07:00PM, Friday 21 January 2022
Maidenhead’s full-back turned centre Niall Crosley was instrumental in Saturday’s 29-27 victory over Tring at Braywick Park.
He may not have been involved in the winning try, scored on the last play of the game by Alex French, but in the first half his interplay with captain Ben Mitchell, the scorer of Maids’ first three tries, was a pleasure to watch.
In a dominant first half display, in territory and possession if not on the scoreboard, Maids carved through the visitors’ backline almost at will, and it was Crosley, with his line breaks and exceptionally timed passes that laid the foundation for that.
Speaking after a slightly breathless second half, Crosley had to catch his breath before speaking to the Advertiser.
“We were starved of the ball in the second half,” he said. “But we dug deep and defended with everything we had.
“We hoped an opportunity would come and it did with the last play, but we felt we should have been further ahead on the balance of play.
“I don’t know what it was. Maybe we got a little too confident after the first half, but you can’t just the whole 80 minutes on the first half. Defence wins games most of the time and we dug deep to get that win.”
Maids seized their opportunity to grab a second home win on the spin after Tring’s Alex Harrison missed a relatively straight-forward penalty attempt with around five minutes to play. Having been starved of possession it presented Maids with one last opportunity to get the ball downfield and put the visitors defence under pressure.
“We made an error, but we weren’t punished for it,” said Crosley. “So, we had an opportunity to go back out there and make up for it.
“I was stood out on the sideline waiting for a cross field kick, and I thought we had lost the opportunity, but thankfully Alex (French) managed to get over.
“It gives them (the crowd) something to watch. We have loads of different lads in the squad this year and we’re giving them experience. It’s paying off and they’re developing. Obviously, we’ve got quite a lot of the season left so we’ll just keep going and see where that takes us.”
A cross-party coalition of 28 councillors from three different factions has been formed at Wokingham Borough Council.