These two teams went at it big time to get the win on the day, however it was the Cockles who ran out with the victory, 22-14. Big hitting Maidenhead arrived as a Top 3 contender, Exmouth had been in great form at home from the start of this campaign. Clearly with a larger forward pack, Maidenhead looked to dominate up front. On a blustery day that sapped the energy it was the home side that looked fitter throughout the game. Taking the lead through a Tom Whelan try was deserved after early exchanges. Maidenhead took the lead when their large units kept the ball tight and trundled over the line, also converted 5-7. Whelan then booted a penalty to grab back slender margin 8-7. Clearly dangerous the hosts gave up their try line to make the score-line 8-14. Half an hour played and with a supper passage of handling it was the Cockles who went to half time in front. The next try, a deft offload from Mark Wathes, who wrapped up two defenders, fly-half George Meadows, ran in unchallenged under the post to dot down. Whelan slotted for the extras, 15-14.
From the whistle to start the second half it was clear that Exmouth wanted to up the tempo of the game. Player against the increasing wind their effort was rewarded quickly when Jack Fahy was at the bottom of the forwards to score his try. Whelan again added the extras 22-14. What ensued was battle where both teams went hunting. Exmouth defence was again much improved this ultimately kept the visitors at bay. The Cockles did work hard to grab the 4th try and a bonus point win. A couple of occasions they looked to close out but simple handling errors and curious penalties halted the advance. A technical offence yellow card for George Savage balanced out the one for the visitors earlier in the game. Maidenhead realised the win opportunity was slipping away. They were awarded two kick-able penalties; even one would have given them a losing bonus point. The gusty conditions maybe helped as twice the kick went wide.
Once again this was a super team performance with entertaining rugby. The 1st XV Man of the match as voted by Match Day Sponsor, Trinity Fire and Security Systems was Dave Bargent, sponsored by Stuart Line Cruises.
The Cockles now go in to a break, the next game will be away at Newton Abbot on Saturday 20th October.
Updated 17:17 - 14 Oct 2018 by Ian Harris