- Maidstone Rugby: Are you looking for a new club? We run 6 senior sides so can cater for whatever level you play at. So why not join us at the county town's senior rugby club.
- New Players: Maidstone Rugby welcomes new players of all ages and abilities, see New Players page for contact information. Free membership for members of HM Forces.
- Situations Vacant: Please see the new Club Volunteers page of the website for roles in which the club is looking for volunteers to step forward.
23 May 16: New Players - Maidstone Rugby is Recruiting
Ambitious London 1 (S) club Maidstone Rugby are recruiting for the 2016-17 season and welcome all aspiring senior players, ambitious local players, or players moving to the area or the county town, regardless of level/ability. The club is always looking to strengthen the senior squad for the upcoming 1st XV league and cup campaigns as well as the Kent RFU Invicta and Junior league competitions.
If you are interested in joining a club that has a professional attitude on the pitch but is very sociable off it, then contact Head Coach Mike Hebden via the club website.
Maidstone Rugby is a traditional club with a friendly atmosphere. Located at “The Mote” on the edge of Mote Park close to Maidstone town-centre and its vibrant nightlife. The club runs 4 senior sides every weekend, with the 1st XV playing their rugby in London Division 1 (South) within the English Clubs Championship. In addition they have been the London & SE Division, RFU Senior Vase and Intermediate Cup Champions in three of the last four seasons, reaching the National semi-finals of the Senior Vase competition in 2012 & 2013 and winning the national final of the Intermediate Cup at Twickenham in 2015.
The club has a well-established coaching structure, as well as full physiotherapy and sports science support. Additionally the club has access to broad range of 'state of the art' fitness training facilities through one of the sponsors (Topnotch Health Clubs).
23 May 16: Players Meeting Tues 14th June
A Senior Squad meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th June at the Club. Food will be provided from 7.00pm. Meeting to begin at 7.30pm
This will be an opportunity for the new coaching/management team to present to the players. Pre-season, aims for the season, general information and also the introduction of new coaches/managers will all be covered.
All senior playing members are invited. This is also a great opportunity for new players to visit the club and meet current players and coaches.
14 May 16: 500 Club - April Winners
The winners draw made in April of the final 500 Club draw for the 2015-16 season are as follows:
£100 - Geoff Burr
£50 - Rob Lindsay
£30 - Gordon Diment
You've got to be in it, to WIN it!!
11 May 16: Ups and Downs (updated)
A summary of what happened where, for Kent's clubs.
In National 1, Blackheath just fell off the pace a little in the second half of the season but still finished 3rd behind champions Richmond and Hartpury College in the runner up spot. Their position equalled their best finish over the past decade and was an improvement on last season’s 6th place finish. Interestingly, when looking back over the last 10years at the table, of the 16 sides in the division only Blackheath, Esher and the relegated Wharfedale remain playing level 4 rugby from 10 years ago, with some clubs having dropped as far as Level 7 or 11 in some cases (Manchester (L7) and Halifax (L11)) although the majority playing at levels 4 or 5.
National 2 (S) In a division where the promotion battle ran until the last weekend, once the season passed the mid-point it was always a two horse race between the two sides who dropped down from Nat 1 last season in Cambridge who took the title and Old Albanians who just missed out but secured the playoff spot against Nat 2(N) club Sedgley Tigers, running out 24-0 winners. the result means both cambridge and O Albanians return to National 1 at the first attempt after relegation last time out. Elthamians in their first season at this level finished in 9th position, having never really troubled the promotion chasers but in a division where there were often 10 clubs involved in the relegation battle, they never really looked in any danger. Canterbury on the other hand started the season well and then plummeted into the danger zone and it was only on the penultimate weekend that they were safe, eventually finishing in 10th place, with Launceston, Southend and Dorking all dropping to their respective Nat 3 divisions.
In National 3(SE) a campaign of opposite fortunes for the Kent clubs with Tonbridge Juddian finishing the highest of the county’s clubs. They were always in contention but narrow losses on both occasions to the champions Ldn Irish WG saw them take the runners-up and playoff spot against Barnstaple losing out by a single (30-31) point to the Devon based club. Westcombe Pk were also in contention for a large part of the campaign, but slipped off the pace in the last third of the season, although still finished in a creditable 5th position. Completely opposite fortunes for the last of the counties clubs, as Gravesend drop into London 1 next season after a difficult campaign that saw them relegated, in fact the relegation issues were confirmed mid-way through March in this division, with Eton Manor dropping down after just one season and Essex club Westcliff after just two campaigns at this level.
