Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Yards still looking for first win

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 11:54

The Y's are still at the wrong end of division 3 as a result of losing away to unbeaten Wednesbury.  The visitors made a bright start to the game using their heavy pack to good effect.  However, goalkicker Jamie Walton left his kicking boots behind as he missed a number of early penalty kicks.  Wednesbury took advantage by scoring 2 breakaway tries with one converted to take a half-time lead of 12-0.  Early second half pressure resulted in a close range try for Yards skipper Steve Grainger but that was as good as it got.  The hosts superior fitness saw them score 2 late tries and a penalty to gain a comfortable 25-5 victory.  Good news for the Y's was the return from injury of Dave Rimmer and with Simon Brown resuming training the picture is starting to look brighter.  This Saturday sees the Yards 1st team playing at home to Tamworth in a midlands division 3 game at Tilehouse Lane with free admission to all spectators.

The Yards development squad are still developing!  Captain Ellwyn was a little disappointed by the result against Birmingham Exiles 2nds which saw us slip to a 17-21 defeat in a game that really was there to be won.  He felt that there is a lack of experience in the team and that at times the wrong tactical decisions are made.  However, I guess that the formation of a development team has more pluses than minuses and that it will come together given time.  Regular observer, Steve Mancell, himself once a top class player informs me that the skill and fitness levels in this team are something that our first team would be pleased with.  Try scorers were Tom Grocott, Big Dave Langley and, once again the evergreen Guy Smith.  The next game is against Tamworth.

The Vandals Weekly Report

Well probably our least convincing performance in this game against a committed Exiles side who given the circumstances on the day probably wanted it a little more than we did.
Once again it was shirt sleeves weather and once again we exhibited our customary slow start albeit playing uphill allowing Exiles to race into a first a 7-0 then 12-10 lead.
To make matters worse with one of our first uphill attacks from within our twenty-two we lost our full back Nev with a calf pull. So bit of a shuffle, Coatesy into centre with Chairman & Captain Fitz switching to fullback allowing our latest recruit Ed McDonald formally of Worcester Wanderers to slot in on the wing.
Our first try a good catch and drive from a lineout, then quickly spun out by the Phil "the General" Evans to Dave "Ralph" Rollins allowing Nick "the Barrel" Palmer to crash his way through their defence, being stopped only a few yards short but neatly popped it up into the arms of Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby to bowl over the line 12-5. Conversion "scuffed" (Ralph's words), but our danda up a notch or two.
Our next try was scored by the General (I had to ring him about this as I couldn't remember it, and when asked he simply said "fantastic" I assumed it involved a trademark break and an outrageous dummy), anyway 12-10, conversion missed but definitely game on now, with the pack including Billy "the Guest" Hendon taking the place of Dai (who was realising his dream of playing his ONE game for the Development side) & Shannon really taking it to the Exiles eight. As always Lonie at the fore, with Andy K in support (despite telling me he was having one of those days) and Big Phil as usual flapping those big hands of his and causing all manner of trouble for their line out and air traffic control down the road.
Then rather against the run of play the Exiles scored another converted try 19-10, but no panic as good running by Ed McDonald ultimately sees Coatesy deciding to go the easy way through their pack 19-15, conversion missed (is there a pattern here??)
Then following a short exchange of handbags (during which the General scored...or not as the case may be) the Dodger broke his hand, leading the Lonie to remark to me later in the pub "never hit 'em in the head". Sage words.
Jenksy having carried some form of gwoin stwain for most of the first half finally had to give up the ghost allowing Rick Lowe with his own gwoin stwain to enter the fray in my kit, which he tells me was too big!!!!
A final flurry in their twenty two with us in the ascendency saw the timely arrival of half time for them with the score on 19-12 and with the slope in our favour.
Callum on at half time at scrum half with the General going to openside to join young Crouchy who put in another solid performance around the park. Now Ralph and Coatesy start to spray them with astute tactical (downhill) kicking. One of which results in a lineout to Exiles five or so metres out, who immediately fluff their lines resulting in Roger going over for his second and the Vandals taking the lead for the first time 19-20, Ralph converts 19-22. Andy off and the venerable 60 year old Painter on.
Time then for one of those classic moments following a kick and chase by Stuart Adams showing his searing pace in his Bermuda shorts he breaks through their defence and with the line at his mercy he completely overruns the pill....Man of the Match!
Rather fittingly for Exiles and disappointingly for us an amazingly mazey run by Bill Leckie's 17 year old son Sam who seemed to run from one side of the pitch to the other and back again saw Exiles score what turned out to be the deciding score 24-22, despite lots of pressure, some friendly refereeing around the breakdown and a last gasp long range penalty miss by Ralph.
The view of former Yards second row Nigel 'Gringo' Walker was that if his boy, Adam, had played for us instead of them, the Y's would have won.  Nigel you are probably right mate but we'll never know.

Final score 24-22 gutted.

Next week Tamworth at home.

Finally two IMPORTANT notes:

Guys if you haven't paid your annual membership subs, these are well overdue and are the operating lifeblood of the Club, cheques or cash will do but now fifty quid either way....no pay no play after Christmas

We are also looking at producing a unique Vandals polo shirt, with Club crest and rather fetching Vandal, cost to be advised, but if you are interested can you let me have a chest size in terms of Medium, Large, Extra Large, and XXL or XXXL (you know who you are)

ps Ten of us ended up in the The Boat on the way home having several beers and telling rugby "sea shanties", something we must do again next road trip, if only to bore the younger players shitless of how the game was once played!!!!


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