard court with the U13's where they were looking at passing and movement - again a good session.

Up at Cornwallis Dave Smith's U11's hosted Nick 'Pickle' Bunyan and James Sullivan, Dave Smith said......

Many thanks to Nick and James who came assist with training today. Backs and forwards really benefited from their experience and enjoyed running some different drills and finished up in a cracking game.
With Nick and James as team coaches (mascots!) we saw some great open play going through phase after phase with some slick offloads and giving the backs room to stretch their legs and they could all see the merits of the drills run earlier.
Thanks again guys we all look forward to seeing you at training again.

Sam 'Turkish' McPherson is training with the U14's on Wednesday, to focus on passing, making the best use of the hard court at NLL - thanks.

Writing after the Saturday international games I can say with more confidence it was great to see an England win and a Welsh loss......I wont predict an Italian win but you can only hope!

We had a very good youth committee meeting in the week, a huge agenda showing how much is going on behind the scenes. But it is very pleasing to report that we will be soon rolling out accredited first aid training involving at least 2 people from every section which was one of our key early objectives.  Huge thanks go to Jasmin Bryan who has lead this and is already setting her sights on Coaching Courses!!

Who knows what next week will bring but as long as it involves rugby then that is the main thing!

Cheers

Tuggy



Weekly Round-up for 1st Feb 2014
posted: February 03 2014

 

Results for 1st Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

Postponed

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

H

Postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

Postponed

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Folkestone Fossils

H

Cancelled

Friendly

 

       

 

Fixtures for 8th Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Weavering

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Old White Bears (Calais)

Cranbrook Vets

H

 

3 way Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby Report for the weekend:  

 

Rain vs Senior Rugby  sat 1st feb       Walk-over

 

Rain vs Junior Rugby  sun 2nd Feb     Walk-over

 

However, that didn’t stop lots of enthusiasts turning up to watch Wales wallop the mighty Italians and the sneaky French steal a well deserved win from our brave English boys.

 

As for me, it gave me a whole Sunday evening of relaxation instead of slaving over a hot key-board.  Not so our indefatigable Youth co-chair Tuggy, who had his youth report finished and ready to publish on Friday evening (hence one less-than-prophetic statement included)

 

RE

 

Youth News

 

Well the rain may hold us back on the pitch but off the pitch not even the forces of nature will hold us back as the section develops apace.........

 

On Monday Eva, Jack Hart, Dan Taylor, Richard Ewance, Jim Tinsley and I attended a Kent RFU Club support evening at the Village hotel.

We all split up to cover presentations that were delivered onFunding opportunities for rugby clubs, Retaining players through the transition from youth to senior rugby, Organising RFU Coach and Referee courses for your club, Kent Developing Player Programme.

The presentations were very useful and provided some good ideas. It also gave Eva and I the chance to meet some key contacts in the Kent set up include our Regional Development Officer and set the wheels in motion for them to provide us support and potential funding.

Richard, Jim and I retired to the bar for a very interesting conversation with the Medway Head Coach Taff Gwilliam. He was very open and honest about their club’s 5 year plan and the way they are developing an increasingly successful club. Some good ideas and a relationship we will develop further.

 

Wednesday was off to Folkestone Rugby Club  for Jasmin Bryan our new First Aid and Course Coordinator, Mark Bryan, Russell Evans and myself for a presentation by the Saracens Academy Physiotherapist on Concussion – The Coaches Perspective and Role. 

It was an excellent and very interesting presentation that supports the RFU’s Headcase awareness programme and provided useful and practical help and advice.

This is a key part of our ethos of providing safe rugby at Maidstone and the presentation will be rolled out to all coaching teams along with advice cards, whistle lanyards and posters. This is all about awareness, identification and management of concussion rather than creating undue concern or worry for players or parents.

 

The rain unfortunately but not unexpectedly ruined any attempts to play rugby which was a great shame for the U16’s who had a Kent Cup game to play. The lay-in was welcome following an England 6 Nations win but it did provide Eva and me with the chance to meet up with Jon Sargent, Fridge, Lee Evans and Dan Taylor.

 

The discussion centred on how we work with them to develop the integration of Youth and Senior teams covering areas such as training, coaching assistance, training facilities and developing our youth to senior transition model. The One Club culture really does have the support of everybody, clearly evidenced by the training support from the 1st XV players and we will continue to work on developing this in practical ways.

 

Next week is our Youth Committee meeting with a packed agenda, so it is exciting times and loads going on. Hopefully we can get back to dry pitches and some rugby, which is what it is all about!!!

 

As a final observation.......it is amazing just how many e-mails and effort it actually takes to call a weekend of rugby off!!!

From numerous pitch inspections by our man on the ground, Mayhem, to getting refs, organising catering and bar cover, contacting the council for park pitches, schools for alternative pitches, referees, coaches, parents, keeping in touch with opposition.......I am sure there is more.....so thanks to everybody for your hard work which to many will be one e-mail or text saying sorry rugby off!

 

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 



Weekly Round-up for 25th Jan 2014
posted: January 26 2014

 

Results for 25th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Aylesford

H

Won 18-10

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

H

Won 17-10

Invicta League

3rd

Aylesford II

A

Lost 29-13

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Thanet IV

H

Lost 7-29

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Crawley Vets

A

Won 5-6

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures for 1st Feb 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

No Fixture

 

 

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Folkestone Fossils

H

 

Friendly

Evergreen Plate

Anchorians Vets

 

NB, this is NOT happening on 1st. Feb.  Date TBA

Evergreen Cup

 

The worst thing about playing rugby on a Saturday is that one doesn’t get to watch it, as regrettably, the two activities are mutually exclusive. 

 

The home fixture between Maidstone and nearest neighbours Aylesford was a mouth-watering prospect and for the lucky spectators, so it proved to be. With the outcome in some doubt until near the final whistle, I’m not sure that my nerves could have stood it, as the result was always going to be a bitter-pill for one set of supporters but thankfully, the result went Maidstone’s way – as did the result of Medway’s fixture vs Tunbridge Wells.   Certainly, the atmosphere in the club house was still very jubilant by the time we got back from our away game at Crawley although of course, there were also many emotional scenes and tears as people came to terms with the departure of Josh McKenzie for Australia – and that was just Carol and Mollie!!   

 

Not since the days of the convict ships has there been so much fuss about a young man’s departure to the inhospitable land that is known as Oz, although we always knew that his sheep-stealing activities in the Loose Valley conservation area would have an unhappy ending.  It was great for Josh though that following his strong performances in The Mustangs in recent weeks on his way back from a period of injury, that he should have finished his Maidstone season on a high with a Biddenden Vineyards MotM performance in the very satisfying win over Aylesford, against whom he has been playing since the age of 6.

 

The Karaoke in the bar afterwards, started with a typically intense performance from Jim Walker and could really only get better from there. With MC Willie Brown at the controls and Neavesy in fine voice, it was a feast of music for the connoisseur to savour.  Who knew for instance that Mayhem was a Barbie Girl ??  His secret is now well and truly out.  Thank goodness for Tony Murphy being able to hold a tune  – although not necessarily in time with the music.  To give them their due, Alex Hadi and Gareth Ellis nailed “Angels”, including all the high notes whilst Pickle’s Coward of the County lost nothing in the repetition.   Shame I had to drag myself away, despite the strange compulsion that kept me waiting for the next song, although American Pie à la Walker finally finished me off and made home seem somehow more inviting.  Good fun all round though.

 

Back to Rugby matters, the Mustangs followed last week’s win vs Dover II with a very creditable victory over what is now effectively Tonbridge Judd’s 2nd team, TJs having withdrawn their 2nds from the Zoo League during the first half of the season.

Whilst the Invicta League title now looks to be out of sight for our seconds, they are now realistically closing in on a top three finish in what is a very competitive division.

 

This also puts into perspective our 3rd team’s performance playing away at Aylesford,  where 15 Maidstone players took on Aylesford’s 2nd team and gave them a very good game, being 10-8 down at half-time and reduced to 14 men in the 2nd half for a period, they were finally out-run around the wide-open spaces at the back. Following 4 or 5 unavoidable drop-outs from the team originally selected, it was lucky that Mike Laurenson answered the call up on Friday night and played 9 to Callum Smith’s 10 in what was a very effective half-back combination.  Skipper David Ruaux was lucky that the deep scratch he sustained to his Cornea in the 2nd half, proved not to be more serious than it was but highlights, as we know better than most, that accidents can and do happen in what is a very physical, full-contact game. Bearing in mind how sharp finger-nails can be, one could almost make a case for players being required to wear approved gloves as part of their kit. Who knows, it might even improve the ball handling??

 

On to the B Team, who might have been forgiven for not expecting to break their duck for the season against visiting League Leaders Thanet IV and who would have been right in their expectations, as Thanet turned up with a very capable team that showed why they are top of the league.  However, it was no humiliation although perhaps subdued compared with the recent heroics vs Ash and included some very strong performances, most noticeably from the returning Jeremy Hipkiss who made many good breaks through the centre as he eased his way back into action following cartilage surgery.  Mark Ingram got the try for Maidstone following a huge forward driving maul, converted by Simon Seal.

 

The Vets meanwhile made an unaccustomed trip into the next county to play Crawley Veterans, whom they thrashed 6-5, thanks to a penalty in each half from the reliable boot of Keith Coomber who would have been MotM for his excellent controlled performance at full-back except that he was driving and couldn’t drink his pint in the boat-race and was therefore only too happy to pass on the accolade to yours truly, who performed admirably in the boat-race but was then busting for a leak all the way back to Maidstone  - not helped by a 40 minute queue on the M23. Ho hum, the price of vanity !!         

Last time the Vets played Crawley (in what was a 27-27 draw), Crawley cleaned up in the line out thanks to the services of Paul Massey who, in a massive tactical blunder or an act of uncalled for altruism, had been lent to them to make up their numbers.  Paul was unavailable this week as, owing to the slam-dunk tackling style of one of Bexley’s young players last week, Paul sustained a broken collar-bone but I’m pleased to report that he was a tough little soldier.

 

 

Whilst on the subject of old fools who don’t know when to give up, here’s the youth report – from one David Tugwell.

 

Youth Section Weekly Round up

 

It was a busy Sunday as the mini section hosted Hastings and Bexhill. Despite the cold and wet weather the boys enjoyed shared training sessions and games with the focus on skills and keeping warm rather than winning. That said their was plenty of talk of tackles made and tries scored so no lack of a competitive edge to the sessions!

 

David Smith, U11’s -

 

"Despite the rain and the mud, players, coaches and parents ended up with huge smiles as the whole squad really pulled together and produced a great performance. Everybody got stuck in with the forwards winning scrum after scrum, producing good clean ball for the backs to run some great lines, with great recycling allowing wave after wave of attacks producing 7 tries. This backed up by a solid defence that only leaked 2.
Credit to Hastings who, without any subs, kept going til the bitter end and left the field with heads held high after a creditable performance. 
Cheered on by wet but enthusiastic supporters it was wonderful to see the hard winter graft showing results - well done all!"

 

The U13’s and U17’s had away fixtures and hopefully they both had great games.

Thanet Wanderers  29  Vs Maidstone 7

In a windswept encounter Stones’, clearance kicks seem to be guided to opposing hands and we were 19 points down in the first 20 mins.  These lapses aside, the boys’ defence was outstanding and our backs looked threatening once launched.  The boys finished the stronger team and were rewarded with a superb team try with several phases of forward play resulting in a well exploited overlap.  Lots of positives to take away and plenty to work on forTuesday.

Now, racing to drink pints of coke or eat mars bars is not big or clever, but if such a thing did occur then Maidstone would win and the Hughes family car would probably not the place to be on the twisty bumpy roads home from deepest East Kent.

 

MoTM – Owen, Player of The Week -  Danny.

 

The U14’s and U16’s took on strong Thanet squads. In fact I thought their U16’s had mistakenly arrived up in the park with the U14’s but clearly our boys were not phased as they took the game to them. Their coaches were impressed with our desire to play expansive rugby considering the conditions and Maidstone’s man of the match awards went to John Carfrae and Alex Crosbie. Thanet eventually ran out winners in a tough and committed game from both sides.

