Maidenhead (29) vs Grove (20)
Grove throw away another game they should have won!
Grove effectively threw away a game that they should have won due to some very poor kicking plus making far too many mistakes on the field. Maidenhead played controlled if not very exciting rugby but were savvy enough to keep their organisation intact and win the game.
Both sides started strongly with Maidenhead having most of the possession and attacking hard but Grove were putting in some very big hits, particularly from locks Paul Miles and Rory Gratwohl. The initial deadlock was broken when, somewhat against the run of play, Grove's left wing Danny Ferguson made a superb break to feed supporting centre Brendon White, who went over between the posts. Unbelievably the easiest of conversions was missed but Grove were 0 : 5 up. Grove now began to look lively with a great dummying run by flanker Cash Chilvers and some neat footwork by full back Huw Lewis. Sadly Grove's line out was not functioning and having put the pressure on with a penalty kick to touch the ensuing line out was lost. Grove kept up the pressure but for the third time their line out was lost. Maidenhead broke out smoothly despite more big hitting tackles from Grove but hooker Steve Dixey then received a yellow card, having previously having had a warning from the referee. Scrum half Joe Chilvers for Grove was looking very adventurous and with a penalty won, wing Harry Carr converted to put Grove 0 : 8 in front. This points difference was short lived however because the Maidenhead No. 5 almost immediately broke through some poor tackling attempts to score between the posts. With the conversion successful the score moved to 7 : 8. Miles then made a great break for Grove but the ball was lost from the final pass and Maidenhead recovered. Carr responded with a good elusive run but again the move ended with a knock on from Grove. Just before half time Carr attempted a penalty pop at the posts but this was unsuccessful.
Grove started the second half with a bright run up the wing by centre Guy Nicholl supported by Harry Carr but it was Maidenhead who hit back following an interception and missed tackles by Grove when their No. 14 wing shot over in the corner. With the difficult conversion successful Grove were now trailing 14 : 8. Maidenhead's confidence was now plain to see and declining a penalty attempt at the posts they went for the 5 metre line out from where their forwards drove over for their third try also resulting in a massive punch up and a yellow card for a Maidenhead player. The difficult conversion was missed but the host's lead had moved to 19 : 8. Grove regrouped and began to build a big attack resulting in a penalty but the kick to touch was missed and the visitor's advantage was lost. Following a long Maidenhead kick into Grove territory the visitors tried to fight back but sloppy and aimless kicking out of hand simply threw away any possible gain. Grove's play now became very scrappy with fly hacking breaking out all over the park. A penalty award to Maidenhead was made worse for Grove by 10 metres following backchat to the referee and Maidenhead increased their lead to 22 : 8. Despite this Cash Chilvers fought to recover the situation but again the ball was lost to the opposition. Recovering, another Grove penalty line out kick to touch failed to find its mark and Maidenhead stormed back. Alex Morgan now replaced Simon Peel for Grove. Grove continued to make mistakes and their performance was now looking decidedly shabby. With Grove on the back foot it was White who made a decent break and substitute Joe Bellinger and fly half Tom Clipsham were also beginning to look lively. Jack Horrocks came on as a replacement for Dave Wells and Peel also returned and with renewed energy it was Guy Nicholl who found his way to the line for a try between the posts. Carr's conversion took the score to 22 : 15. Before Grove's hopes could be raised however Maidenhead struck back and immediately scored another converted try to take the score to 29 : 15. With virtually no time left both sides began to play demonically and it was Grove who were rewarded with a consolation try from Clipsham between the posts following a yellow card for one of the Maidenhead locks. Again the easiest of conversions was missed and the final score became 29 : 20.