In London 1 (S) Sutton & Epsom took the honours here with Guildford securing second spot and the playoff against Tring running out 21-26 winners to move up to Nat 3(SE) alongside S&E. Of the counties sides it was Sidcup that looked most likely to kick on from last season’s good form and press for promotion, in the end when opportunities presented themselves they were unable to capitalise on them and ultimately finished fourth, just behind Medway. In their first ever season at this level they had a great campaign on the pitch to finish third, but it was off field issues that marred their season and despite their league placing will drop back to London 2(SE) for the 2016-17 campaign. Maidstone took some time to gel as a side and a scrappy start saw them off the pace, although a strong second half to the campaign saw them end up in sixth. At the bottom, Charlton Park suffered a poor season and are relegated alongside Twickenham, elsewhere in the relegation dogfight, Dover fought it out with Gosport & Fareham as they did last season and whilst Dover ended up clear of the drop zone, Gosport were only saved as a result of Medway’s misfortune.
In London 2 (SE) it was apparent from the outset that the leading contenders would be the sides that finished third and fourth in the previous campaign in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks; as it was equally apparent in the opening month as to who the likely relegation candidates would be. In the end Tunbridge Wells dominated the division, going on to emulate Maidstone’s unbeaten achievements of the previous season and take the title. Sevenoaks just fell off the pace in the latter stages of the season but took the playoff place from Dartfordians and D&B as their nearest challengers. A tight contest against Ldn 2(SW) club Ldn Cornish saw Oaks promoted as Cornish fell to playoff defeat for the second season in succession. At the bottom it was Ashford and Thanet Wdrs that would drop down a division, with the mid-Kent club enduring a winless season and Thanet battling on until their encounter with struggling Crowborough on the penultimate weekend eventually decided the issue
The battle at the top of London 3(SE) was always tight but by mid-season it was obvious that the title battle was between three clubs in Bromley, H&W and Aylesford, although Folkestone were in the mix at the mid-point until a disastrous run of form saw them fall rapidly off the pace to eventually finish ninth. All three promotion chasers had RFU Cup interest as well, but when Bromley exited the competition and with only league honours to aim for they did enough to take the title. In fact it was H&W’s exit at the National semi-final stage of the Cup competitions that seemed to shake their confidence as the runners-up spot went to a final weekend showdown between themselves and Aylesford. H&W narrowly took the spoils leaving Aylesford to try again next season and thankfully not in a position where their points deduction earlier in the campaign could have affected the outcome. At the bottom Uckfield endured a torrid campaign and struggled from the opening fixture whilst Burgess Hill for the second time in recent seasons drop back to Sussex 1 after only a single campaign at this level. Cranbrook started the season well but gradually slipped down the table, although it was the late resurgence of a Dunstonians side that struggled up until mid-February that consigned the Wealden club to relegation. For the rest, it was mid-table congestion, with just 5 points separating 4th and 9th place in the table, with Sussex clubs Pulborough and Eastbourne occupying the leading two of those places.
As was the case last season the Kent 1 battle for promotion proved to be very interesting with four clubs vying for the promotion places. Sheppey, having missed out in the playoffs last season, were confirmed champions well before the end of the season, leaving Beccehamians, Hastings & Bexhill and O Williamsonians in the battle for the playoff spot. It was a contest that ebbed and flowed until the last day of the season with O Williamsonians taking the runners-up place after it had looked like they were out of contention at the start of the last month of fixtures. Unfortunately, they lost out 13-8 at Haywards Heath in the playoff and will remain in Kent 1 for next season. That said, it already looks like an interesting contest for the next campaign. At the foot of the table O Gravesendians struggled throughout and their relegation was confirmed by the end of March, New Ash Green also struggled, but never gave up the fight and with a good run of late season results were able to escape the drop on the last day with Lordswood going down after a run of seven consecutive end of season losses saw them slip down the table and into the drop zone. In Kent 2 the early season battle was quite competitive with four clubs making the early running. By the midpoint of the season it looked have reduced to three with Sittingbourne the front runners and eventual champions returning to Kent 1 at the first attempt, leaving Snowdown to fight it out with Orpington and Foots Cray for the runner-up promotion place. In the end, whilst ending up 10-points off the leaders, they were themselves comfortably clear of third placed Foots Cray to gain promotion and conclude an extremely successful first season back in the leagues. At the foot of the table a points deduction saw Edenbridge propping up the division despite winning more games than both Shooters Hill and Askean above them. In mid-table a mention for the perseverance of Dartford Valley, who finished the season in 9th place, the first time they have not finished bottom of the table since joining the leagues in 2012.