 

The U16’s had a full side which in itself is a great result. Their coaches were pleased with the work rate and tackling. Thanet’s strength and coordination eventually saw them take control but this side is on the up and with players coming back from injury the signs are all positive. Thanks to Ben Williams who despite a battering game yesterday and a long (!!) evening of karaoke was up to watch the boys.

 

It was great to see many coaches, parents and boys watch the 1st XV yesterday, it was more tense than needed but eventually a win against local rivals. I know the boys were delighted with the support.

 

And lastly we all wish Josh Mckenzie well on his trip to Australia. Josh is a product of the Youth System starting from U7 and finishing yesterday representing the 1st team. A committed club man who should be an inspiration to the boys. He is off to stay with Ivan Walking who came to play at the club and is hosting him on his travels. A great example of how rugby give you chance to make great friends and provide excellent opportunities. Eva and I have given Josh a club tie to take with him and present to the Youth Chairman at the club he is going to play for. We look forward to seeing the pictures and good luck.

 

A busy week ahead with various people across the Youth section going to an evening of presentations by Kent Rugby on Monday and a concussion course on Wednesday. Thanks to everybody for your hard work and commitment which goes way beyond 2 hours on a Sunday!

 

The U14’s are running a Race Night on 22nd February , details will be on the web and are in the club. Please all try and support what is a great afternoon and evening.

 

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 18th Jan 2014
posted: January 20 2014

Results for 18th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

Postponed

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover II

H

Won 27-10

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

H

postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

Postponed

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Bexley II

A

Lost 45-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures for 25th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Aylesford

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Judds III

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Aylesford II

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Thanet IV

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Crawley Vets

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

What a wash-out !!

 

Options closed down as the week progressed and pitches became unplayable. However, as far as the 1st Team were concerned, whilst there was the pitch in Mote Park (which never holds water and which passed our own  inspection on friday) it was still “game-on”, until the email arrived at 17.05 on Friday to say that the council had looked out of the window, noticed it was raining and called off all games in the Borough (although that’s not exactly how they phrased it)

 

This meant that the only pitch left was the untried school’s pitch at New Line Learning, which we had originally booked for the 5th team fixture, despite the rather alarming hole in one corner of it.  Whilst it was not suitable to host a 1st Team game, it was in good enough condition to host the Mustangs (who have 26 League games to play this year) and so it was “game-on” at the school on a pitch that was, other than the bomb-hole, in very good condition.  A couple of padded training suits were laid in the hole to show everyone where it was and it was “game-on”.

 

A surprisingly large crowd, including most of the 1st Team, made their way to the school to support the Mustangs. There were even some die-hard Aylesford supporters who had come to Maidstone in search of their Saturday afternoon rugby-fix, as a prelude to a good session at the Wealden Hall.  A full blooded game ensued, with plenty for the crowd to enjoy and the general consensus was that it had been a very worthwhile change of venue. There is even a match-report and photos, courtesy of Bob Hayton.

A small announcement was made to the assembled players after the game by Ben Williams and Lee Evans, to the effect that after 4 years as DoR at Maidstone, Andy Foley will be taking up the position of DoR at Westcombe Park from the end of this season, (knocking hours off his weekly travelling time in the process as WP is close enough to Andy’s home in Otford to enable him to jog there). As a club we of course wish Andy success in his new appointment and wish to thank him for his tireless efforts to rebuild the playing fortunes of Maidstone in his time at the club.

 

Meanwhile, its business as usual for the players, the skipper and the coaching team, who remain focused on winning promotion to London 1 this season.

 

Away from the borough, the Vets travelled in search of a fixture and had little cause to thank their Fixture Secretary for a 2nd consecutive tough assignment, this time  vs Bexley 2nds, which they lost by quite an unhealthy margin.  It seems that one of the Bexley players specialised in a slam-dunk tackling style that rendered a few of our old chaps “hors de combat” , which didn’t help matters.  Nevertheless, our team had their moments, especially an excellent solo try from new-player Chris Byrne, who has shown all the right credentials since he began playing at the start of the season.

 

OTHER MATTERS

 

There will be no one at Maidstone FC who will not be delighted to hear that Duncan “Chunk”  Mcclintock and his wife Lizzie have been delivered of a son, Harry Daniel, who looks a fine specimen – although not as big as some of the carp with which Duncan is regularly pictured. (One hopes that he put up less of a fight than some of the aforementioned fish).  It now remains to be seen whether young Harry takes up the “stick” game as per his mother or goes in for “egg-chasing” as per his father. 

 

Welfare Issues.  One of the important roles at any club is Welfare officer, a role that is ably carried out for us by Charlotte Walker and which is concerned with ensuring the well-being of children who use the club facilities. So, Charlotte was quite non-plussed to receive a call from a woman during the week to say that there was a horse loose on the First Team pitch and that she was concerned about its welfare.  Glad to say that Tony the groundsman and Carol were able to catch the animal before it came to any harm but I regret to say that it gave rise to innumerable dreadful puns, with none of which I plan to compete here.

 

Next week, it will be a busy day at the Mote as local visitors Aylesford show up for their 1st Team League game.  There will be a social including karaoke afterwards, so be afraid: be very afraid.

RE

YOUTH SECTION

 

Behind the leisure centre in Mote Park it was a sea of Red, White and Black on Sunday with all the Youth Section training and the club pitches being given a much needed chance to recover from the recent damp conditions!

U6 Coaches Ben Court and Charlie Goodbody (pictured) have been joined for the next 6 weeks by guest coach Mollie Mckenzie as part of her Community Sports Leadership Award studies, I am sure her polite, gentle and friendly nature will be a winner with the children - welcome to the section and good luck!

There were lost of happy faces with John Smith and the U10's (pictured) with an orange finally keeping him quite and them all enjoying their post match fruit, well done guys, it wont be long before a good idea becomes the norm and the way we do things at Maidstone.

After training Eva and I had the chance to catch up with the U16 coaches and discuss our ideas for them being our focus team and developing a blue print for integrating players seamlessly into the Senior squads. It is early days but we will make rapid progress and being joined by Ben Williams, 1st team captain and Shaun Neaves, 1st Team Manager shows how seriously we all take the One Club ethos. Ben will be training with them Wednesday - thanks guys.

We also caught up with the U13 coaches led by Jamie Mills. It was great to here more about their huge 30+ squad, the coaching structure and support from parents. Also some great post match standards with the boys getting changed into shirt and ties, building teamwork and friendships. 

A really encouraging catch up and lots more to learn and share from here I am sure.

 

Hopefully some dry weather this week and some fixtures next weekend.

 

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

         
         
         
         
         
         
         

 



Weekly Round-up for 11th Jan 2014
posted: January 12 2014

Results for 11th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Charlton Park

A

Lost 22-15

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tunbridge Wells II

H

Won 19-0

Invicta League

3rd

Dover III

A

Lost 53-26

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Ash II

H

Lost 13-21

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Sevenoaks Acorns

A

Lost

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst yesterday’s First-Team result was certainly disappointing, it was by no means a total disaster and the opportunity for promotion remains firmly within the team’s grasp.  It just remains to be seen whether, between now and the end of the season, they have the resolve to grasp it.  Good to see Gareth Ellis making an impressive debut for the team and especially good to see Lucian Morosan return to the UK and to 1st Team action, taking the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match award with a typically dynamic performance.

The Mustangs played some of their best rugby of the season to turn the tables on Tunbridge  Wells II, who won the 1st leg at St Marks earlier in the season.  A neck-injury to Jason Smith which required an ambulance has thankfully proved to be less serious than first thought, which we were pleased to be able to relay to T Wells when they expressed their concern today.

The 3rd Team had only 12 players at 11am on Saturday, but the 12 they had were all very good and supplemented by 2 “B Teamers” and a Veteran, they headed for Dover where they arrived late and started the game with just 14 on the pitch.  10 points down after 5 minutes, the team then showed what they could do by hitting back with a forward surge and a try from Timo the Osteo. It has to be said that the Dover backs were very good and moved the ball wide at will, so the pattern of the game progressed with Dover scoring 2 tries for every try that Maidstone scored but it made for a pulsating game with Mayhem in outstanding form,  Michal Macher and Alex Sterzu constantly breaking the gain line and  Matt Cooper and Bob Purfitt picking and driving every time the ball carrier was brought down.  Jack Hart proved to be a revelation at scrum-half and made good use of the possession that came his way, especially from Ben Foskett’s line out jumping.  Whilst it was disappointing that the much-stronger team of 18 players that had been selected earlier in the week did not make it into the field, for the 15 who did, it was a fantastic day’s rugby to start 2014, despite the adverse score-line.

Likewise for the B Team players at home, (facing  Ash II with some trepidation in view of their 1st Team having pulled out of Kent II this week), who had a great afternoon’s rugby despite the outcome which resulted in yet another loss in this challenging season that they are having.  Surprising then that morale within the B Team camp has never been higher than it is currently and its especially pleasing to see them rubbing shoulders with players from higher up the club – either by playing up the club like Ben Foskett and Scott Andrews this week, or by giving pitch room to luminaries from higher in the club like Chairman of Selectors Duncan McClintock, who played at home for the B this week (in case of an urgent trip to the maternity unit with Mrs Chunky).   Despite the loss on the day, Ian ausher said afterwards that he had never been prouder of his team – especially the way in which they kept their discipline and stuck to their guns against stronger opposition. 

The Veterans travelled to 7Oaks for the second time this season, with a faint hope that they might be able to avenge their only defeat of the season so far.  Some hope!!  In the event, they encountered a 7Oaks side that would have given our full Evergreen team a good game and which was far too strong for our regular Saturday Veterans team. Two early tries down before they had got off the bus (so to speak) our Vets stabilized the situation during the quarters either side of half-time and even managed to score a try of their own from a push-over scrum but during the last 10 minutes they were totally outpaced and shipped 4 tries to make a defeat look like a thrashing. Still, no harm done.  We will look forward to getting 7Oaks bogged down in a war of attrition on The Somme later in the season.

NEXT WEEK

We have 3 postponed league matches to play next week, which means that we are likely to have 4 sides at home.  It would appear to make sense for the Vets to pick up the Barbarians friendly vs Gravesend Moles, since the B will be playing a postponed League game vs Canterbury V.  However, this is still subject to confirmation.

RE

YOUTH SECTION UPDATE

The rain finally stopped on Sunday to be replaced by bright sunshine and a hard frost and it was great to see rugby being enjoyed from U5 to U17 year across the Mote.

 

With the Somme out of action and the first team pitch being rested the U14’s faced a bottom pitch frozen sold in parts but some quick thinking from Allan Crosbie and assisted by senior player and guest referee Simon Wright (not in the thinking department of course) a smaller pitch and 13 a side game was soon in progress. A close encounter and narrow loss by Maidstone who didn’t quite get up to post Christmas speed and a smaller pitch not suiting there expansive style.

 

The U17’s were playing in the park and it was wonderful to see the U10’s finish their training session in time to lend support to what was a good crowd an enthralling game. Maidstone may have narrowly lost but from what I saw there was absolutely no lack of commitment, the physicality and skill level was impressive.  Well done boys.

 

Youth Chairs Eva Howson and Tuggy were joined by Club Coaching Coordinator Des Diamond for a ‘state of the nation’ review of all the Mini section age groups. Getting the chance to meet with all the coaches, understand what we are doing well and where we can develop was very useful.

 

A new initiative we are trying to introduce is encouraging healthy eating by having fruit straight after a game rather than a chocolate bar. It’s not a Jamie Oliver campaign but It is a great and probably unique approach. Hopefully more will follow on this but as every Dave Smith and the U11’s are leading from the front with the boys asked to bring fruit and one parent supplying a tin full!!! As Dave shows it is never to late to teach an old dog new tricks!!!

One thing today did confirm is that we have a great and vibrant youth section, with huge support on and off the pitches from parents and coaches. Eva and I are committed to building on and developing that and working with the many volunteers to make that happen.....of course more volunteers are always welcome!!!

 

Cheers

 

Tuggy

 

Fixtures for 18th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Gravesend Moles

A

TBC

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 4th Jan 2014
posted: January 05 2014

Results for 4th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfes

H

Postponed

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II

A

Postponed

Invicta League

3rd XV

Canterbury III

H

Postponed

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Canterbury V

H

Postponed

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Old Gravesendians III

A

Won 5-15

Friendly

Club XV

Anchorians II

A

Won 0-19

Friendly

Welcome to a rather damp 2014.  It will probably stop raining before 2015 but at the moment there seems little prospect.

