Posts Tagged ‘Maidstone Rugby’
Maidstone 20-0 Aylesford Bulls

With both sides occupying the lower half of the table this was a match that going into the final quarter of the season was important to both sides in terms their survival at this level.

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Deal & Betteshanger 29-31 Maidstone

When Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over at Manchester United, the players responded immediately and produced a string of victories to the delight of supporters of that Club.

No less delighted were the Maidstone supporters who travelled to Deal & Betteshanger (D&B) on Saturday, to see whether the change to the coaching team could galvanize our players in a similar fashion. Despite Maidstone scoring first with an impressive team try, the answer appeared to be no”, as D&B closed the gap and then drove nail after nail into the Maidstone coffin until at 29-7 and with only 20 minutes left on the clock, only the most one-eyed optimist could have hoped for a win. But in the most thrilling climax to a match seen by anyone on the touch-line in recent years, the visitors smashed and grabbed their way to victory leaving their hosts bewildered, deflated and not a little shell-shocked. For the players, this was some consolation for the several games this season where narrow winning positions were snatched from them in the last few minutes of the game.

On a firm pitch with a strong cross-wind slightly favouring Deal in the first-half, Maidstone weathered the early exchanges before showing that they had not travelled to make up the numbers. With 6 minutes played, winger Josh Smith battered his way up the middle of the pitch into the Deal 22 before off-loading to Sam Weston and Will Fox to continue the charge until Skipper Lucian Morosan was able to pick up and dive over near the posts for Maidstone’s first score, the conversion chipped over by Jason Smith on his return to the team, as though he were using a pitching-wedge.

D&B were stung by this early shock and began to exert some authority in front of their home crowd. On 16 mins they kicked a penalty 3-7 but shortly afterwards, Jason Smith’s golf-wedge technique looked questionable when a 30 metre penalty attempt in front of the Deal posts that would have kept some pressure on the hosts, failed to travel the distance. The D&B kicker again lapped up a routine penalty kick soon afterwards, 6-7 and then Deal took the lead for the first time on the half-hour when a loose ball in their own 22 was collected by their winger who hugged the touch-line and out-stripped the Maidstone tacklers to score wide-out for 5 unconverted points 11-7. A further 3 penalty points for a scrum-offence and then another winger’s try from Deal as the ball was carried nearly to the try-line on the left touchline before Mikey Grice at full-back scythed down the runner, only to see it moved swiftly through the home three-quarters for the right-winger to touch down in the corner before half-time for a 5 further points and a 19-7 interval advantage.

With the wind giving Maidstone a slight advantage in the second half, enabling them to play more of the game in opposition territory, there was some cause for optimism

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