09:42AM, Thursday 11 October 2018
Maidenhead RFC’s players made the long trip back from Saturday’s 22-14 defeat at Exmouth with the nagging feeling they could and should have done a bit better.
Plenty went against them in Devon, with the depleted squad suffering further injuries during the match as Andy Darlington and George Blewitt both hobbled off.
Captain Myke Parrott said there were also plenty of positives for Maids to take from the defeat, and he feels they’re in decent shape heading into this much needed mid-season break.
“I know it sounds like I’m making excuses but we were missing quite a few for Exmouth already,” he said. “But I thought we started pretty well. We were playing against the wind and defended really well because they’re a good side going forward.
“We were 14-8 up and our scrum was on top. It was going well, but they managed to score a try late in the half to make it 15-14 going into the break. We also lost Andy Darlington and George Blewitt in the first 15 minutes. That’s two injuries to players who are pretty key for us. Mark Darlington then got a yellow card at the start of the second half and that changes our and their game plan.
“From then on they kept the ball really well and played the conditions. They managed to get another try to make it 22-14 but we still had the better of the final 20 minutes.”
Maidenhead held a 14-8 first half lead after tries from Dan Cole and Lewis Jones, but the hosts were able to exploit their numerical advantage when Mark Darlington entered the sin bin. And, although they made good ground in the second half, forcing a number of kickable penalties, they badly missed the accuracy of Ed Keohane, who didn’t make the trip. They had one last chance to snatch a losing bonus point, but the kick from Will Runciman went wide.
“We missed with a couple of shots,” said Parrott. “Ed was another big loss for us. On another day he might have kicked another couple of shots for us. And because of the conditions we had to go for the corner.
“We came up a little short on Saturday, but there’s a feeling that it was one that got away from us. But full credit to Exmouth for their win. It was one of those days for us but one we’ve just got to take on the chin.”
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