It goes without saying that all of the home games fell victim to the weather, although we would have liked to have gone ahead with the 1st Team game played on the pitch in Mote Park, which never holds surface water and is always firm under foot in even the wettest conditions. However, the borough council decided on Friday that none of the pitches within the Borough could be played on, and that was the end of that.

The Mustangs game vs Gravesend was confirmed at 6:30pm on Friday, but by 11.20am on Saturday morning it had been called off owing to the weather (which seemed a bit of a late call to those players who had given up their Saturday for the game and which became down-right annoying when it transpired that Gravesend had managed to host a 4th team league game and a 5th team friendly without the weather hindering them)

Once we had decided to call off the 3rd team and 5th team games on Friday, we were left with lots of spare players, so when we saw a message from Gillinghams Anchorians that they wanted a home friendly for their 2nds, the opportunity seemed heaven sent and we jumped at the chance and a composite side was raised, led by none other than Ben Williams and comprising half a dozen from our B team, 3rd team and 1st/2nd team, together with Mark Fish, Brian Costello and 3 of our U17 squad who have all turned 17 and are making the transition to senior rugby and playing alongside their Dads in many cases.  Anchs had no First Team fixture and so their side was bolstered with a few 1st Teamers (although surprisingly, 1st- Teamers Craig Webb and Craig Whitehead who are both very well known to Maidstone played for Anchs III in their concurrent league game vs Edenbridge II).  It seems that the game was an enjoyable and competitive affair and gave our players a chance to play alongside other members that they normally only see in the bar.  Tries came from Ben Williams (inevitably), Sam Brill and Michal Macher.

Meanwhile, 17 veterans (and no props) headed for Gravesend for a fixture vs Old Gravesendians III, where they received a very friendly, if  inevitably muddy, reception but were not at all dismayed by a small pitch with heavy going as it played right into the hands of the Maidstone team, a big majority of whom were well over 50. It was decided in advance that the game would be played uncontested, as all we had was one “stand-in” Prop in Glyn Richards, who isn’t a prop at all but never lets that deter him when a prop is needed. Faced with uncontested scrums, the ever optimistic Neil Cole declared himself willing to give it a go and so the game commenced with contested scrums after all – although no-one had told our back-row who were most surprised to find themselves being shunted backwards at the first set piece. Maidstone scored first, courtesy of stand-in skipper Adrian Clark although Old Gs levelled to 5-5 before the half-time whistle.  In the 2nd half, Mick Walker took the initiative at a tap penalty 14 metres out (or was it 13) and scampered over for a converted try that would have kept the result in contention until the final whistle had Keith Coomber not slotted a penalty kick to add to his conversion. The non-society referee was excellent and it was therefore very disappointing that a number of the Maidstone team thought that they could enhance the game by questioning his every decision, which of course changes nothing except that it spoils everyone else’s afternoon and in this case, cost repeated penalties and yardage. Nevertheless, it was a good game at a very hospitable club and we look forward to hosting OG III later in the season.  Despite his strenuous exertions in the front-row , Neil Cole took the plaudits for a Man of the Match performance, owing mainly to his dynamic play in the loose.

PRE CHRISTMAS CATCH_UP

Keen readers of this humble offering and those with nothing better to do with their time, will have noticed that there was no round-up following the fixtures on 21st Dec, owing to a festive lapse and sheer inertia on the part of this writer.  It has therefore not been officially reported that Maidstone Vets thrashed the B Team 10-0 on the 1st team Pitch in the annual Memorial Match – thereby restoring propriety to God’s firmament after the aberration that was the previous year’s result.  Meanwhile, on the bottom pitch, a Maidstone XV led by David Ruaux and supplemented by a few guests from Weavering, were delighted to entertain a Vigo XV who had made the unseasonal journey to Maidstone and therefore the home side were not desperately disappointed to lose 15-28 (ie 3 unconverted tries vs 4 converted, all of which were scored by Vigo’s amazingly quick winger) For a proper festive match report and an example of decent writing, follow this link to Vigo’s website.

Following the matches, David Ruaux showed what a polymath he is by providing musical accompaniment to Christmas Carols in the bar on both Piano and Violin (although not simultaneously – he’s not that bloody clever). There then followed a very enjoyable Christmas social and Grand-Draw which was well supported from all sections of the club and enjoyed by all who came, so well done to Sam and all the Baileys for putting in so much hard work, not to mention our wonderful bar and kitchen staff who make such an effort on our behalf

Stop press: Forgot to mention the Mustangs, who also played on 21st and who put in a creditable display away at Elthamians, losing 19-10.  Report is on the fixtures page.

NEXT WEEK

Big match next week vs league leaders Charlton Park, who will be very keen to hang on to their newly established lead at the top of the table. Clearly there is a continued threat of weather disruption as more rain is forecast, so watch the website for further info.  This week’s postponed games have all been moved to the 18th Jan.

LASTLY

As players we tend to take referees very much for granted so I was pleased to be able to present Bob Judd with a small festive token of appreciation after the games on 21st Dec, bearing in mind that he referees around 25 matches a season for us, which is an invaluable contribution to our club. Although Bob is Welsh, he is not a bad sort of a chap and had a not undistinguished playing career himself in Wales and in the Police force but a recent piece on the BBC website reveals that 50 years ago, his father Sid Judd had the rare distinction of beating the All-Blacks twice in a week, first for Cardiff and then for Wales, scoring tries in both matches in almost the same spot at the Arms Park.  Now that’s a piece of family history worth savouring, which I am sure Bob wouldn't mind discussing over a pint in the bar next time you see him.

Fixtures for 11th Jan 2014

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Charlton Park

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tunbridge Wells II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Dover III

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Ash II

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 14th December 2013
posted: December 16 2013

Results for 14th December  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

A

Lost 19-12

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup II

H

Lost 11-16

Invicta League

3rd

Medway III

A

Lost 15-7

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Deal & Betts III

H

Lost 22-29

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

Drew 27-27

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness for the Veterans securing their third draw of the season, as it prevented a 5 team whitewash and yet in truth, there is really nothing alarming about the above set of scores.  Yes, it would have been nice to have won all of the above fixtures but if one is going to play rugby, one must be prepared to lose as well as to win and to look at a score card where all the of the games ebbed and flowed and were in contention until the final whistle, shows that the fixtures were all good ones, and very exciting for players and spectators. Lets try and post 5 wins next time though please chaps, as the beer always tastes better after a win.

Well done to “Pickle” Bunyan for getting his 2nd successive Biddenden Vineyards MotM award.  If he gets the bubbly again next time, he will have to start entering it on his tax-return !!  Disappointing to come off 2nd best to Medway for a 2nd time this season and especially disappointing that we couldn’t have snatched a last-minute victory at Priestfields in the same way that they snatched victory at The Mote – but fair play to them for taking the local bragging rights.  I guess that they would settle for losing both games in return for our League position though, given the choice.

Sidcup II came to the Mote occupying the place in the league table directly above the Mustangs but level on points.  It was a close match and during the 20 minutes that I watched, Maidstone were pressing hard to overturn the 6-10 half-time deficit. In fact, two of the Maidstone attacks that I saw were halted in promising field positions by injuries to Sidcup players requiring stoppage and immediate attention.  One hopes that their injuries proved not to be too serious. Tries must have been exchanged between then and the full time whistle, with Sidcup ultimately prevailing.  Afficianados will enjoy the comic potential of an on-field spat between two of Maidstone’s best known characters that has reached me via an anonymous contributor (of equally legendary status).   Mayhem was still seething in the club house after a dispute in his game. He apparently fell out with his opposite number, which led to a penalty. He complained his innocence to the ref which earned him 10 yards further back but it was being told by the the referees favourite and disciplinarian SC to calm down and fall in line that pushed him over the edge. Having grabbed SC by the collar to explain he was in no place to issue advice...SC pulled rank and substituted Mayhem for 10 minutes to calm down!!  

I seem to remember seeing Mayhem in the clubhouse before I left and there was no sign of any seething going on, although canny accountant David Coleman did suggest that Mayhem should sell his story to the highest bidder, rather than making it available to all and sundry for the titillation of our readers.

The 3rd team had only 13 players for their challenging trip to Medway at one stage, following illness and injury drop- outs higher up.  Fortunately, Veterans Mike Laurenson and Justin Evans came to the rescue, with Mike’s son Cameron making his senior debut along-side the old man. Even so, the omens were not good vs Medway’s excellent development side, so it was really pleasing to hear that Maidstone were 7-0 up at half-time and it was only when down to 13 men through injuries in the 2nd half that the game was lost.  A good effort all round.

Back at home, the Barbarians at last faced beatable opposition in what has been a tough season for them and at times they played so well that it looked as if they would cruise the win, albeit not putting away all of the chances that came their way – which ultimately cost them the result.  From the start, Maidstone’s strong running from Tom Clark, Richard Nunn and Simon Seal punched hole after hole in the D&B defence until Simon Seal scored the first converted try, coming very close shortly afterwards with another solo effort.  D&B always looked dangerous with ball in hand however and hit back with 5 points of their own, before Richard Nunn extended the lead to 14-5 at half time.  After the break, D&B came out of the traps with real purpose and fought their way back into a lead which couldn’t be overhauled by the 2nd half try for scrum-half Paul Murphy, making a welcome return to action.  For once the Baba’s only had themselves to blame for continuing their losing streak, as this game was there for the taking and D&B deserve credit for fighting their way back into the game and closing it out.  However, it was a real treat for them to play in a well-matched fixture for a change.

Ahead of next week’s keenly anticipated memorial game, there were two “spies” from the Veterans playing for the 5ths this week and both would have been impressed with how well the Babas perform in the set pieces and their strong running with ball in hand, but the Vets have showed this season that they are hard to beat in tight matches.  Should be intriguing.    Just a word to mention that one of the Vets playing for the 5ths was Brian Costello, playing for the first time alongside his son Ryan.  Its great to have this very strong group of U17s coming through to play senior rugby, many of whom have fathers who are still playing.

On to the Veterans themselves. Last year Crawley turned up with 8 players for this fixture, with the emphasis on the fact that they actually turned up. (How many other teams would have done the same?)  This year, they turned up with 13, but all pretty meaty and capable.  On top of that, we let them have Paul Massey and Jonathan Davies, which was pretty bloody generous given that they are two of our best players.  15-10 down at half-time, and conceding a score with just 5 minutes left on the clock, the Vets showed considerable resilience to score in the corner on the final whistle, missing the conversion that would have won them the match.  Another close game in what is proving to be a very good season for the old chaps.

 

Youth Rugby

Following a period with no youth chair in place, it is a big step forward to have new co-chairs in Dave Tugwell and Eva Howson (our former hon- secretary in the days before she was married to Ian). (She attended her first committee meeting last week, alongside former chairman Dave Arnold and they were both amazed that all the same issues were still being discussed as 12 years ago when they last sat on the committee)

Anyway, one of the new undertakings is to provide greater publicity for the Youth and Mini sections, so here goes:

Youth News

The damp but mild weather was certainly not going to stop the hard work and fun in the last session of training for many at the Mote this weekend.

Coaches were sporting festive Santa hats and smiling parents clearly had their sights on a couple of Sundays of laying in and not washing muddy kit!!

With some of the older age groups starting with early summer training, mid week training and everybody busy on a Sunday the Christmas and Year end break is certainly welcome and deserved for everybody involved.

The U14’s still have a fixture at Medway next week so the season’s celebrations were held off as they enjoyed a session with the guest coach Neil ‘Train’ Graves. A great supporter of the team he provided advice and guidance to the team on tactics at the breakdown. He also gave the backs some excellent ideas and structure which they are keen to take into next week’s game.

Christmas party plans are in full swing and I hear that Dave Smith in the U11’s has high expectations of winning at 10 pin bowling – history may suggest otherwise!

The Tag Section held their Christmas Party on Friday 13th Dec which was a brilliant success with all children receiving a visit from Santa, a gift & sweetie bag.  Charlie Goodbody (who no doubt deserves thanks) would like to thank all Parents for food & raffle contributions & the children for just being themselves.

Special thanks to Carol, Tony & Ryan Murphy, Cameron Laurenson & Thomas & Eve Chandler for giving up your Friday night & making the evening fun & enjoyable for all.

