04:53PM, Thursday 10 May 2018
Just days after beating Redingensians RFC Colts 59-21 to seal the BBO Division 1 title, Maidenhead RFC Colts overcame Horsham RFC Colts 31-17 to reach the final of the National Under-18s Cup for the first time.
Visitors Horsham had forgotten their shirts which resulted in Maids having the slightly surreal challenge of playing against a side wearing their own club colours.
However, it may have been harder for the previously unbeaten Sussex champions to deal with, as Maids took an early advantage through an interception by fly-half Eliot Frisby, who ran clear from outside the 22 to score under the posts.
Scrum half Kieran Grey added the extras.
Grey was on the scoreboard again before long as a classic blindside move off a scrum on the 22 worked to perfection and he converted his own try to make it 14-0, before adding the extras to a try from imposing lock Jack Belcher and Maids were now 21-0 up.
Horsham were very involved in the game despite the scoreline and benefited from a series of penalties, mostly awarded at the breakdown, one of which they kicked to make it 21-3.
The hosts reacted well, however, with powerful right wing Josh Odeniyi finishing strongly in the corner to make it 26-3. On a very hot afternoon the first half extended beyond the regulation 35 minutes into the 42nd, Maids went down to 14 men following a yellow card, and Horsham capitalised to score and go in to half-time trailing 26-10.
Maids were under more pressure early in the second half and still a man down, but came through this without conceding and in fact extended their lead through a fantastic sweeping move finished by Max Williamson.
A score of 31-10 felt like it ought to be enough but with the referee dishing out two more yellow cards to see Maids down to 13, nerves were stretched.
Horsham did get over for another try to make it 31-17, but Maids had enough belief and resolve to hold out and make club history.
They play Tynedale RFC, from Northumberland, in the final at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Saturday, May 19.
Kick-off is 2pm.
Maidenhead RFC Colts: Elio Mandozzi, James Johnstone, Callum Dugmore, Jack Belcher, Phil Wells, Teo Gaster, Joe Thompson, Todd Muil, Kieran Grey, Eliot Frisby, Dan Collins, Elliott Thorne, Josh Odeniyi, Ollie Hills, James Ford, Will Manning, Matt Hine, Ollie Hull, Chris Allen, Drew Prince, Max Williamson, Josh Henderson.
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