Maidstone 10-13 Deal and Betteshanger
Maidstone 10-13 Deal and Betteshanger

Maidstone continued their League programme on a wet, grey afternoon at the Mote when they hosted Deal and Bettshanger (D&B).

As the game kicked off Maidstone were attacking the Park end but the first significant action of the afternoon was from a D&B. on 10 minutes from a lineout 30 metres from the Maidstone line, the ball was won off the top to the D&B backs who benefitted from a poor defensive effort sliding through 2 missed tackles moving the ball wide to score a try in the corner. The conversion was missed. 0-5.

D&B continued to attack and 12 minutes in 2 more missed tackles to their attack into the home side’s 22 when a last gasp try saving tackle by Alex Clark thwarted the attack.

With the rainfall increasing the handling errors from both sides increased, the scrum was also a bit of a lottery with neither side establishing an authority.

It took Maidstone 20 minutes before retaining enough possession to attack the D&B 22, it took 15 phases before D&B were penalised for a breakdown infringement but unfortunately the penalty attempt was missed.

The rain affected uninspiring half concluded with a D&B penalty leaving the score 0-8.

Head coach Hebden made 2 changes at half time giving debuts to new recruits Cameron Flavell in the back row for Bramwell and Scott De Zoeten on the wing for Clark.

D&B started the second half the brighter, kicking ahead down the blindside and appeared to be heading for the corner only to be thwarted by an excellent cover tackle by scrum half Olly Newton.

Maidstone had their best scrum of the game in the 46th minute on half way, from the resulting tight head a quick attack down the blind side but as this fizzled out the D&B backs gave an opportunist kick ahead, this was not dealt with and resulted in a D&B try in the corner, the conversion was missed. 0-13.

Maidstone, from the kick off retained possession with tight forward play and started getting front foot ball, occasionally a runner broke through the defence and made a welcome 5-10 meters but for the majority of time it was the forwards that were making the hard yards round the fringes. Their efforts were rewarded when the ball finally was passed wide and the quick feet and angle of centre Burden went over the whitewash to score a try. The conversion was missed. 5-13.

Maidstone chasing the game continued to have the better of the exchanges, keeping the ball tight and driving around the fringes, D&B’s defence stood firm for the majority of the phases, when Maidstone did attack wide, an ugly pass that reached de Zoeten on the 3rd bounce was well collected and he had enough pace to out flank the covering defence to score an unconverted try in the in the corner. 10-13.

From the restart it was D&B’s turn to run down the clock, they retained possession and finally kicked to touch as the referee indicated that time was up.

Maidstone had enough ball in this game to have won, D&B competed well at the breakdown and slowed any quick ball down and defended very well down the middle of the park. Maidstone will rue missed tackles and touch kicks and not exploiting overlaps when they were available if the ball had been spun wide earlier.

With a Bye in the Intermediate cup next week there is no 1st XV fixture, there is enough for the coaches to work on. The next fixture is the second in this season’s local derby Aylesford trilogy away on the 20th October.

Maidstone from : Tom Varker(c); Ryan Murphy; Will Fox; Charlie Williams; Charlie Bentley; Jack Bramwell; Jordan Amos; Jamie Marzetti; Ollie Newton; Jack Leech; Josh Smith; Shaun Woolford; Joe Burden; Alex Clark; George Perry.

Replacements: Cameron Flavell; Will Lane; Scott de Zoeten (all used).

Author: Shaun Neaves