12:30PM, Thursday 06 January 2022
Having seen last season’s annual fixture between Marlow and Maidenhead’s u23s postponed due to lockdown restrictions, both teams were delighted this year’s end of year match-up was able to go ahead as planned at Riverwoods.
Maids had edged out their rivals by five tries to four at Braywick Park in 2019 and have proudly displayed the Matilda trophy behind the bar for the past two years.
Damp and windy conditions did not bode well for either side’s hopes of playing free flowing, running rugby, and despite Maids’ dominance in the early stages, the sides came off at the interval level at 14-14 having score two tries apiece.
With the wind at their backs, and a slight slope in their favour for the second half, the advantage lay with the home side, but Maidenhead’s defence was terrific. They repeatedly came under pressure from the hosts on their own try line, but Marlow weren’t able to break through.
Finally, Marlow’s pressure told with the home side running in a couple of tries, but Maidenhead scored a great try with five minutes to go to put the outcome back in the balance at 26-21. They pressed late on but couldn’t claim a late winning score and Marlow held on to reclaim the trophy. The game was an excellent illustration of both club’s strength in depth and was watched by a big crowd, keen to see some rugby after recent postponements. Despite the disappointing result for Maidenhead, rugby was certainly the winner.
W In the South West 1 East Windsor RFC will return to action with a home game against Buckingham on Saturday.
The Royals have won just three of their 13 matches so far this season but come into this game a couple of points above their visitors, who have also struggled for consistency.
The club have also seen head coach Jack Pattinson step down from his role due to competing work commitments at London Irish.
Marlow will look to put further pressure on the top four in Southern Counties North when they return to action at home to High Wycombe on Saturday. Victory would see them significantly close the gap on fourth placed Wycombe.
Maidenhead and Slough travellers have long been waiting for the arrival of Crossrail to whisk them quickly into central London.