It was great to see the Laurenson father and son team run out for the third team on Saturday, congratulations and great to see players coming though and representing the senior sides. As this shows we are ONE CLUB.

Thanks to so many for some much hard work and support in 2013, Happy Christmas & Happy New Year.

Cheers

Tuggy

NEXT WEEK AND CHRISTMAS PERIOD

Fixture wise, the big event next week is the Memorial Match between the Veterans and the B team  - or Barbarians as they like to be known.   However, with the Mustangs away at Elthamians, we are looking to stage at least one other fixture at home – probably at around 3rd team level, or possibly an intra–club match. Watch out for news here and on the face-book site.  NB 2pm Kick offs would be sensible as 21st is shortest day of the year.

After the matches on 21st, we will be having our traditional Christmas Carols, led by house-musician extraordinaire, David Ruaux.  (If there are any other musicians out there capable of sight-reading and playing Christmas Carols, please feel free to get in touch).

This is to be followed by the Christmas Social and Grand Draw.  See notice in Club News on the Home Page.

Looking ahead to 28th, we hope to stage a fun fixture of some kind to enable players to blow-off the Christmas cobwebs.  More details to follow.

Incidentally, I have just heard on the morning news that congratulations are in order for one of our most prominent first-team players.  Well done to Sam Bailey for winning the X-Factor, and being so modest about the whole thing.

Lastly, to signal the start of the festive season, seasonal sweaters were de rigeuer in the clubhouse this week, with a few unlikely pairs showing up. Talking of unlikely pairs, Bob Hayton was heard to remark that he'd always  fancied getting his hands on Santa's buttocks. although he only had to ask, as I'm sure Josh Jensen wouldn't have minded.

RE

Fixtures for 21st December  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

No fixture

 

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Elthamians II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

TBA

 

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Maidstone Veterans

H

2pm KO

Memorial match

Vets

Maidstone Babas

H

2pm KO

Memorial match

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Round-up for 7th December 2013
posted: December 09 2013

Results for 7th December  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Lewes

H

Won 58-14

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Canterbury II

A

Lost 52-21

Invicta League

3rd

Folkestone II

A

Forfeit

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Folkestone IV

A

Lost 46-12

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Gillingham Anchs III

H

Won 12-7

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

Back to “business as usual for the First Team this week, although bearing in mind that Lewes are occupying bottom slot in the League, they were surprisingly good – especially in their three-quarter line.  Nick Bunyan took the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award for an action packed cameo and it was good to see Sam Weston. James Douglas and Brad Ford making a big contribution at this level, although it was a saturday when the Mustangs could ill afford to spare any of them.

 

It was not just 1st Team call-ups but also a bout of illness amongst regular Mustangs that depleted the team for Canterbury 2nds away, their most challenging fixture of the year.  However, the team travelled to Canterbury supplemented by a number of call ups from the 3rd team and even the 5th team, so well done to all who travelled and stepped up to the challenge. Whilst it looks like a fairly heavy defeat on paper, to have won the second half so emphatically is a real achievement and suggests that a bit more self-belief at the outset, might have enabled the team to compete for the whole match against their vaunted opposition.

 

A regrettable knock on effect of the troubles afflicting the Mustangs was that by Thursday evening, it had become apparent that there would not be enough players to fulfil the 3rd team fixture at Folkestone, which was forfeited in good time for Folkestone to look for a replacement fixture – which I don’t think they bothered to do, so perhaps they were struggling themselves?

 

It might also account for the fact that whilst level with our Barbarians side at half time, Folkestone 4ths were able to bring on 3 players (one of whom scored 3 tries) in order to put the game out of sight and ruin it as a contest. Ho hum.  One tries to be philosophical about these things but the game is a lot more meaningful when both teams have a chance of winning and losing. Sadly, our embattled Baba’s have yet to win a match this season and are regularly having to play against opposition that was originally scheduled to play against our 4th team before it disbanded.

 

Competitive games, on the other hand, have been de rigueur for the Vets so far this season and Saturday’s match vs Anchs III was no exception.  (In only one match so far this season, has the result not been in contention until the final whistle).  A first half score from Simon Randall saw the Vets go into a 5 nil lead, only to see Anchs convert a 2nd half converted try to see the lead change hands in favour of Anchs. A Matt Ellesemere try, converted by Pete Gray sealed another close win for Maidstone’s old chaps, with Keith Newman acclaimed as man of the match, for not only completing the whole game when he really prefers to play a half (he is nearly 60 after all) but for the strength of his ball-carrying and prowess in the mauls.

The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for the Anch’s player Steven Langley, who died following a shooting incident near Sittingbourne on Friday and for whose shocking death we would wish to extend our sympathies to all his team-mates at Anchorians. The minute’s silence gave our own players a moment to reflect on the tragic loss of our own much loved team-mate Dave Hughes two years ago this weekend. (Gallery archive) He will be remembered again, alongside other late-lamented Veterans, in the Annual Memorial Match vs the Maidstone 5th Team – (or Barbarians as they have become in the absence of a 4th team) on the 21st December at the Mote.  

 

MOTE DEVELOPMENT

After the weeks and months of speculation and information and opinion, a large turn-out of our members voted almost unanimously to reject the proposal by The Mote Cricket Club Development Committee to sell our First Team pitch in order to pay for a new clubhouse. This was despite the very clear existential threat that emanates from a no vote, which made one wonder if one had just witnessed 121 turkeys voting for Christmas. It will be of huge interest to all of the membership to see what happens next but one is left wishing that all of the undoubted dedicated hard-work and professionalism that went into preparing the Mote proposals, could not have been channelled into a plan that would have received the enthusiastic  support of the majority of those who play sport at our lovely home ground. 

 

SOCIAL

Don’t forget to mark the 21st in your diary for a Christmas social event including the Grand Christmas Raffle.

 

RE

 

 Fixtures for 14th December  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Sidcup II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Medway III

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Deal & Betts III

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Crawley Vets

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 30th November 2013
posted: December 01 2013

Results for 30th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoak

A

Lost 23-22

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham II

H

Home Walk-Over

Invicta League

3rd

Sevenoaks II

H

Lost 20-33

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Sheppey III

A

Lost 17-12

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Footscray 2nd/3rd

A

Drew 12-12

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

This “round-up” doesn't specialize in clairvoyance but last week's humble offering suggested that Sevenoaks were capable of delivering an upset - and  an upset they duly delivered.  Full marks to them for a win based on stout defence in the midfield and some enterprising use of the possession that came their way.  It was a game that was Maidstone's to lose, despite the try from Sevenoaks that came too early for many of us to have reached the touch-line, (following an excellent lunch hosted by Sevenoaks’s Peter Hunt and in the company of Kent RFU President Tim Fagg), which brought an immediate riposte from Maidstone to level the scores as we were all still buttoning up our coats against the biting wind.  How many times this season have we seen our team purr their way through the gears until they pull away out of sight in the second half, but the machine seemed to lack lubrication this week and kept stalling at crucial times.  Even so, the thrilling last minute try from Kiwi Sam Brill gave Maidstone the chance to do to Sevenoaks what New Zealand did to Ireland last week but with the luck of the Irish (to coin an un-apposite phrase), Sevenoaks were able to watch Steve Macnamara's conversion attempt drift inches wide of the near upright. On this occasion, the referee did not award a second kick at goal, so the game was lost (or won, depending on your allegiance).

 

The atmosphere was given an extra edge by the heated debate that is emerging around the issue of payments to players, with many shouts from Sevenoaks supporters in support of their “amateurs”, whereas Maidstone have made no secret of making payments (albeit modest) to their 1st Team XVIII each week.  The Sevenoaks Chairman, Trevor Nicholson has been invited onto an RFU committee that is examining the question of whether anyone should be payed to play at any level below level 4, and Sevenoaks have publicly declared themselves as a club that will never pay players to play.  (See link) However, many would also argue that “shamateurism” is merely hypocricy and that financial support at wealthy clubs for accomodation and train fares etc can be more significant than paying wages.  The debate will rumble on but its hard to see how the RFU will ever be able to close this particular Pandora's box, much as it might be desirable to do so.

There was disappointment at home for the Mustangs as Beckenham II pulled out of their Invicta League fixture on thursday evening, citing too many injuries to make the trip to Maidstone.  Unlike last week, no replacement fixture was available and the Mustangs got no game.   There then followed an email from the League secretary, asking what plans we had to re-arrange the fixture, as the league mantra is that the League exists to get games played rather than preside over walk-overs.  The answer is that we have no plans to re-arrange the fixture, as re-arranging it would not bring back the wasted saturday and would in fact discourage teams from travelling when they can only field an under-strength side.  Its a debate that was had at the AGMs of both the Invicta and Mid-Kent Leagues in recent seasons and clubs voted overwhelmingly that fixtures should be played on the allotted date or conceded, so that everyone knows where they stand, but a view seems to persist within the County Competitions Committee that clubs should be somehow magnanimous enough to overlook a late cry-off and re-arrange the fixture in order to accommodate an offending team.  Three or four seasons on, it still rankles that Nick East was on course to win the Invicta League during his first stint as skipper of the Mustangs, when towards the end of the season, we received a friday morning call from Elthamians to say that they couldnt field a team to play the fixture at Maidstone the following day.  Instead of following their own rules, the Competitions Committee forced Maidstone to agree an alternative date for Elthamians to play the fixture, the match was lost and Nick's team ended up runners-up by two points.  Get over it ?? One day I might !!

 

Facing probably their toughest challenge of the season, the 3rds were the main (or only) attraction at home on saturday as they entertained Sevenoaks 2nds, (who would be playing against the Mustangs in the Invicta League had they not been forced out by the last minute inclusion of Canterbury 2nds).  Havent heard too much about the game yet, except that  all three of the Maidstone front-row scored tries for Maidstone, meaning I guess that it was the other twelve lazy bastards that let the team down !!  Although it was a loss, it was a creditable score-line against 2nd -team opposition, for a 3rd team that is steadily consolidating and forming a hard-core of good players week after week.

 

The Babas packed their passports and set off for Sheppey, hoping for a competitive match and their first win of the season.  They got the competitive match they wanted but not the result, although they dominated and won the second half thanks to tries from Simon Seal and someone called Hadi, whoever he might be?

The Vets had no fixture scheduled but managed to pick up a game with Footscray 2nd/3rd team for an away friendly.  Footscray were not only short of two players (supplemented by Ian Davis and Brian Costello) but also a referee, so Keith Coomber agreed reluctantly to give up his game in favour of the whistle.  In keeping with the tight scorelines in which the Vets have specialized this season, the result was a creditable 12-12 draw. Don't miss the Liz Vinson match report, which is a triumph of touch-line prose and the best I have read for a long time. I think that Trevor gets to keep the First Team reporter's role though !!

EGM

Dont forget to turn up on wednesday evening to vote on surrendering our Lease to the Mote development proposals.  Is this a fantastic opportunity to improve the facilities for both clubs or is it unacceptable despoliation of our beautiful shared ground, to the detriment Maidstone Rugby?  You decide.

RE

 Fixtures for 7th December  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Lewes

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Canterbury II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Folkestone II

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Folkestone IV

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

TBA

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 23rd November 2013
posted: November 25 2013

Results  for 23rd November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Deal & Betteshanger

H

Won 41-15

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Westcombe Park III

Westcombe park II

A

A

Away Walk-over

Lost 35-7

Invicta League

Friendly

3rd

Gravesend III

H

Home Walk Over

Premier East

Barbarians XV

TBA

 

No fixture

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Battersea Ironsides Vets

H

Won 10-7

Friendly skirmish

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a lively day at the club on Saturday, what with Jim Tinsley’s old boys reunion lunch, a First Team showdown with early-season pace-setters Deal & Betteshanger and with the visit of Battersea Ironsides Vets, although in the end, there were only 12 of them on their 30-seater coach.

 

It would have been a bit livelier still, had Gravesend 3rds not cried off on Saturday morning at 10am, leaving our 3rds without their anticipated home fixture. (Exactly the same thing happened last time that Gravesend 3rds were due to visit, so its beginning to look a little bit like a trend) Apologies to all our 3rd teamers who went without a game and for the unavoidable late notice.

