10:10AM, Tuesday 31 December 2019
David Mobbs-Smith is confident Maidenhead RFC can continue to apply pressure to South West Premier leaders Barnstaple when the season gets back underway at the beginning of January.
Maids rounded off a year of great change – which saw Mobbs-Smith replace Russell Bolton as head coach – in second place having ground out a useful 20-20 draw at Exeter University on December 21.
The club have been dealt a series of challenges both on and off the field in the past 18 months, and captain Myke Parrott feels he and his teammates can take great credit for the way they’ve responded to those and managed to maintain their promotion challenge.
They’ve adapted to new tactics and welcomed in new players and in doing so remain just a couple of points behind Barnstaple, despite having played two more games.
With some mouth-watering ties to come in the new year, starting against Exmouth at Braywick Park on January 4, the head coach is confident he can keep the club in the mix for promotion.
Maids lost 32-30 to the Cockles of Exmouth back in September, but, at this time of year, home advantage at Braywick counts for an awful lot and the side have run up some big scores on their own patch in recent seasons. They follow that with a crucial away trip to Ivybridge on January 11 who also beat them earlier in the campaign (33-36).
“I’m hoping those (games against Exmouth and Ivybridge) will be two wins we can pick up to just keep up the pressure,” said the head coach. “It’s hard in this league because everybody is pushing everybody to the limits. We have a lead on Weston-super-Mare and Camborne, and as long as we can keep winning, the pressure will be on them to keep winning aswell. We have confidence because I think we’re playing really well at the moment, particularly in defence.
“The festive season has been a great break for the players but mentally just to switch on and get back into a tough game, it’s going to be better to be at home rather than on the road.”
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