03:00PM, Thursday 10 October 2019
Maidenhead RFC’s players breathed a mighty sigh of relief after their match at Launceston went down to the wire on Saturday.
David Mobbs-Smith’s side had seen a healthy second half lead whittled away and, after scoring a try with the final play of the game, the home side had a sudden-death kick to win.
Captain Myke Parrott admitted afterwards he was thanking his lucky stars when the ball drifted wide and confirmed the visitor’s 43-42 win.
But he knows their defensive game hasn’t matched their electrifying attacking game in the opening weeks of the season and felt the team were handed a ‘get out of jail free card’ on Saturday.
The result, Maidenhead’s third win of the season, moved the side level with leaders Barnstaple ahead of their next match at home to Newbury on Saturday week (October 19).
“Very few of us had played Launceston before so we didn’t know a lot about them,” said Parrott.
“Fair play to them for the way they came back at us. They’ve got a raucous crowd and they played expansively, which we didn’t expect.
“They have a really wide pitch there and they just kept playing the ball wide which made for a good game.
“Fortunately for us their kicker had a bit of an off day with the boot.
“I just thought it might be sod’s law that he’d get the hardest one of the lot at the end but, thankfully, it drifted wide and we got the five points. But it was get out of jail time.”
Despite their inconsistencies this season, Parrott is confident Maids will improve on last year’s third place finish. Most of their games this season have gone to the wire but they’ve played many of the sides who’ll likely challenge them for the title. They have also picked up two victories on the road and were a whisker away from a third, after failing to slot a late penalty in their 32-30 defeat to Exmouth three weeks ago.
“The league is bonkers this year,” added Parrott.
“All the teams are beating each other. Barnstaple are top but they’ve got to play Exmouth next who I fancy will beat them. Four or five sides are really close which is exciting.
“We know our defence hasn’t been good enough but we’ve been scoring lots of tries which is a huge positive. I know that the points against tally is concerning but I’m confident we can sort that out.
“We were very much attack focused going into the season but now is the time to focus on our defence. And let’s not forget we were excellent defensively against Drybrook but we’ve got away from that a little bit.
“The 2nds have a tough game at Bournemouth this weekend and a few players will get the chance to put themselves in the shop window for Newbury. I’m sure we’re in a better place than last year. Our away form is decent. We’ve picked up 12 points from 15 on the road which is a decent return.”
Parrott added: “We’ve got a team meeting tonight (Tuesday) and the message from me will be let’s not be too down on ourselves. There are things we can tweak and I’m sure we’ll come out better on the other side.”
Top Ten Articles