RFU Knockout Competitions
In the RFU knockout competitions not all the county’s clubs enter these days, and that was certainly the case for Tunbridge Wells last season,; but what a difference a season makes, certainly reinforcing the adage “you’ve got to be in it, to win it”! In the RFU Intermediate Cup, Ashford, Colfes and Dartfordians all fell at the first hurdle, with Beckenham, D&B and Thanet going out in either the 2nd or 3rd rounds, leaving Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells as the county’s remaining representatives. Solid quarter-final wins saw them both into the semi-finals with a fortunate draw keeping them apart. On paper at least Sevenoaks looked to have the easier draw but the results told otherwise as Tunbridge Wells hammered Ldn 2(NW) leaders Fullerians 0-53, whilst Sevenoaks overcame Ldn Exiles 17-8. The regional final between the two was competitive for the first half, but Tunbridge wells proved to have too much firepower as they ran out 10-38 winners to move into the National Semi-Finals where they hosted Gloucester based Matson and ran out 29-15 winners to book a place at Twickenham against Cumbrian club St Benedicts. On what was a great day for the club and county, a dominant 56-14 result made it back-to-back wins for Kent clubs, as Tunbridge Wells lifted the trophy to emulate Maidstone’s achievements of the previous season.
In the RFU Senior Vase yet again Kent clubs progressed to the latter stages, with Bromley looking to defend their title. Only three of the seven clubs eligible entered with Folkestone withdrawing from their first round fixture leaving Aylesford and Bromley to carry the flag, although Heathfield & Waldron from just over the border in Sussex also made significant headway in the competition. Bromley eventually fell to H&W 19-16 at the semi-final stage who then went on to take the regional title defeating Aylesford 30-23 in the final. Unfortunately they failed to make the final when following the long trip to Devon for the national semi-final they lost out 24-5 to a Withycombe side that had fallen at the same hurdle last year.
The RFU Junior Vase normally sees a large entry with a preliminary round played early season which saw Askean and Edenbridge bow out; the first round proper also saw Lordswood’s hopes ended along with those of Dartford Valley and Foots Cray. In the third round Beccehamians bowed out to the eventual champions Old Cranleighians, with Sheppey also exiting the competition as well. O Cranleighians also ended Southwark’s hopes in the following round leaving Sussex club Hastings & Bexhill ironically carrying the flag for Kent 1. Unfortunately they then also fell to the eventual champions at the quarter final stage.
Shepherd Neame Kent Cup Competitions
In the county cup competitions the Kent Cup saw few withdrawals and the majority of fixtures played resulting in a Westcombe Pk v Blackheath final and Combe taking the honours as they held on in the closing stages to take the trophy 16-12. The inaugural Shield competition for clubs at levels 7 & 8 saw Sevenoaks through to the final after a narrow win over Colfes, whilst Tunbridge Wells had to play both the shield semi-final against Aylesford on the same day as their national semi-final in the Intermediate Cup, and a young side lost out 47-12 to Aylesford who would eventually go on to beat a Sevenoaks side for whom two games in two days was I big ask by 40-5, especially with their priority being the promotion playoff. In the Plate Maidstone took the honours in a competition where apart from themselves and Canterbury, the other sides appeared to want to avoid playing fixtures. The Vase competition saw Beccehamians and Snowdown progress to the final, with the colliery side capping a fine season back in the leagues with promotion and the Kent Vase in the cabinet. The Salver saw another Kent 2 club overcome opposition from the higher division in the final as like Snowdown, Sittingbourne added the Salver to the Kent 2 title already in their trophy cabinet.
