09:00AM, Friday 09 November 2018
Mark Darlington scored one of Maidenhead’s four tries at Newton Abbot
Maidenhead’s 26-10 victory at Newton Abbot came off the back of some early quality and then sheer hard work, according to Russell Bolton.
Saturday’s win was even sweeter because it was away from home – often the team’s Achilles heel – and came just a week after a lacklustre defeat at Braywick to Weston-super-Mare.
Head coach Bolton says his side began well, something which is not always the case.
“Newton Abbot have been struggling this year, but have lost most of their matches by around seven points, so to beat them as we did and to come away with five points leaves us ecstatic,” he said.
“I asked for an energetic start and that’s what we got and it paid off. Two early tries put us in a good position although we lost Andy Berry to a concussion and Rory Hannigan to an injury in the first 15 minutes.
“We showed some real quality in the first half and then dug in during the second half. It was hard going for a while but we got our rewards.”
He added: “A couple of yellow cards left us down to 13 at the end, and amid the confusion as I was trying to get a sub on we almost went down to 12. But this shows how well we defended at the end and makes the victory even more satisfying.”
Bolton accepted that the line-up he was able to field was one of the strongest for a match away from home for a long time.
He said: “It makes a difference to be able to take a strong team for away matches. It doesn’t help if we are always missing a few players when we travel.
“Being consistent with our availability and selection is a challenge as it is with all amateur teams. But if the players want to achieve certain things, then some sacrifice is needed.”
Bolton praised the whole team for their efforts, but was keen to single out some star performers.
“Andy Berry only played 15 minutes – before going off – but it was probably the best 15 minutes he has ever played,” he said.
“He was awesome, as he has been for most of the season. I was also really pleased with prop Lewis Jones who worked hard, carried the ball well and showed a good work rate throughout.
“The back three also enjoyed good games.
“Olly Foxley was lively at fullback, Niall Crosley was solid on the wing and it was good to have Scott Prince back on the other wing as he always carries a threat.”
Maids are next in action on Saturday, November 17 at home to rock-bottom Old Patesians.
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