 

With Deal& Betts having fallen off the pace in the preceding few weeks, the First Team match was not quite the show-down that might have been expected, although one would underestimate them at one’s peril, as they turned up full of fight and determined to win.  Pleasingly, our First Team were more than ready for them and played some excellent rugby to pass yet another milestone on their road to what could be another promotion-winning season on this form, although much of the later action was obscured from view by the gathering late-november gloom .  Ollie Smith took the man of the match award and was presented with the Biddenden Vineyards bubbly for his trouble. 

Next week’s fixture vs Sevenoaks is one to be savoured as of all the teams in the League, Sevenoaks are perhaps the least predictable, having proved themselves capable of surprising wins (and losses), and they would be thrilled no doubt to put one over the league-leaders. On the other hand, their playing record vs Maidstone has been pretty poor in recent seasons, so they may well be viewing the game with some trepidation.

 

The Mustangs were expecting to play Westcombe Pk 3rds in the league this week, but on Monday, WPIII were pulled out of the Invicta League and a new fixture was needed.  By chance, the only available opposition was Westcombe Park 2nds, so our team trotted off to Orpington to play WPII instead of WPIII.  Regrettably, 2 quick tries from ‘Park killed off the game as a contest fairly early on, but by winning the second half 7-5, courtesy of a Josh McKenzie try converted by Brad Ford, the Mustangs showed themselves capable of competing at a higher level, which augurs well for the rest of the season.

 

With no fixture having materialised for our Barbarians XV during the week, the only other game to be played on Saturday was the Veterans XV vs Battersea Ironsides vets.  Having supplied Jonathan Davies, Justin Evans and Tom Clark to the Ironside pack to make up their numbers to 15, the Veterans went into battle under the captaincy of shy Ulsterman Mick Walker (in the absence of Skipper Steve Vincent, who was a casualty of the Evergreen battle with Blackheath the previous week).  Mick is not noted for being backward in coming forward whenever a referee needs a little assistance with his decision making but under the unaccustomed mantle of  the captaincy, he was actually quite a bit quieter than usual (mercifully).   The Ironsides showed what they were capable of with a converted try after not much more than 5 minutes of activity and Maidstone were looking rather flat-footed against a lively back-line.   The introduction of Mayhem and Tuggy after 25 minutes added some pace and bulk to the Maidstone Team (although not necessarily in that order) and it wasn’t long before Mayhem Tuggy outpaced the cover to score an unconverted try for a 5-7 half-time score.  67 year old Steve Pooley came on at half-time, having made the trip up from Devon to play and added some much needed oomph to the Maidstone scrum, but with 20 minutes left on the clock Maidstone were still trailing the visitors by 2 points. This was the point at which I lost interest in proceedings and left the field of play to go and watch the end of the First Team game but I gather that in my absence, the team stepped up the pace and Mike McIvor scored a winner to record another emphatic win for the Veterans, who have now scored around the same number of points as Manchester City have scored goals this season (but without losing as many matches).

 

COURT AND SOCIAL

 

There has been much talk in the press in recent weeks of the influx of Romanians we can expect into Britain in 2014, but if they are all anything like our Romanian friends Alex, Lucian and Cezar who have all been playing at Maidstone for more than a year now, we should be only too pleased to welcome them into UK society. It was pleasing therefore to be able to take up a collection for one of Cezar’s former team-mates who was seriously injured playing rugby and who needs to move to more suitable accommodation in Romania. Well done to Ben Williams for getting behind Cezar’s appeal and many thanks to all who contributed. Lets hope that the money raised makes a big difference to his friend.

 

MOTE DEVELOPMENT

Dont forget the Q&A session in the clubhouse on Wednesday evening at 7:45, ahead of next week’s crucial EGM and vote. Its important that member’s take the trouble to inform themselves of the issues and to understand the potential consequences of their choice.

 

RE

 

 Fixtures for 30th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Sevenoak

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Beckenham II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Sevenoaks II

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Sheppey III

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

TBA

 

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 16th/17th November 2013
posted: November 19 2013

Results for 16th/17th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Blackheathens

A

Lost 22-18

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

No fixture

 

 

Invicta League

3rd

No fixture

 

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

No fixture

 

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Blackheath

A

Lost 20-10

Evergreen Cup

Intra Club

Greens vs Reds

H

Who cares?

 Friendly – or possibly incestuous?

 

Sunday proved to be a great day out in Metropolitan Kent for the County Town Club but Blackheath are not Kent’s premier club for nothing and ultimately, despite three exciting and competitive matches at the Rectory Field, Maidstone made their way back to Rural Kent, empty handed.

It was a great occasion however, as Blackheath is a great club to visit, having a very special aura with all of its historical significance as the world’s oldest open rugby club, not to mention the fact the our very own Des Diamond is currently honoured with the presidency of “the Club” and was on hand to meet and greet all the familiar faces from Maidstone. Its interesting to notice that they, like ourselves, share their facilities with cricket, although they are much more constrained than we are in terms of space, and that their club-house is essentially an old cricket pavilion. Its amazing that these facilities have managed to sustain the club in the National Leagues through the ups and downs of the professional era, which perhaps goes to show that clubs are less about the buildings on them and more about the people in them.

Anyway, all this talk of Sunday ignores the fact that some rugby was played at Maidstone on Saturday, although in the absence of any home fixtures, an Intra Club match was thrown together, with 1st team skipper Ben Williams blowing the whistle.  I only caught the last 10 minutes but it was enormously entertaining, with some outrageous show-boating and point-scoring on display.  I believe that the final score was something like 40 points each and I know that Andy Smith bought a jug for scoring 3 tries but very little else could be gleaned of a factual nature – except that by common consent, the ref was useless.

On to Sunday then where the first match for the enthusiastic spectator was our U14 squad vs Blackheath.  Maidstone dominated the first half with some fine determined running and defending but wholesale changes at half time (to make sure that all 25 squad members got a game) disrupted the rhythm as players tried out unfamiliar positions and the home-side emerged winners by one score.  However, there was very little disappointment from Maidstone surrounding the result. 

On then to the Evergreen Cup match, which was a somewhat rare event bearing in mind that nearly all of the matches in the first round were walk-overs and not many clubs will send a veterans team to Blackheath to play against the cup-holders.  However, Maidstone were up for the challenge and under the youthfully exuberant leadership of 35 year old Nick East, the Maidstone squad were determined to record a first win vs their old rivals at the 4th attempt in this competition.   With no score on the board after 20 minutes, a long range penalty attempt from Dave Charlton hit the upright to prevent Maidstone taking a well deserved lead after enjoying the bigger share of territory and possession. However a breakaway try from Blackheath saw them get their first points on the board to lead 5-0 until a Maidstone penalty under the posts reduced the deficit to 5-3 just before half-time.    

After the break, with everything to play for, both sides tore lumps out of each other in the battle for supremacy until Blackheath were able to stretch their lead by virtue of a penalty kick 8-3.    A hotly disputed try from the same dangerous winger who had scored Blackheath’s first took the lead to 13-3 but the game was still up for grabs.  With the clock running down and only six minutes left, Mayhem crashed over near the posts with an impact that caused a tidal wave in the Thames estuary, and following the routine conversion, Maidstone were tails up and scenting victory.  Nick East showed his colours as he bullocked his way through the middle of the ‘Heath forwards, refusing to accept defeat, and single-handedly, nearly made it to the line the hard way but he was eventually brought down a few metres short.  Sadly, an intercepted pass shortly afterwards and 2 minutes from time saw Blackheath post another converted score to seal their victory.  So, after a game played in the best traditions of this competition, Blackheath progress towards another final in all probability, whilst Maidstone find themselves in the plate for the first time ever, with a match vs Gillingham Anchorians in prospect.   

Whilst the Vets were getting changed after their exertions and before they sat down to a sumptuous Sunday roast in the players dining room, the main event of the day was kicking off in front of a crowded Grand-Stand on the 1st Team Pitch.  Facing a Heathens team, many of whom have played in National 3 this season, Maidstone were by no means overawed and came away from the Rectory knowing that it was only “ifs”, “buts” and “might-have-beens” that came between them and victory in a very tight contest.  Losing by a small margin can sometimes be a better learning experience than winning by a large margin and the Maidstone players and spectators had no complaints at being beaten on the day by very good opposition.

NEXT WEEK

It should be a lively day at the club on Saturday with a VP and old boys lunch and with 3 fixtures, including the Battersea Ironsides Veterans on a coach trip to Maidstone and on a mission to drink the bar dry. I seem to remember that last time they sent a raiding party to Maidstone, they managed to carry off one of the (then) bar-staff with them but I expect that being older now, their pillaging days are probably behind them.  We will soon find out.

RE

 Fixtures for 23rd November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Deal & Betteshanger

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Westcombe Park III

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Gravesend III

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

TBA

 

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Battersea Ironsides Vets

H

 

Friendly skirmish

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 9th November 2013
posted: November 11 2013

Results for 9th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Tunbridge Wells

A

 Won 41-12

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

H

Won 38-7

Invicta League

3rd

 Tunbridge Wells III

H

Won 57-5

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Thanet IV

H

Lost 24-10

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Folkestone Fossils 

A

Won 0-5

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three excellent results at the top end of the club this week, with strength in depth being reflected in the 50 players who showed up for training this week and the number of regular Mustangs who played for the 3rd team on saturday. As significant as the wins for the top teams however, was the decision by the Barbarians skipper Ian Ausher to switch his match to Thanet when there was no pitch available in Maidstone (and believe me, we tried to find one) and the willingness of his loyal troops to follow him down there to get a game of rugby on a Saturday.  This contrasts with so many other clubs where matches seem to get abandoned at the drop of a hat, especially on International weekends where many players would rather watch than play.

With Tunbridge Wells ground being deemed unplayable, it was a simple matter to switch the game to Maidstone on Friday, although in the event, the weather conspired to make Maidstone's pitches nearly as bad.  However, it would have been really bad news to postpone the fixture, given our cup commitments next weekend, so well done to all concerned in getting the match staged.  Unbelievably, this was Nick East's 30th match for the Maidstone first team (albeit his first since his return from his 3 year sabbatical in Sussex) but his first ever win - which, given his fiercely competitive nature gives an idea of how embattled the First Team have been within the fairly recent past.  Well done to Willie Brown for taking the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match Award.

The Mustangs, skippered this week by Matt Vickers, fielded such a strong side that it could easily have passed for our First Team on another week, with most of the side having considerable 1st team experience.  This was reflected in a dominant performance that saw Brad Ford taking the Man of The Match plaudits once again.

Without skipper David Ruaux available to lead the 3rd Team this week, David Baker took up the reins but unselfishly, allowed others to occupy his berth in the back row in the interests of making sure that everyone got a game. It must have been nice for Jack Hart (who is the master in charge of rugby at MGS) to score a hat-trick in front of one of his own pupils, none other than the referee, Ben Johnston, who once again gave a very assured display with the whistle in what was only his second senior game. Well done to Tunbridge Wells for making the trip and giving it a good go with only 14 players, albeit that they were quite a bulky bunch in the forwards. Not as bulky as our front-row of Mark Thurgood, Chris Hogg and Will Fox though, I suspect.

The Barbarians have already had a mention further up the page, but be sure to read their elegant match report from the flowing hand of their new scribe, stalwart full-back Paul Hodges.

Lastly, but not leastly, we come to the Vets, who toiled through hell and high water (high water anyway) to reach Folkestone (where the Folkestone First Team game had been called off owing to torrential rain) and thrashed the Folkestone Fossils 5-0, on a pitch which was as good as any I have ever played on.(That will take some explaining to the RFU League Secretary).  The Vets seem to have specialised in close results this year, only one match having been decided by more than 5 points. This was no exception as it was only a second half try from Mike McIvor that separated the two sides, following neat interplay between Matt Ellesmere, Ian Davis and Paul Massey to create a gap.  Folkestone pressed strongly in the last quarter but heroic resistance kept them at bay and the beer tasted all the better for it afterwards.  No fixture for the Vets next sat as Cinq Ports have cried off and with the Evergreen Cup to be played on Sunday, the rest of the old boys can have a rare week off.

