Poor availability hampered Maidenhead men's 1sts in recent matches

A couple of heavy defeats have seen Maidenhead Men's 1st team slip back down the South Central Men's Premier Division 1, but captain Phil Cowell believes those results can be explained away by poor availability.

Cowell says a run of weddings and stag dos depleted numbers for the side's 5-0 defeat to Henley and the recent 4-1 home loss to Trojans 1sts, a team who were below them in the standings before the game.

When they have been able to get their strongest side out this season, Maidenhead have impressed, crushing Winchester 7-4 and having the better of draws against Slough and Banbury, but their form has been much too inconsistent for Cowell's liking and he's hoping players' competing commitments will ease in the second half of the season.

Those poor results have seen the side slip to third from bottom ahead of Saturday's home game with second placed Oxford University. Cowell admits their visitors are likely to have the legs on them, but he's hoping Maids' extra experience will count in their favour.

“Basically, it's come down to availability to be honest,” he said.

“We had our strongest team against Winchester and got that good result.

“We took nearly our strongest side to Banbury and got a good 3-3 draw there, but out of our 15 first team players I think we only had eight for the Henley game and it was the same again for the Trojans game.

“It's been a real struggle and it's really frustrating because if we'd had our full squad, or close to it, I feel we would have got results in both of those games.

“We've got a really strong core, but if a few of those guys are missing, it's a big step up for the guys coming in from the 2nds. They've done good jobs for us, but it makes a difference when you lose your top players.”

Cowell is expecting it to be a similar story for the visit of Oxford University on Saturday, with a few players set to miss the match through injury, however, he's hopeful they can come up with a game plan to get them a much-needed victory.

“Oxford will probably have 16 young lads who train twice a week, so we're just going to have to come up with the right game plan and converse our energy when we can,” he added.


Maidenhead Women’s 1sts picked up only their second win of the season with an excellent 2-1 victory over Oxford Hawks at Altwood School on Saturday.

The result lifted Maids to eighth in the Women’s South Central Premier Division 1 ahead of Saturday’s game at bottom of the table Winchester who are yet to win this season.

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