After losing the 1st XV fixture for the last few years the boys knew that the challenge would be a tough one. The game was played on the state of the art 3G pitch at Maidenhead RFC.
The mood before the game was encouraging and the focus in the warm up showed that the boys were going to do everything they could to defeat their local rivals. From the off, the team defended with a resilience and passion that I had not seen this seen this season. Bolstered by some talented u16 players, the team made their intent known as they worked tirelessly in attack until skipper Rory Naylor broke the line to score, he converted his try so the Windsor boys led 7 – 0. The score remained the same for some time. Up until the half both sides were stubborn in defence of their try lines and were throwing everything at their opponents’ defence.
Enthused by the score line and the way they were performing the boys started the second half brilliantly. The half time message was to keep doing the same things. With a few technical tweaks the boys could extend their lead. After a superb restart the boys pressured the Maidenhead School in their attempt to exit their danger zone. Niall Baines flew away from a scrum and caught the Claires Court fly half with a superb tackle causing the ball to be dislodged. Noah London Hobbs then swooped in to scoop the ball up and dot down for a 5 pointer. The conversion narrowly swayed wide.
Windsor led the game in terms of territory and possession but their opponents would not give in. With the score line so close the game was tense until the latter stages where some excellent phase play finished with Callum Schofield dotting down in the corner.
The score was 17 – 0 as the game ran to a close. With their tails up the boys tried to spin the ball wide from behind their posts, unfortunately the ball went to ground and Windsor conceded a try and conversion.
This was by far the best performance of the season. To beat a well-organised side like Claires Court was a fantastic achievement. They grafted for everything and fully deserved their victory. Youngsters like Adam Lawson, Michael Davis and Matt Warren left nothing out there Saturday morning. Hopefully this will give them confidence moving forwards into the remaining three fixtures – Gunnersbury, Eton College and Halliford. The boys believed in their ability and that was great to see. I hope we can maintain the momentum.
Proud coach Paul