NEXT WEEK

The big event of the weekend is  the triple-header vs Blackheath, to be played at the Rectory Field, with the U14s kicking off at 11am, the Evergreen match at 1pm and the Kent Cup match at 2:30.  It should be a great day out for supporters of Maidstone, as two of Kent’s oldest and biggest clubs go head to head, even if its not quite like the days of the 1980s when Maidstone First Team could expect to beat the Blackheath First Team in the Cup. However, I would settle for 3 wins out of 3 next Sunday as a good milestone on the route back to those heady days of recent history.

On Saturday there is currently only one fixture, which is our Barbarian Team vs the Gravesend Moles away, but we are looking for something suitable for home, at around 3rd team level.

RE

 

Fixtures for 16th/17th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Blackheath Heathens

A

Sun 17th 2:30 ko

Kent Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

   

 

 

3rd

   

 

 

Barbarians XV

Gravesend Moles

A

 

Friendly

Vets

Blackheath Vets

A

Sun 17th 1pm ko

Evergreen Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 2nd November 2013
posted: November 04 2013

Results for 2nd November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield

H

Won 72-5

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath III

A

Lost 40-12

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

A

Lost 33-15

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Hastings and Bexhill III

H

HWO

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Cranbrook Vets 

A

Won 5-9

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

If carlsberg did Saturdays...........


An 11:30 kick off at Cranbrook with a satisfying win for Maidstone Vets vs Cranbrook Vets followed by some good food and a quick pint.  Quick drive back to The Mote, (with Chelsea losing to Newcastle on the radio) in time for kick off and a commanding performance from the 1st Team vs a battling Heathfield to return to the top of the table. Back into the clubhouse to see England seal victory vs Australia and then home in time for Arsenal 2, Liverpool 0.  Doesn’t get much better!!

The only disappointments of the day were the losses for the Mustangs and 3rd team and especially the cry-off from Hastings that meant that the Barbarians went without their scheduled home fixture.

It was a cracking performance from the first team vs a bulky and committed Heathfield.  It took time to break down the visitor's defensive resolve but once breached, the flood gates were prised open wider and wider, until eventually Heathfield were able to salvage some pride with a try of their own in the last quarter.  Matthew Iles took the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award despite strong competition from three-try Sam Brill and from Ben Brill and Neil Graves for their storming performances amongst a good team effort.

The Mustangs were unlucky to meet winless, bottom of the table Blackheath 3rds on a day when Blackheath 2nds had no fixture, which may have had a small impact on the outcome??.  Tries for Alex Clark and "Pickle" Bunyan were scant consolation for the loss, although crisper handling and more injury cover in the forwards to replace Sam Weston could have perhaps led to a closer contest.

With memories of last season's away drubbing vs Ashford II fresh in the collective memory, a much stronger 3rd team made the same trip this year and whilst the result was the same, it was a much more competitive game all round.  Ashford put on four tries in the first 20 minutes before Maidstone dug in and hit back with three tries of their own through Tom McMulkin, Simon Seal and Dan Taylor and bizarrely, 75% of the action took place in the Ashford defensive 3rd, with break away tries accounting for most of the Ashford scores.  This was always going to be a very challenging division for our 3rds but it's encouraging that the side are proving themselves able to go toe to toe with most of the competition.

Hastings and Bexhill cried off on Friday and whilst we tried until Saturday morning to find a replacement fixture for our Barbarians side, sadly it was not to be.

No such sadness for the Veterans - except for Keith Newman and Ian Davis.  Keith took a call from his wife as he drove into Cranbrook's car-park, to say that his neighbour's house was on fire and he needed to come home pronto, which put paid to his rugby for the day. Ian Davis fared no better when he turned up at 2pm for an 11.30 kick off!!
The Maidstone team turned up in dribs and drabs for the early kick-off to find that the Cranbrook Vets were already out on the pitch and running impressive looking drills, whilst Maidstone were still wandering around, wondering who was going to play - and where.  However, when the game got under way, it became clear that Maidstone could more than hold their own - especially in the scrum and line out, where Mike McIvor reigned supreme jumping at 2.
The game was refereed very competently by Laura Pettingale, (who's mother Tracy refereed our first team later in the day) Frustrated by repeated penalty offences from the Maidstone players,  she eventually showed a "team" yellow card to Mike McIvor but following a very sporting intercession from the Cranbrook players, he was allowed back on in less than a minute (much to his disappointment, as he had hoped  to re-habilitate his ham-strings in the unexpected rest-period). To the disappointment of an enthusiastic crowd - but very sensibly, Maidstone kicked all their penalties to secure victory, landing 3 out of 3, via the unusual medium of place-kicking prop Pete Gray.
It was great to have Dave "action" Jackson back on the pitch, having obtained day release from his new hideout in Essex, and there was an impressive Maidstone debut in the centre from former skipper of Purley Vets, Richard Cutbill, adding some much needed youthful vigour to the side at a callow 45 years old.

VETS GERMAN TOUR

Proving that some people actually read the Match Day programme (if not the Weekly Roundup, from which much of it is plagiarized), an email has come flooding in from our Immediate Past President, as follows:

Chaps

I was interested in the programmes notes about the vets intended tour to koln next year!
Especially as gravesend are returning for the 5th year.
It is the gay Capitol of Germany!
I have been several times to trade shows and stayed with my late wife there.
We went into a bar next to a youth hostel and I was impressed by the attention we were receiving.
Ann told me they fancied me!
If you do go, it's a great city,plenty to do and see
Have a gay time!
Maybe they will come to us?

Well, Bob is a handsome chap without doubt, but it sounds as though for once, we might all be in with a chance of pulling on tour.

RE

Fixtures for 9th November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

 Tunbridge Wells

A

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Thanet II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

 Tunbridge Wells III

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Thanet IV

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Folkestone Fossils 

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 26th October 2013
posted: October 29 2013

Results for 26th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

A

Won 12-19

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

Won 24-12

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

H

Won 31-10

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Weavering

A

Lost 7 -37

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Gravesend Moles

A

Drew 7-7

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not much of a roundup this week owing to various time pressures and being away from the club on sat.  However, since there are match reports for each game this week, there is little that's required in embellishment.

Following the disappointment in the Intermediate Cup last week it was good to see that the player's focus on the league remains undiminished as a potentially tricky away match vs Crowborough was put to bed without mishap.   Josh Pankhurst took the bubbly for a MotM performance including the opening try.

The Mustangs put down a marker by defeating Medway's second team in what is perhaps the most important local derby these days, as the two clubs are near neighbours and of similar size and pedigree .    A yellow card for skipper Nick East shows how he is mellowing with age, as the last time that he encountered this referee, he was forced to leave the field prematurely for the proverbial early bath having been shown a red. On another note, it was amusing to see the Mustangs Second-row partnership being likened to Sonny Bill Williams in the Medway match report.

The 3rd Team put a couple of frustrating defeats behind them to record worthwhile victory vs TJ4.  Great to see that young fly half Callum Smith is improving game by game and shows plenty of potential to play at the top end of the club when he has gained a bit more experience at this level.

The 5ths came up against 27 Weavering players, many of whom are playing way below the level of rugby of which they are actually capable. Not surprisingly, they are winning by big margins every week, playing against 4th and 5th teams and not surprisingly, our embattled Barbarians were beaten again but it's pleasing that they put up a stalwart defence this week, making Weavering work hard for every score.   Well done to Simon Seal for getting onto the score-sheet once again.

 

The Vets enjoyed a well matched fixture against old friends and foes Gravesend Moles and no one was disappointed with a satisfactory 7-7 draw for all the puffing and blowing and falling over.  For those who don’t know, our Vets will be touring in Koln (Cologne) after Easter, inspired to visit there by the Moles, who will also be returning to Koln this year for the 5th consecutive year.   Guess there must be something about it that they quite like – which is a good enough recommendation for me.

 

NEXT WEEK

Dont forget that kick off times are 2:30 in November, although some might be even earlier this week to accommodate the England Australia match.

 

RE

Fixtures for 2nd November  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Heathfield

H

 

London South 2

2nd

(Mustangs)

Blackheath III

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Ashford II

A

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Hastings and Bexhill III

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Cranbrook Vets  

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 19th October 2013
posted: October 21 2013

Results for 19th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Guildford

A

Lost 31-28

Intermediate Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Juddians III

A

Won 0-67

Invicta League

3rd

Snowden Colliery

H

Lost 10-17

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Whitstable III

H

Lost 12-42

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Lordswood II

H

Won 17-0

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having sampled the excellent hospitality at Guildford RFC on Saturday, it was almost slightly embarrassing when our First Team set about dismantling our hosts Intermediate Cup ambitions in clinical style, dishing out a lesson in fast-flowing possession rugby that threatened to post a cricket score and blow the hosts off the park.  Slightly worryingly, for all this possession and territory, the visitors were only 21-5 up at half time but bearing in mind that Guildford had only once penetrated Maidstone's 22, the script was written for more of the same in the 2nd half.  When Matt Iles strolled over for a try under the posts soon after the re-start, no one could have guessed that 30 minutes later, a 13 man Maidstone would be looking (unsuccessfully) to land a 40 metre penalty through the same sticks in order to take the match into extra time.  What had transpired in the intervening half-hour of horror is too painful to recollect but it would be churlish not to congratulate Guildford on the way they responded to adversity and the efficiency with which they executed a simple but effective game plan to pull-off the most unlikely of come-backs.  Despite the disappointing scoreline, congratulations to Brad Ford for winning this week's Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award.

It was interesting to be presented before the game, with an extract from the match programme when the two clubs last met, in London 2 in feb 2008, when Maidstone took the points home to consolidate a position that was getting dangerously close to the promotion zone.  Of the team that played that day, only Andy Bacon returned for saturday's fixture, and following his recent forced retirement, he was wielding the video camera rather than playing.   For the record, the Maidstone team that day was:  Rob Jeffrey, Fin Davis, Matt Plowman, Andy Bacon, Steve Matthews, Nick Taylor, Hugh Ridgeon, Ben Court, Craig Whitehead, Gary Whitehead, Nick Diessner, Aidan Bailey, Mark Ryan, Damian Houlihan, Scott Mitchell, with Simon Hollister, Sam Johnson and Chris Leggat on the bench.

The Mustangs took what appeared to be a depleted line-up to Tonbridge to play TJ 3rds but delivered their best performance of the season to vanquish their opponents in convincing style.  Credit must be given to TJs for resisting any temptation to "stack" their team on a day when their 1sts and 2nds had no fixture of their own: it's perhaps a shame that they took such a hiding for their self-denial.   Great hat-trick from Jamie Sims and two tries each for Matt Vickers and Nick East as well as a try apiece for Alex Sturzu, Will Pearson and Jason Smith, Robbie Grieve converting, whilst Josh McKenzie took four against the head at hooker.

Our 3rds in turn, were missing many of the team from the previous week that had given such a good a count of themselves vs Aylesford II, which was not good news given the arrival of Snowden First Team for what is always one of the toughest fixtures of the season.  In particular, the 3rd team was short of backs, at which point it was remembered that Mote Cricketer and Loose Head Prop Dan Taylor, is actually a pretty nifty Fly-Half - all 19 stone of him.   He duly accounted for all of Maidstone's points, with a penalty and a converted try, but it was not quite enough to win a tight and typically robust encounter.

The Barbarians XV were also at home where they entertained Whitstable's lowest side on the bottom pitch but succumbed to a 12-40 defeat despite tries from Simon Seal and Matt Whatley. As is clear from the excellent match report from newly recruited scribe Paul Hodges, it was weak tackling that let the visitors have it nearly all their own way.

A rejuvenated Vets Team (if one can call Paul Massey and Mike McIvor juveniles) played host on the Somme to local visitors Lordswood II for a relatively comfortable victory, tries coming from son of a Vet Aaron Bishop, Paul Massey and Peter Gray, one of which was converted by Mick Walker.  

 

OTHER MATTERS

AGM

Thank you to all who attended a packed AGM on Monday evening and congratulations to those who were elected or re-elected as officers of the club.  It is always exciting to have new faces at the helm and never more so than at a time as challenging as the next few months are likely to be for the club.  However, a huge debt of gratitude is owed by all members to the outgoing incumbents, who gave so much of their time, energy (and considerable amounts of money in many cases) to the enormous benefit of the wider membership.  Please feel free to express your thanks to all concerned when next you see anyone of them in the bar. 

