12:08PM, Thursday 06 December 2018
Russell Bolton believes Saturday’s 28-16 win over previously unbeaten Bournemouth can inspire Maids to greater achievements this season. But he’s realistic to know the magnificent performance could also become a millstone around their necks if they fail to reach those levels again.
Leaders Bournemouth arrived at Braywick Park with a perfect record of 11 wins from 11, but left with their tails tucked firmly between their legs having been outplayed by their hosts.
Maids turned up the heat in the first half, with the returning Mark Darlington crashing over to get their first try and Dave Coles emerging from the bottom of a rolling maul to claim their second.
Andy Davies kept Bournemouth in touch through a series of penalties, but Maids deservedly claimed a bonus point win with a further score from Coles and another try from Laurence Leonard. Ed Keohane kicked beautifully to slot all of his conversions and penalties. His performance with the boot, like Maidenhead’s, was close to perfection.
“We were really happy with it. It was up in the air as to whether we’d get a result or not because Bournemouth had been so strong and they’d recruited really well. But we were firing on all cylinders and this was an excellent result.
“The thing we’re most pleased about is that we controlled the game for long periods. It was an excellent defensive display and I don’t think Bournemouth have anything to be aggrieved with. The better team won on the day.”
Bolton added: “It’s a win that could spur us on and be the standard we reach for the remainder of the season. But I’m also realistic to know it could also be massively frustrating if we’re not able to reach that level again. I hope it’s the first option.”
Maids will now look to harness the energy from Saturday in what’s sure to be a dog-fight with local rivals Bracknell on Saturday.
“Bracknell will be a very different game. I expect there will be a hostile atmosphere, in the nicest possible way,” said Bolton.
“We managed a tight away win there last season and on paper we should be the better team. But they’re going to want to win this one very much, as are we.
“With Camborne to come the following week at home this could be a really nice period for us leading up to Christmas.”
“Hopefully we can harness the energy from Saturday’s display.”
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All lines are currently blocked between London Paddington and Reading after a person was hit by a train between Maidenhead and Slough.