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Head coach Russell Bolton praises character of his Maidenhead RFC players after last-gasp victory

TRY: George Blewitt scores in the corner for Maidenhead RFC at Bracknell RFC on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Paul Morgan)

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Russell Bolton praised his Maidenhead team for their character in the emotion-charged 28-25 derby victory

at Bracknell on Saturday, but also admitted they had not made it easy for themselves.

A try from the final play of the game earned Maids a tense win at Lily Hill Park, much to Bolton's relief.

“If I take my initial emotion out of it, I think we made it really hard work,” the Maids head coach said.

“We should have been more comfortable. Credit to Bracknell, they came out and had a specific game plan for dealing with us and it worked well for them.

“We knew that if we got to that last 20 minutes they wouldn’t be able to keep that up for the whole game.”

He added: “We spoke at half-time about adapting how we were going to attack, but it didn't really happen for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but that second 20 we started to pick-and-go more around the breakdown, speed up – which keeps them more honest – and from that is where we made the telling move.

“Overall I’m really pleased, it’s a local derby, away from home – that’s a couple of big things mentally to overcome. The character we showed was top drawer.”

Bolton accepted that his side – who conceded two interception tries – were too elaborate in the first period, but put that down to good Bracknell defence.

“Maybe we tried to overplay, but you have to credit Bracknell’s defence,” he said.

“I think they were up so quick and putting in so many shots, we felt that just pass-ing and carrying wasn't working for us.

“So maybe we tried to force it a little bit, but I don’t think it was like when we have been at home and try to play too much, they were forcing us to do different things and it took a while for us to adapt.”

Bolton added that watching from the sidelines in those final minutes was a nervous affair.

“It’s horrible, but at the same time it's the bit I love,” he said.

“It's the up and down of emotions, the rollercoaster. If it wasn't there it wouldn't be half as much fun, but sometimes you do feel as if you need an ambulance to get your ticker looked at.

“We went from the elation from French's try to put us back in the lead with not long to go, then they scored with two minutes left, and then we scored. Special stuff.”

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More on this match and a preview of Maidenhead RFC’s clash with Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday in the Maidenhead Advertiser published today.

 

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