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Claire Warner and her husband Ben have been delivered of a baby girl whom they have named Amber.  Claire is the daughter of long-time member and former 5th team skipper Brian Warner and she is best known to many of us as a Kent Society Referee (and First-Team touch-judge when Dave Hughes is unavailable), although she and husband Ben are also regular supporters on match-day, helping out wherever needed by selling programmes etc.   We look forward to welcoming the three of them back to The Mote in the near future

RE

Fixtures for 26th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Crowborough

A

 

Intermediate Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

Medway II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Tonbridge Judds IV

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Weavering

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Gravesend Moles

A

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 12th October 2013
posted: October 14 2013

Results for 12th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Aylesford

A

 Won 7-38

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover II

A

 Lost 33-20

Invicta League

3rd

Aylesford II

H

Lost 17-19

Premier East

4th

Old Gravesendians II

A

Void

Late Red East

4th/5th

Ashford Barbarians

H

Lost 10-55

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Faversham II

H

Won 10-7

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it took 20 minutes for The visitors to get off the (imaginary) coach, the outcome of the small affair at the Jack Williams Ground was more than satisfactory as the two protagonists ended the game at opposite ends of the League Table, one retaining their position at the bottom and the other gaining the top-slot. If  Ben Brill keeps winning the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award, I will soon be able to copy and paste the relevant paragraph into the round-up every week.  Congratulations to him on another stand-out performance.  I hear that bubbly is now his beverage of choice.

On a day of high excitement locally, The Mustangs faced instead a very unglamorous trip to the depths of Dover where, with around 9 players missing through unavailability and injury,  they stayed in contention but never really looked like winning.  However, it's a result that skipper Nick East will be confident to reverse when The Mustangs entertain Dover at home, later in the season. Overall, this was a very good team performance from the Maidstone Second Team and there were some very good individual displays also.  Tries were scored by Steve McNamara and Rich Weston, with Brad Ford kicking all the points.


For those players and spectators who stayed at The Mote, there were some fixtures to savour, not least the visit of Aylesford  2nd team to play our 3rds in their scheduled League fixture.  Having watched the first 20 mins when the home team were camped inside the visitors 22, I found it somewhat alarming that no points were scored for all the early dominance, 2 or 3 tries having been denied for failure to ground satisfactorily.  I resumed watching with 5 minutes left, only to see a re-enactment of the last 5 minutes of the First Team vs Medway 3 weeks ago.  Powerful Maidstone running took the ball within a few feet of the Aylesford line and it seemed that the game would be emphatically finished off in Maidstone’s favour, when a loose pass lost possession and the ball found its way to the visiting winger in space, who scored under the posts to tie the scores, with the conversion winning the game for the jubilant visitors.  Many of the players, and spectators alike, had thought that Maidstone were more than 7 points up at the time, which shows how vital it is to keep track of the points and play tactically.  A hard lesson learned.

A combined 4th and 5th team took on a powerful Ashford Barbarians team on the bottom pitch, but were unable to match the visitors in certain aspects of play, some of the visiting players being well above the standard normally faced at the lower end of the club.  It was a good fixture nonetheless and it was certainly not all one way traffic.  Good to see Mick Duggan back on the pitch in the red, white and black btw, scoring one of Maidstone’s tries, Simon Seal getting the other.  Most heartening aspect of this match was the stand out performance on his senior debut of 17 year old MGS pupil Ben Johnstone, who refereed with a competent assurance that was a credit to him and augurs well for him should he choose to pursue a high-flying career with the whistle, amongst his many other sporting interests.  We hope to see him back at Maidstone on a regular basis.

From one friendly fixture to another, the Vets entertained Faversham 2nd team on the Somme ( which was in remarkably good condition given all the rain  that had fallen in the previous 24 hours) and managed to record their 1st win of the season, albeit a narrow one, in what was a very good advert for social rugby.  Chris Byrne made an impressive debut, not having touched a rugby ball for 20 years and looked as though he will be a useful addition to the squad. The Vets have a long tradition of incorporating various of their offspring in the team and this week was no exception, with George Coomber and Aaron Bishop adding some younger legs, Aaron getting both of Maidstone’s tries in what was a very good natured match against well matched opposition.

 NEXT WEEK

Following much soul-searching, we have decided to withdraw our 4th Team from the Late Red Division of the League with effect from this week and formalize the de facto situation, which is that we don’t actually have a 4th team anymore.  Last season and the season before, we managed (just about), to paper over the cracks and to fulfil large parts of a 6 team fixture list by shuffling players between teams and taking advantage of days when other teams dropped out or where there were gaps in the schedule. In reality, we only fielded 6 teams on the same day twice last season, and not at all the previous season. Dave Baker was thankfully willing to step into the vacant role of 4th Team Skipper at the start of the season and we are very grateful for his efforts to date, but he and we have now accepted that there is no identifiable 4th team squad and that the 4th team and 5th team are unable to fulfil fixtures on the same day. One of the consequences of how we have been operating, is that the 5th team have been stepping up en masse to play at a level where they are hopelessly outgunned and where some might say that it is actually a dangerous mismatch – as per the refs comments following the recent thrashing by Canterbury IV.  

Its rather a shame in some ways, as inevitably it means that we are likely to have more players than positions to fill in the forthcoming weeks, although we intend to review the situation again after Christmas, when there could be an influx of this year’s U17s who will be old enough for senior rugby and for whom School rugby may have finished for the year.

 Key to being able to produce ad hoc fixtures for an extra team at that stage, will be proper information regarding availability.  Even now, if players took the trouble to make themselves available via the clubhouseapp.com website, we could possibly be avoiding the need to drop a team.  I can think of lots of players who would/could turn out and play if they are asked personally, but chasing players is no basis on which to commit to fixtures every week. 

AGM

Don’t forget that tonight (Monday 14th Oct) is the club’s AGM and paid-up members should make an effort to attend at such a critical time in the club’s history, to make sure that your voice is heard on key issues.

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 17th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Guildford

A

 

Intermediate Cup

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tonbridge Juddians III

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Snowden Colliery

H

 

Premier East

Barbarians XV

Whitstable III

H

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Lordswood II

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 5th October 2013
posted: October 07 2013

Results for 5th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Charlton Park

H

Won 38 -20

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tunbridge Wells II

A

Lost 24-20

Invicta League

3rd

Dover III

H

Won 22-13

Premier East

4th

Dover IV

A

Lost 14-22

Late Red East

5th

Ash II

A

Won W/O

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Old Gravesendians III

H

Cried off.

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great occasion on saturday to welcome Charlton Park back to the Mote, as this fine community club from South London are amongst Maidstone's oldest rivals and they have, like Maidstone, experienced the highs and lows of playing-fortunes since the introduction of League Rugby in 1988.

To be serious title contenders this season, the match was one that neither side could  afford to lose, which made for a great atmosphere as both sides gave it their all in a game where the lead changed hands at least 4 times and where the result was still in doubt until 10 minutes from time.  

There were some great individual performances including 2 tries each for Willie Brown and Ben Williams but the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award went once again to Ben Brill.

Can’t resist quoting from Martin Arnold’s match-day programme notes this week:

We haven’t played Charlton Park for a number of seasons but I remember matches against them tended to be full blooded affairs or as ex-Maidstone coach, John Whitehead, so memorably commented “this will be a war of nutrition”! With ‘The Train’ back in the side this week following surgery on his conk, we should be in good shape for an eating contest! Good luck to both sides.

Talking of “The Train”, it seems that he had a good night on the town with the team on Saturday night, although his £70 shirt appears to have fared less well.

 

Whilst all of the excitement was taking place on the top pitch, a thriller was also being enacted on the bottom pitch, as David Ruaux's 3rd team showed what they could achieve with a full 18 man squad and no mid week drop outs, as they overturned Dover III's unbeaten start to the season with a convincing win that signals the turn of a corner for the team after a difficult start.  It also augurs well for next week's derby where our 3rds have to tackle 2nd team opposition for the first time this season  when Aylesford II come visiting,  as Dover III were victors vs Aylesford II the previous week.  Damian Grabb was Man of The Match for Maidstone

Disappointingly, The Somme, though ready for play with flags and post-protectors, was empty owing to not one but two cry offs during the week, meaning that the Vets were bereft of any opposition for their large squad and had to settle for a few beers and watching the first team - whilst gathering numbers for the Koln (Cologne) tour, which now stands at 32 and counting.

Meanwhile, what of the away teams?

The Mustangs were playing Tunbridge Wells II, (the team that won Invicta I last season) and were apparently 3-20 ahead at half time before shipping 21 unanswered 2nd half points. Must be very frustrating for all concerned having now let half- time leads slip vs Wells and Elthamians in recent weeks, although clearly the team has what it takes to mix it with the big boys.

In the absence of 4th team skipper David Baker and 5th team skipper Ian Ausher this week, a raiding party consisting mainly of regular 5th team players, travelled to Dover under the leadership of Simon Seal, where they gave a very good account of themselves, losing to a late penalty try.  Thanks to all concerned for making the long trip.  Keep an eye on the fixture board this week, as there could be one or two changes for 4ths/5ths/Vets.

NEXT WEEK

Guess there will be a modicum of interest in the double header being played out at Aylesford on Saturday, as our U17s and 1st Teams enagage in a little local skirmish.  U17s kick off at 1pm and First Team kick off at 3pm, whilst for those who aren’t keen to travel that far, the 3rd team fixture vs Aylesford II on our 1st Team pitch, promises to be a mouth-watering affair.

Why would anyone watch rugby on TV whilst there is such first class entertainment available in local parks?

RE

Fixtures for 12th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Aylesford

A

 

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Dover II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Aylesford II

H

 

Premier East

4th

Old Gravesendians II

A

 

Late Red East

5th

TBA

 

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Faversham II

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 28th September 2013
posted: October 01 2013

Results for 28th September  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

A

Won 13-72

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II

H

Won 47-13

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

A

Lost 46-14

Premier East

4th

Canterbury IV

H

Lost 5-70

Late Red East

5th

Canterbury V

A

Forfeit

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Sevenoaks Over 45

A

Lost 5-3

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

Short (and late) round-up this week, as other matters have taken priority.

 

Following the slip-up vs Medway the previous week, Ben William’s analogy that a wounded animal is the most dangerous came true with a vengeance at Colfeians, where Maidstone were ruthless and rampant, Ben himself scoring 4 tries and gaining the Biddenden Vineyards Man of The Match Award.  Gone are the (apocryphal?) days when props could go a whole season without touching the ball !!

 

The Mustangs too bounced back from defeat, and in some style, routing Gravesend’s 2nd team in a performance that gives a good benchmark for relative playing strengths between the two clubs at the moment. Certainly, there are no teams in the Invicta League that the Mustangs should need to fear and I am sure that pugnacious skipper Nick East will be relishing the chance to have a go at Canterbury 2nds in December.  On this occasion, the Mustangs fielded a 9,10,12 combination with a combined age well in excess of 100 (and Tuggy accounted for most of that on his own) but the combination of youth and experience across the whole team, proved unstoppable.

 

Haven’t heard too much about the performance of the 3rds vs Canterbury 3rds, although I did speak to one of our forwards who said that we were all over them up front.  Guess it was the backs that lost it then?   (I really should try to get the balanced view each week by speaking to both Forwards AND Backs.  With one or two important players returning to the middle of the club in the next week or two, we can hope that the 3rd team results will soon turn a corner, as there are some very good players in there.  (STOP PRESS: I gather that Maidstone were 14-3 up at half time but lost 3 players to injury and ended up with 13 players on the field - again)  It could have been a win but for 2 friday night drop-outs.

 

We didn’t have enough players to fulfil both 4th and 5th team fixtures this week, so the 5th team stepped up pretty much en masse to play the 4th team fixture vs Canterbury 4th Team, but it proved to be an unsatisfactory mis-match and resulted in a very high score for Canterbury, who didn’t even bother to take their kicks at goal, such was their ascendancy. Not that it would have been an easier proposition had a 4th team played the match, as there is little to choose between players in the bottom two teams in terms of fitness/ability etc.  What is apparent though is that the new league structure is going to throw up lots of mismatches during the rest of the season.

