Josh Bartlett - second half score
Maidenhead 34 Newbury Blues 17
BLUES were made to pay for a nightmare start they could not erase as Maidenhead put seven points between the sidesto take a step forward in the race for a top two spot.
Blues are now dependent upon Maidenhead and one-point leaders Old Patesians faltering, while the top pair have yet to meet in Cheltenham and Blues must also go to Old Pats next month.
They were all but cast adrift in Saturday’s game within six minutes of the start,a turnover from their own kick-off leading to Christophe Bart touching down in 85 seconds, and fly half Perry Jansen snapped up an interception to streak home from his own half with both tries converted by Tom Finnie.
The home side were sharper to the breakdown and moved the ball quickly from the offloads and it was no surprise when winger Scott Prince touched down a third converted try midway through the half before the visitors got in on the act when Ryan Davis claimed the touchdown after James Macauley and Josh Winfield had led a drive over the line, Nick Wackwitz converting.
But Will Cadden charged down a kick behind the Newbury line for Will Macauley and Finnie to make it 28-7 at the interval, and Blues seemed to be facing a mauling.
They recovered poise and purpose however, but could not reclaim the lost territory, despite being held up over the line no fewer than five times in what could have been a dramatic second period.
Maidenhead pocketed their single penalty chance through Finnie in response to an early Wackwitz effort, and Blues kept plugging away and Josh Bartlett notched a converted try that was not as much as they deserved,and nowhere near enough to undo the earlier damage.
Maidenhead: Finnie; Bartl, Keohane,Hannigan,Prince;Jansen, Childerhouse; Parrott, N.Jones, L. Jones; Barratt, Muil; Cadden, W. Macauley, Long. Subs: Britton, Meek, Burnett.
Newbury Blues: T. Thorne;Walker, D.Thorne, Love, Futcher; Wackwiz, Pigott; Hicks, Drysdsale, J. Macauley; Bastable,Winfield; Davis, D. Stewart,Millar. Subs: G. Stewart, Jones, Bartlett.