Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Will October bring a change in fortunes?

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 12:52

Let's start from another angle this week.

On Wednesday 30th Sept. the Vets will play in what looks likely to be an annual fixture against Kings Norton Vets under their floodlights at 7.00pm.  We played champagne rugby last year, running them off their feet, but I anticipate a much closer game this time.

It was good to see our vice-presidents gathering for their yearly treat of pork pie, curly sandwiches and chickens legs (not Dave Hanson's).  The banquet along with sparkling rugby and free car parking must seem a real bargain at only £150 a year.  Joking apart, it's good to see you old b*****s every now and again but the extra-dry sausage rolls are not available every week!

This Saturday sees the celebration of a legend. Any of you who have played with this guy will recall how he intercepts your passes with knock-ons, wanders offside at lineouts and, more painfully, stands on your arms and legs in rucks.  But the legend lives on and the player with the all-time record of Old Yards appearances,699 so far, will be celebrating his 60th birthday with a party at the club this Saturday.  The buffet will be fresh and of the highest quality, the live band will get you on your feet, (dancing, not going home) and he doesn't even want a big present, saying a nice card would do.  Did I mention this man's name? If you haven't guessed, its Steve Painter.  Join him on saturday and bring your wives and girlfriends but not both.

Reports from last Saturday

First XV - I feel a little sorry for the first team at the moment.  They played some very good rugby against Moseley Oak in attack and defence but didn't really get the breaks they deserved.  A first half try by inspirational skipper Steve Grainger gave us a 5-0 interval lead.  However, the pace of the game added to the hot weather took their toll on our lads.  We made careless errors with the try line beckonning and were made to pay as the more mobile opposition ran in 4 second half tries as we chased the game.  With a bit more fortune and a little more work on player fitness, I feel sure that we will come good.  This week's trip to Newcastle ( the one in Staffs) should prove to be a good place to begin the recovery from what has been the club's worst start to a season for 12 years

Development XV - The Development xv visited Aston Old Eds, a club that's been on a relative high for a couple of seasons.The flying welshman, skipper Ellwyn, made it clear what was needed from his team and that was to concede fewer points than the 36 leaked last week.  A game full of commitment followed and our law enforcement officer, Nick (Lurch) Allen, was soon to see life from the other side as he was banged up for 10 minutes by the judge/referee. Guided by the experience of Marcus Hope and Dave Hanson, the young lads played well and tries were scored by Lee Couples x2, Martin Cain and Lewis Williams who also kicked 3 conversions. However, Aston managed to score 34 points which was just enough for a narrow victory.  On the positive side, fewer points conceded than last week!  This coming saturday sees the boys provisionally playing Five Ways 2nds, probably at home (subject to confirmation)

The Vandals/Vets/3rds continue to flourish

Dunno bout you lot but I'm beginning to wish for rain when I get up on Saturday! It was nice cool & cloudy early doors but then as in the previous three weeks the sun shone down on us again, making it hard for the over forties.
A side again showing several changes, including a new (and younger) midfield pairing (Cedric where were you?) took on an experienced Aston Old Edwardians side with several ex-first teamers from my generation, including a guy so huge he had to wear his own shirt probably built by Cammell Laird, as they obviously didn't have one his size in their playing strip.
As with the previous week we started well and took the attack to Aston, and within the first few minutes we spun the ball out as far as our newest recruit Lee Coates at outside centre who ignited his afterburners 40 metres out cutting through their defence to score under the posts, converted by our stand-in-stand-off Ian Neville.
With a gentlemanly understanding reached by our front row of Dai, the Pres (guesting as hooker) and Rick whereby own ball was guaranteed Subbuteo style at the scrum we tried to run the ball wherever possible with a new half back pairing of Phil & Nev and our other new recruit Nick "the barrel" Palmer doing exactly what it said on the can barrelling through their midfield, releasing Coatesy for a second and then his hat trick. Then Pickle on the wing finally managed to get a pass and literally sauntered in under the posts (note to all wingers) with Nev adding all three conversions. 28-0 up within twenty five minutes.
Our lineout was back to taking lots of good ball with Matt Spence (aka 'Crouch) being chucked into near orbit at four, who also had an oustanding game in the loose making a number of haul down last ditch tackles along with Chairman Fitz at fullback doing what he enjoys most knocking people on their ar*es in spectacular fashion. I thought our defence was really good this week with a lot of "lost cause" defence working time after time, we must be getting fitter chaps; in fact it took some black magic at a lineout just before half time to finally break our line with a very pre-emptive peel by their skipper taking their ball at the front of the line and going over in the corner, the conversion being missed.
At half time we tucked into our Lucozade and the Pres opted to go join the VP festivities with Shannon coming on at loose and Rick moving to hooker, and with Mark now having sweated out his alcoholic excesses from the night before the front row seemingly decided to rip up the gentlemanly agreement with their opposite numbers and test them out a bit, with the ref (in his first game incidentally) having to have words to restore sweetness & light.
As discussed at half time we did get the first score after half time with Lee going over for try number four again converted by Nev, and then with a 100% kicking record Ian decided to go put his slippers on. That meant Callum moving in off the wing to his more accustomed scrum half position, and the General moving to outside half. With try number five on the board  the conversion unluckily missed by Ricky Wilkinson, Coatesy also decided he'd done enough damage to Aston's morale and went off for a rest causing all manner of problems for Captain Flounder moving out onto the wing, then centre then back to blindside. That also meant Dave Hargreaves returning to the fray on the wing and again showing his electric pace on a couple of occasions, once notably on the outside leaving his opposite number for dead and setting up a great attack that sadly went unrewarded.
With lots of tries being scored the restarts amounted to catching practice for the ball magnet that is Steve Rabone. Our No.8 Roger Lazenby's unusual claim to fame this week was to get Aston's skipper their w*nker of the week award; not for the first time during the game saw Rog's arm lingering somewhat tardily around the ball on the deck. Their skipper deciding to encourage Rog to move with what he assured me after the game was going to be a "little dink" on the forearm wound one up and let it go, only for Rog to obligingly move with sublime timing resulting in their skipper slotting their prop on the head.
Late on with a lineout in our twenty two saw some no small amount of cunning akin to Aston's earlier effort; a four ball going backward was called with their pod going backwards Dai dropped one short on Andy Killarney at the front who then proceeded to gallop towards the line (ok the ten metre) before being hauled down. Sadly the support still going backwards at the line took a day or two to reach Andy as we had to go the long way!! But great thinking all the same. In the dying minutes we even managed to sneak two of Matts mates onto the park in their nice shiny Umbro shorts, with one sorry I didn't get his name showing great pace and having a great run up the wing. With legs tiring Aston managed one more score, again unconverted. Whistle blown another win 40-10.
Despite Lee's awsome five try haul this weeks man of the match goes to Matt Spence for his work in the lineout but mainly for his cover defence and for being all over the park.
And yes I know the penalty clerance kick was SH*TE and I wont do it again.....ever.
For those who are old enough Vets game under lights at Kings Norton on Wednesday meet at KN 6pm ish, hoping to get game under way an hour later.
Next Saturday in the sunshine sees the Vandals v Warley twos at home.

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