 

Outside the constraints of league rugby, a different world prevails, where people play just for fun and everyone gets a game if they want it.  Such is life in Maidstone Vets and this week’s over 45s game vs Sevenoaks was no exception.  It was an excellent game, (although spectators on the touchline were amused to note that the ball very seldom strayed inside the 22 at either end) and whilst it was a friendly, the result was fiercely contested.  A 2nd half penalty for Maidstone looked as though it would be enough to win the match until a late (and slightly controversial try) for Sevenoaks sealed the victory for them with 5 mins left, leaving Maidstone to wonder how we could have managed to hit the cross bar from a mere 10 metres out, directly in front of the posts in our first attempt on the posts.  It was great to see Mike McIvor back on a pitch for the first time in 5 years, as together with the quality of Paul Massey, he was certainly able to add an extra dimension to the back-row. If the Vets can also add a real cutting edge to their back-line, it could be a very good season for results.

RE

Fixtures for 5th October  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Charlton Park

H

 

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Tunbridge Wells II

A

 

Invicta League

3rd

Dover III

H

 

Premier East

4th

Dover IV

A

 

Late Red East

5th

Ash II

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Old Gravesendians III

H

 

Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 21st September 2013
posted: September 23 2013

Fixtures for 21st September  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

H

 Lost 19-21

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Elthamians II

H

Lost 9-26

Invicta League

3rd

Medway III

H

Lost 7-47

Premier East

4th

Deal & Betts II

H

Lost 0-66

Late Red East

5th

Deal & Betts III

A

Lost 26-25

Dragon Fire East

Vets

No Fixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reality check is the phrase that springs to mind this week, as all five of our League teams lost on Saturday, two of them disastrously.    With 4 of our sides playing at home, it could have been a terrific day at the club but in the end, it was all rather sobering - in contrast with the heady euphoria that we have experienced quite regularly since the start of last season.

This is not to say that any wheels have fallen off at the top-end of the club, with great numbers at training and lots of new players, and its quite clear that the First Team actually had the beating of Medway within their grasp on Saturday but the nature of sport is that the strongest side does not always win and this was a case in point.  I was able to watch just the last 15 minutes of the game - during which time, Maidstone twice came within inches of putting the result out of sight but full credit to Medway for hanging in there and having the enterprise to wriggle through for the crucial score with the last play of the game. It looked like a bruising and totally committed performance from both teams and a real treat for the home crowd.  Well done to Jack Davidson for taking the Biddenden Vineyards MotM award, having only joined the club last season and played in the lower teams before emerging this year as a first choice First Teamer.

The Mustangs entertained an Elthamians II on the bottom pitch containing many of last year's National League first team and were good enough to be 9-0 ahead at half time before losing their way in the second half to ship 26 unanswered points for their first loss of the season.

Of more concern was the scale and nature of the defeat that the 3rd team experienced on the Somme (although how fantastic to be able to use our own third pitch for a change?).   Albeit that Medway's Development side are quite superb at what they do and that Maidstone dominated for the first 15 minutes- even scoring the first try, it was nonetheless an unequal contest as youthful speed and zest tore their older Maidstone opponents to pieces.   There was certainly much food for thought afterwards, although one needs to retain a sense of perspective on these matters and there was plenty of beer drunk and sociability whilst conducting the inquest in the bar.

For the 4th team, the idea of tackling Deal and Betteshanger 2nd team did not sound especially appealing on the fixture card, although, when D&B turned up late with just 12 players, the task in hand seemed much less daunting, especially when D&B eschewed the offer of players and chose instead to play for the league points with their daring dozen.  There then followed a smash and grab raid of epic proportions, aided and abetted by an abject display from an unfit and inept Maidstone composite side that was penetrated and outrun at will, whilst trying to contest the frequent surprising refereeing decisions, instead of reacting quickly enough.   Well done to Deal & Betts for their efforts and thanks to the players who guested for the 4th team on the day but there is a growing view that as a club we are spreading ourselves too thinly and that unsettled teams and unequal league fixtures leave us facing a torrid season in the middle of the club unless some consolidation takes place.

At the bottom of the club, skipper Ian Ausher did well to marshall a full side for the long trip to Deal and they very nearly rescued Maidstone from a whole club whitewash, losing the match by just one point after having held the lead on several occasions.  With a good performance from the half-back pairing of Mike Gillies and Simon Seal, the game could easily have been a Maidstone win, although there were serious doubts over the impartiality of the "home" referee. Nonetheless, this was a good contest and a good advert for 5th team rugby under their Skipper Ian Ausher. 

 

OTHER MATTERS

Huge thanks are due to our awesome team of bar staff, who are such a feature and such an asset of our club.   Under the untiring leadership of Bar Manager Carol McKenzie, we could all see the hard work that was being done on Saturday by Liz, Helen, Sarah and Charley in the kitchen, but consider that Carol, Helen and Liz worked all of Friday and Saturday evenings as well (hosting two very successful parties).  This was then followed by Mini and Junior Rugby on Sunday although they received superb assistance on Sunday from the U13s parents, led by Cathie Mills.  Many thanks to all of you, who contribute so much to making our club what it is.   

 

RAY VALE

I ran into Ray in the Car-Park and he informed me that this week marks the 50th anniversary of his joining Maidstone Rugby Club (although he also told me that he is 58, the veracity of which I have some cause to doubt).  When I first came to Kent in the 1980s and played for Sevenoaks, Ray’s name was the first one from Maidstone that I came to know, as I would read his match reports on the back page of the KM each week and he was for many years the club’s press officer, whilst plying his own profession as a journalist, an occupation he still pursues despite having reached a somewhat implausible age.  Others will know that as well as having been an illustrious player in his time, he also held the office of Club President for 3 years during the last decade.   Good to see you Ray.  Hope we manage to serve up a win for you on your 60th anniversary.

 

VETERANS RUGBY

Maidstone is one of very few clubs that fields a weekly veterans side to play social rugby and to hold up the Corinthian ideals of fraternity, sportsmanship and sheer stupidity. (Too stupid to retire gracefully).  Anyway, the Veterans have now had 3 or 4 weeks to get over their expedition to the Ashford Beer Festival/Veterans Tournament and are now ready to commence their Fixture programme with an over 45s match away to Sevenoaks.  (Imagine lots of heaving and grunting and slow-motion running and you will get the picture – although its all very fierce and physical too)   So, if you thought you were too old to play rugby at age 45, here’s your chance to have a run out – and to bring down our average age, which is usually well over 50.   Availability to vets Skipper, Steve Vincent.  (NB Most Vets Rugby is played at over 35, but for Maidstone vets there are no strict age limits.  Provided that you look old enough and don’t drink lager, you will fit in a treat) (Editors note: Lager drinking will be permitted by special dispensation ONLY during the Vets German Tour in April 2014)

 

RE

 

Fixtures for 28th September  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Old Colfeians

A

 

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Gravesend II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Canterbury III

A

 

Premier East

4th

Canterbury IV

H

 

Late Red East

5th

Canterbury V

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

Sevenoaks Over 45

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Weekly Roundup for 14th September 2013
posted: September 17 2013

Results for 14th  September  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Warlingham

A

Won 11-46

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Old Alleynians II

A

Won 21-22

Invicta league

3rd

East Peckham

H

Lost 0-58

Friendly

4th

Gravesend 4

A

Lost  29-0

Friendly

5th

 

 

 

 

Vets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome back to another new season at the beautiful Mote.

Although this was by no means the first week of the season, this was the first week of league action for the first team and the second team. Previous weeks have seen very good wins for the first team, not least last week's demolition of Darfordians in the Kent Cup, a big win over Gosport and Fareham in a training game and a very creditable narrow loss to national league side Tonbridge Juddians in a pre season friendly. The Mustangs too look in good shape, having acquired a very good new skipper in Nick East and recorded good wins over a spirited Old Maidstonians team and having beaten the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment in last week's Presidents Cup Match.

In this first week of League action, the First Team started their campaign in emphatic style  against Warlingham, who were strong contenders in last season's divisional table, with Lucien Morosan collecting the Biddenden Vineyards Man of the Match award.  Whilst less emphatic on the score sheet, the Mustangs collected their first 4 league points nevertheless with a very  creditable first win on the road against London side Old Alleynians (or “older lesbians”, as my speech recognition programme interpreted my dictation).  Outstanding for the Mustangs in a somewhat below par team effort, were James Iles in the forwards and Brad Ford at fly-half, whose kicking out of hand kept the visitors in control for most of the match.

Meanwhile the 3rd and 4th team had the first outings of the season, ably supported by good club men from the 5th Team  and from the Veterans XV.  Their fortunes were far less favourable with the 4th team losing 29-0 away at Gravesend and the third team taking a heavy beating from East Peckham following 5 or 6 injuries, which spoilt the chances of a second half comeback, bearing in mind that they were only one try down at half time.  What is a little more worrying than the score line, is the fact that East Peckham will be playing in a division below our 3rd team this season, meaning that there are much greater challenges ahead.

It's very heartening that we have been having such good numbers at training since June, but there is no room for complacency. Next saturday we have 5 league fixtures and will need to get 5 strong teams into the field. This is a huge challenge and will require support from all club members.  Once again we are very lucky to have 5 good skippers on board, (six if you include the Veterans), although both David Ruaux and David Baker are new to the task and will require help and support from all sections of the club.

Unless you have ever skippered a side yourself, you can have no conception of how difficult and arduous a task this is, although on the plus side it can also be extremely rewarding when things go well. However it can be made a great deal easier, when players co-operate fully and adhere to certain basic principles.  Key to making the selection process work properly is knowledge and communication.  At the start of the week in which we have 5 league fixtures to fill, it is absolutely vital that we know who is available and who is not available.  In these days of instant communication technology and social media, this should not present any difficulties but unbelievably it is still a huge challenge.


Last season we discovered and trialled a fantastic, free, e-mail based system called Clubhouseapp com.  The system is incredibly easy for players to use, as all that one has to do is respond to one email per week, stating whether one is available, unavailable or not sure.  Players even have the opportunity to make notes for the selection committee, stating that they can play for instance only home or away or in a preferred position.  From the clubs point of view the system is fantastic because at the start of the week it is possible to look at the system and see exactly how many players we have available, which enables us decide how many teams we can select and how many fixtures we can fulfill. The system is especially good for players who are not available every week as it enables them to highlight the weeks that they are available and make sure that they do not get overlooked by the selection system.

Sounds brilliant doesn't it and yet there was one major drawback, which was that many players could not be bothered to use the system. . Players who are happy to post on facebook, to use online banking,  to use twitter, could not be bothered to answer one email per week.  Of course there were many that did adopt the system and who had no difficulties with it, but the selectors and skippers and managers still had to spend their time chasing and communicating with the rest.  The upshot is that we are currently operating 3 or 4 different methods of communicating with players to establish their availability, which inevitably means that players fall through the cracks and get overlooked and that teams go out under strength owing to imperfect knowledge.

So, if there is one thing that you can do to help with the smooth and efficient running of the club and to save unpaid administrators and captains hours of precious time every week it would be to go to www.clubhouseapp.com , look for MaidstoneRrugby and apply to be a member. All that is required is your e-mail address and a telephone number. You don’t even have to be a club member to be on the system, (although we should all be paying our monthly membership fees via the membership page of the club website).  To adapt a famous speech from JFK,  ask not what your club can do for you, but what you can do for your club.  

Here endeth the lesson but don't forget that you reap what you sow and if you want to play rugby in strong coherent and consistent teams, then signing up for and then using the availability system, would be an excellent start.

EVERGREEN CUP  Moving on to another favourite topic, the Evergreen Cup (for Veterans) lives on despite all the appearances of an untimely death last season.  We have drawn Blackheath away in the first round of the cup and whilst it is supposed to be played by the end of October, we are currently negotiating to see if it can be played as a curtain raiser to the Kent Cup match that our First Team will be playing vs Blackheath on 17th November.  Why drive up the A2 to London twice, when once could suffice?    Watch this space.

RE

Fixtures for 21st September  2013

Team

Opposition

H/A

 Result

Competition

1st

Medway

H

 

London 2 South

2nd

(Mustangs)

Elthamians II

H

 

Invicta League

3rd

Medway III

H

 

Premier East

4th

Deal & Betts II

H

 

Late Red East

5th

Deal & Betts III

A

 

Dragon Fire East

Vets

No Fixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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Supporters Man of the Match

Despite the disappointing result, in a competent performance controlling things from the back of the scrum this weeks Man of the Match award goes to Scrum Half Jack Leach

2017-18 London Division 1 South (Top 6)
 

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