Wildboys Win Wonderfully
They tried to tame you, looks like they'll try again
On the 24th March 1603 Tudor England ceased to be as Elizabeth I, the last monarch of this house, passed away. When she died she left no heir and James I took power starting the reign of the house of Stuart. Elizabeth I was rumoured to have died with her maiden’s head and therefore was nicknamed the Virgin Queen. If you jumped forward 415 years from the passing of the Virgin Queen, you would find the Wildboys facing a similarly difficult conquest in taking on another Maidenhead at the Kingsey Road HQ.
Prior to this encounter both teams had won all but 2 of their fixtures this season, but Maidenhead’s superior bonus point tally saw them sitting in second place, with the Wildboys following closely behind. The previous fixture between the two at Braywick Park saw the Wildboys steal a last-minute victory in a fixture that saw natural selection come to the fore, so with the pride of both teams and the mantras of “Wildboys for life” and “Bleed magenta” on the line, this fixture was sure to be no less than thrilling.
As the game commenced it was the Wildboys who dominated the initial period, however they were unable to capitalise on this dominance and were punished on the 10 minute mark when Maids ran in the first try of the game. The conversion was missed leaving the Wildboys at a 0-5 deficit.
The Wildboys responded well and soon the sizeable crowd were bursting into life when they witnessed a dazzling run from Jon Down from within his own half. After beating two players he was eventually tackled just short of the line, but he managed to expertly offload to the supporting Harry Hillier, who touched down for the leveller. The conversion was missed, and the score stood at 5 apiece.
The Wildboys then began to play with their tails up, big tackles from the second and back row and typical hard work at the breakdown from the front row saw the backs begin to run riot. A superb break from George Hope, where he nearly killed his attempted tackler, saw the ball in the hands of Matty Mountford who then slung a fine pass out wide, landing on the hands of Guy Hackshaw (who had been chundering through the night) he somehow found the strength to battle through two defenders and score in the corner for the third try of the game. The conversion was missed again and the Wildboys were 10-5 up.
Maidenhead then pushed to get themselves back in the lead, they could not find a way through the solid defence of the Wildboys and eventually opted for a penalty. The penalty was narrowly missed, and as the ball was dropping into the bread basket of young Harry Lowe, he looked up at the space opening out in front of him, but as he planned his jaw-dropping 100m run he seemingly forgot to catch the ball and it bounced off the tip of his index finger. This small blunder gifted the Mighty Maids 2s a 5m scrum, but true to form the Chinnor front row ate up their opposition and with help from the 5 men behind them they stole back possession.
Maids continued to press and had a try disallowed by their honest touch judge, flagging that the player had narrowly stepped into touch. This was a let off for Chinnor but was testament to their stoic defensive work. The half time whistle blew shortly after and all 30 players on the pitch had earned themselves the break.
Half time saw a few changes, notably Guy Hackshaw who had to call it a day due to his aforementioned illness. The problem with this was that there were no obvious backs on the bench, so front row Harry Franklin stepped up and covered on the wing.
The game came back into life and Chinnor hit the ground running, they soon had a couple of scrums back to back on the 5m line and were continuing to dominate in this area. They were awarded a third go at the scrum and this time Max Williams picked up and made a break. He was halted just short of the line, but the increasingly impressive Mark Bradburn was at hand to pick up and bound over for another Wildboy try. Of course, the conversion was missed and the score stood at 15-5 to Chinnor.
Maidenhead then scored themselves a try which seemed to be short of the line and then held up, but nonetheless the score was awarded, they then notched the first kick of the day and the score stood at 15-12.
Chinnor were aware of the narrowing scoreline, so when they were awarded a penalty the option for posts was called. Some may say a strange decision based on the conversion rate so far in the game. It then became apparent that no one wanted the pressure of the kick and bickering ensued including Tots Rackstraw telling Jayson Abbott to “grow a pair”, to which Jayson took great umbrage. Harry Hillier then stepped up for what was his first kick at posts of the day, and whilst he lined up George Dawes and Squidward were still muttering at each other. After the small drama it turned out that the call for posts was the right one as the ball sailed straight down the middle, putting the Wildboys 6 points clear.
Once again tails were up and the Wildboys were in their stride, they were dominating the scrums and the lineouts with Mark Bradburn stealing lineouts time and time again. The backs were controlling the game and all together the Wildboys were soaking up any pressure piled upon them. The next moment of brilliance came from Max ‘the weasel’ Woods, who made a superb break from within his own half. He galloped down the wing and offloaded to the stand in winger Harry Franklin who darted over the line for a try. Harry Hillier made it two from two and put the score at 25-12.
As the game drew to a close, it was fitting that the final score of the day and the final play of the game came from scrum that had been superb from the forwards all day. As the ball was put in the scrummage walked over the line and Max Williams touched it down for the final try of the day. A sublime kick from Hillier made it three from three and put the score at 32-12.
The final score does not do Maidenhead justice as they battled hard and were superb throughout, with that in mind it does however highlights the fine performance from the fine bunch of Wildboys, winning with a good margin against a well drilled side.
Man of the match was a tough ask with many players being nominated for the accolade, Jon Goodson, George Hope, Tom Evans and Guy Hackshaw were all in contention, but the stand out performance came from the Benjamin Button reincarnate, Mr Mark Bradburn. He stole many a lineout and worked like a trooper all over the pitch, he also bagged himself a try for his troubles. Mare of the match was a simpler task and nearly all votes went to Harry Lowe for the dropped ball mentioned earlier within this literary masterpiece.
The Wildboys have two weeks off now before they host Amersham and Chilton on the 14th April, until then keep it wild….
You know you love me
Man of the Match: Mark Bradburn
Mare of the Match: Harry Lowe
Tries: H.Hillier, G.Hackshaw, M.Bradurn, H.Franklin, M.Williams
Conv: H.Hillier (2)