MAIDENHEAD RFC were crowned South West One East champions following a 38-19 success at relegated Reading Abbey.

The hosts started the brighter team, with strong carries from flankers Ed House and Omar Ellaboudy setting the tempo of the game as Maids struggled to assert themselves.

Mark Toland and lock Chris Shaw combined well in the line-out, but handling errors in contact denied the home side an early score.

The visitors threatened Abbey’s try-line, but a crucial turnover found Gavin Dampies, who sprinted the length of the pitch, showcasing some immaculate footwork to step neatly across the line and allow centre Ollie Walton to convert.

Royal Borough Observer:

Maidenhead (purple) go on the attack against Reading Abbey.

 

Maidenhead soon found their form, capitalising on a turnover deep inside their 22 to exploit Abbey’s fragmented defence, which saw full back Tom Finnie slip through several tackles to score underneath the posts.

Moments later, Ross Muil added a second try after a period of exchanged kicks from either side.

The away side then sent a penalty kick deep into touch on the Abbey five-metre line.

A solid line-out allowed them to pass the ball through the hands to Finnie who was crossed despite a desperate defensive effort by Theo Everett.

A third successful conversion by fly-half Perry Jansen signalled the end of the first half with Maids up 21-7 in front.

The second half saw Abbey lock Chris Shaw release Dampies who in turn passed to Mitchell, and the wing sprinted the length of the pitch to score in the corner.

But Maidenhead responded with the same intensity and were quick to pounce on turnover ball, releasing Ed Keohane to reply to Abbey’s try with one of his own.

Royal Borough Observer:

Action from Maidenhead's win against Reading Abbey.

 

Abbey centre Tom Huggins then made an excellent break, and after some fine forward play then brought the hosts closer to the line, Bevan picked and crossed the whitewash.

But dominant Maidenhead closed the game on their terms, tries from Mark Childerhouse and hat-trick hero Tom Finnie securing them both victory and the league.

Maidenhead conclude their campaign at home to Royal Wootton Bassett on April 22.