London & SE Promotion & Relegation Summary
(Red font denotes losing playoff finalists)
National 2 (S)
Promoted: Cambridge, O Albanians
Relegated: Launceston, Southend, Dorking
National 3 (SE)
Promoted: Ldn Irish WG, Playoff: Tonbridge Juddians
Relegated: Eton Manor, Gravesend, East Grinstead
( East Grinstead despite finishing 3rd take voluntary relegation to Sussex 1, as a result Westcliff receive a reprieve and remain in Nat 3(SE))
London 1 (N)
Promoted: Amersham & Chiltern Playoff: Tring
Relegated: Luton, Harrow, Barking
London 1 (S)
Promoted: Sutton & Epsom and Guildford
Relegated: Charlton Pk, Twickenham, Medway*
London 2 (SE)
Promoted: Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks
Relegated: Ashford, Thanet Wdrs
London 2 (SW)
Promoted: Cobham, Playoff: Ldn Cornish
Relegated: Basingstoke, Weybridge Vandals
London 3 (SE)
Promoted: Bromley, Heathfield & Waldron
Relegated: Uckfield, Burgess Hill, Cranbrook
London 3 (SW)
Promoted: Camberley, O Tonbridgians
Relegated:Purley John Fisher, Old Mid-Whitgiftians, New Milton & District
Shepherd Neame Kent Division 1
Promoted: Sheppey Playoff: O Williamsonians
Relegated: O Gravesendians, Lordswood
Shepherd Neame Kent Division 2
Promoted: Sittingbourne and Snowdown CW
Promoted: Lewes and Haywards Heath
Shepherd Neame Kent Cup
Winners: Westcombe Park
Runners Up: Blackheath
Shepherd Neame Kent Shield
Winners: Aylesford Bulls
Runners Up: Sevenoaks
Shepherd Neame Kent Plate
Runners Up: Old Dunstonian
Shepherd Neame Kent Vase
Winners: Snowdown CW
Runners Up: Beccehamians
Shepherd Neame Kent Salver
Runners Up: Southwark Lancers
11 May 16: The future man in the middle……
Whilst Maidstone has produced many high profile players, it may well be that we are in the early stages of seeing a new talent emerge in the form of a referee.
Jonathan Ayten is a committed and hardworking U16 prop (who also likes to take the odd place kick!!) and has been with the club since 2010 having previously played at Millwall Rugby Club since he was 7 years old.
In recent years he has been actively pursuing his interest in refereeing having passed both his level 1 and 2 courses. Jonathan is studying at Valley Park who are keen to develop rugby at the school and helped fund his course. The club also provide coaching for a successful after schools rugby club as part of a funding arrangement with Kent Sports.
In order to develop his skills and experience he has been supporting the rugby coaching at the school, ladies on a Monday and U13’s on a Friday. He then ref’s their end of session games, where hopefully they have listened to the advice given!
Additionally he also ref’d u13’s games, a schools tournament and the Women’s and Girls Kent 7’s tournament.
He is a member of the RFU Young Rugby Ambassador programme, receiving his first award for 10 hours of voluntary work in the game.
His application is now in to join the Kent Referees Society….so you heard it here first, keep an eye on this bright youmg talent. Also, as with any referee he is more than willing to offer his opinion however he needs to remember not to do it when he is a prop!
21 May 15: Volunteers Required – Pitchside Board Sales
This season’s Sponsorship & Advertising campaign is progressing well but assistance is required to maximise pitchside advertising sales. The success of the club in being able to generate perimeter board sales in recent seasons has meant that the Sponsorship Manager's role has outgrown what can be achieved and fulfilled by one person. As a consequence the club is looking for a volunteer, or team of volunteers to take on the responsibility for perimeter board sales as a standalone role.
The role could be fulfilled by either a single person, or ideally a small team of volunteers. Whilst the period of the closed season is the busiest period as the club targets funding for the new season and looks to generate sales accordingly; this is a year round role with no defined deadline for achieving sales. Those interested in what is an extremely rewarding role should be proactive in generating and exploring opportunities and display a degree of dynamism and tenacity in pursuing potential leads.
