Maidenhead RFC's fringe players seize chance to impress in Harlequins friendly

Sam Churchyard (centre) played his final game for Maidenhead in Saturday’s stalemate with Oxford Harlequins. Photo: Amy Churchyard

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Myke Parrott said he was delighted to see Maidenhead RFC’s young talent and fringe players out on the pitch against Oxford Harlequins at the weekend.

In their final friendly before a month’s hiatus, Maids welcomed Quins to Braywick Park with the teams playing out a 21-21 draw in front of a lively crowd.

The absence of ‘around 50’ of Maidenhead’s players, some being regular starters, enabled the club’s younger individuals to take to the field and do battle against a robust Oxford outfit.

The experience was invaluable, according to Parrott, who affirmed earlier in the week that Maids will be looking to utilise some of these players when the new season gets underway.

“Truthfully, we didn’t care about the result, neither did we care about the performance - Saturday was just about giving an opportunity to some different players,” said Parrott.

“I have no doubt Mobbsy (David Mobbs-Smith) would say the same.

“There were some youngsters that really enjoyed playing alongside some of the older boys and that’s an opportunity they wouldn’t normally get.

“All of these games we’ve had recently with Quins, Rams, and Oxford Uni – everything we’ve been doing is about giving the boys some gametime.

“We had something like 50 lads away on Saturday, and do you know what? That’s absolutely fine.

“More than anything, I was delighted with the attitude on the day and also how everybody came together for young Jordan at the start.”

One sour note of the afternoon was Patrick Bamforth’s injury which led him to being taken away by emergency services after colliding heavily with his opposite man.

Director of rugby Parrott said the second row is now out of hospital - after checking in with him on Sunday - but will most likely have to go back for further examinations.

“At this stage, we don’t know if there is some disc damage so Paddy will continue to be monitored over the next couple of weeks quite closely,” said Parrott. “He is out of hospital, but he is very sore and stiff as you would imagine. He’s going to continue to have a series of examinations and tests over the next few weeks. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that he’s okay, it’s nothing too serious and he will be back for pre-season.”

“Sometimes, at the breakdown, bodies, limbs, and necks, are put into positions they shouldn’t be unfortunately,” added Parrott.

“It was maybe just a case of overzealous clearing, not that I’m apportioning any blame because these things happen in rugby, and we all shake hands at the end.

“Paddy is a big lad, there’s a lot of him and it was an awkward landing. He got a bit of weight on top of him in places and he heard a few crunches which is obviously quite alarming.

“However, our physios, Sharlene and Bethany, and the Oxford physio, were fantastic to reassure him.

“They all managed it as professionally as ever so our continued thanks go to them for ensuring nothing more serious happened.”

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