05:57PM, Saturday 18 March 2017
Old Centralians 13 (13), Maidenhead 35 (22)
Maidenhead made the most of their game in hand over title rivals Old Patesians and Newbury by earning a bonus point victory at Old Centralians.
Maids scored six tries to complete a professional performance and now lead South West 1 East by three points from Old Pats and are a further four ahead of third-placed Newbury with four matches remaining.
Maids have been vulnerable on the road in this campaign, all their four defeats coming away from Braywick Park, but early tries from fullback Tom Finnie and winger Jaryd Robinson, added to by a conversion from Finnie, put the visitors to Saintbridge Sports Centre 12-0 ahead in as many minutes.
In a fast and furious first half which saw six tries scored, the hosts hit back with a touchdown only for Maids to score a third when scrum-half Mark Childerhouse sniped home.
Old Cents replied with a try and then a penalty to trail 17-13 just before half-time.
Crucially it was Maids who scored next when they quickly turned defence into attack before No.8 Ryan Long went over the try line to make their lead 22-13.
Maids shut out their hosts in the second period after a tighter, more determined half of rugby.
A penalty from Finnie plus tries from centre Ed Keohane and winger Frankie O'Keefe ensured Maids went further ahead and ultimately delivered the result which put them back on top.
Maids are away to Oxford Harlequins on Saturday, while Old Patesians host Newbury in a match which go a long way to deciding the final positions at the top of South West 1 East.
Maidenhead RFC (1-18): Parrott, N Jones, L Jones, Bough, Emmanuel, Cadden, Macaulay, Long; Childerhouse, Jansen, O'Keefe, Hannigan, Keohane, Robinson, Finnie. Subs: Britton, Evans, Lewis.
SW1E top three:
1, Maidenhead.......P22, Pts 93
2, Old Patesians....P22, Pts 90
3, Newbury.............P22, Pts 86
SW1E fixtures (Mar 25):
Old Centralians v Witney
Old Patesians v Newbury Blues
Oxford Harlequins v Maidenhead
Reading v Grove
Reading Abbey v Chippenham
RW Bassett v Banbury
Swindon v Windsor
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