Volunteers are requested to contact Bob Hayton via the Contacts page of the website
For a full description of the role click here.
18 Feb 16: Maidstone Rugby Summer Ball - Sat 16th July 2016
Maidstone Rugby Summer Ball
After an absence of several seasons and thanks to Neil & Sharon Cole, the traditional Summer Ball is back on the events diary.
This years Summer Ball will take place at Oakwood House on Saturday 16th July.
The evening will consist of a 3-course meal, entertainment and a live band.
Or, for ease of payment, payments can be made by card or paypal using the link below:
London & South East Division
London & SE Division 1 (South)
Thats all for this season, don't forget the Summer Ball on Sat 16th July.
Also the Club Golf Day taking place at Bearsted Golf Club on Thurs 14th July.
Keep an eye on the website and social media for details of pre season training commencing in June.
Other Senior Fixtures
(See weekly round-up for all this week's fixtures)
Members & Sponsors Golf Day - Thursday 14th July 2016
posted: March 15 2016
The club is delighted to announce the reappearance on the calendar of a club Golf Day in what we hope will become an annual event. This year’s event will take place on Thursday 14th July at Bearsted Golf Club.
The day will be run with teams of 4 on a full handicap ‘Stapleford’ format; best three scores from four, and is scheduled to start at 1:30pm with coffee and bacon rolls prior to the golf, with tee off times from 2:00pm. There will be a dinner in the evening at 7:00pm to accompany the prize giving.
Dress for the event is normal golfing attire on the course, and smart casual in the evening and guests are welcome at the dinner.
The day provides a great opportunity from both a business and social perspective for teams from both our members and sponsors along with their clients, to mix and enjoy a day’s golf at what is a lovely venue in Bearsted.
The cost for the day is £50 per head (£200 per team of four), If you want to play but don't have a team then the event organiser can find a team for you.
In respect of the event organisation and coordination, this is being led by our immediate Past President, Bob Beney and if you wish to be involved in the event, either as an individual or entering a team, could I ask that communication is directed to him at the contact details below. Those of you who are golfers will know that events such as this prove extremely popular and there are likely to be limited places for teams and individuals, so a prompt indication of interest to Bob would be appreciated.
click here to email Bob Beney
THE 500 CLUB
posted: September 10 2015
Have you joined the 500 Club?
What is the 500 Club? The 500 Club is a cash draw that takes place at regular intervals during the season.
How does the 500 Club work? The 500 Club works on the basis of members entering the 500 Club Fund, the cost is £60 per year (although you can put in more) and members are allocated a number for each £10 contribution. Half of the fund goes towards the prizes and the other half to the club. the size of the fund dictates the size of the prizes, so the more people pay in, the more money is available in prizes. The winning numbers for each prize draw are drawn utilising an electronic random number generator.
How do you join? Collect a form in the clubhouse bar or contact the 500 Club coordinator Bob Beney, either via email (click here) or Mob: 07973 118043.
How do you pay? Payment can be monthly by either standing order or direct debit (available shortly) or annually by cheque or bank transfer.
Can other members of your familly join the 500 Club? YES
What does the money earned by the club get utilised for? Of the total money generated 50% goes into the prize draws for cash prizes, with the remaining 50% into club funds. This season the club has decided to create some additional focus to the use of the 500 Club funds by supporting a specific project within the club. Discussion has identified that there is a real need for additional equipment and machinery to assist the ground chairman in pitch reparations during both the playing and closed season, the money generated by this season’s 500 Club will assist in funding those ground and machinery requirements.
Kent RFU – Associate Membership
posted: September 10 2015
Have you considered becoming a member of Kent RFU? The county’s constituent body is looking to strengthen its membership. For only £10 per year you get the following benefits:
Your own copy of the Annual County Handbook.
2 issues of the Kent RFU ‘In Touch’ Newsletter.
The entitlement to apply for international tickets through the county.
Free entry to RFU County Championship home fixtures.
Free entry to the Shepherd Neame Kent Cup finals day.
For further information or if you have any queries contact Kent RFU Membership Secretary Steve Homewood (click here) and to download a Kent RFU membership form (click here) which should in turn be forwarded to Steve.