Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Thank heaven for the Vandals and the Lads(u 14s)

Tue, 20 Oct 2009 02:41

We must try to look on the bright side again this week but it ain't easy.  Bobo tells me that the reports from all the 1st team games still apply.  In other words we were good at the set pieces failed to take our chances, soft tries conceded, played catch-up which didn't work and found the final 20 minutes hard going in terms of fitness.  Our solitary try from young James Hendrick was not enough as we went down by 5-30, a somewhat flattering margin for Tamworth.  The expression 'deja vu' springs to mind' (front row boys see if you can tell me what it means.  First correct written answer gets a night out with Sid, second prize is two nights!) 

The development squad clearly suffer from travel sickness because a trip to Tamworth was much too far.  Still, two scarey props in Lonie and Sid gave the Tamworth boys something to think about.  Apart from that there was not a lot of positive news to report.  Perhaps Kings Norton on saturday might be a chance to redeem themselves and our youngsters could probably get there on their skateboards in 10 minutes.  Oh, I forgot.  To find out the final score rearrange the numbers 0 5 8 to find a real thrashing.

A brief report from the old guys better known as the Vandals.

First of all a big thanks to Tom Power & Shannon Killarney without whom we wouldn't have had a game. I wonder why referees are not always keen to come to the Old Yards.
Weather finally cloudy & cool but ground still rather hard for our ageing joints.
Following last week I think this was our best performance so far against a very good Tamworth side, with a very big experienced eight and a young set of backs, whom I guess expect to win more often than not.
Quite a few changes from last week with Andy Killarney & John Lonie/Stuart Adams being promoted to the ones & twos respectively and injuries to hookers Dave Jenkins & Rick Lowe meaning a welcome return to former first team legend Steve Mancell. Similarly a long awaited return to action for last years 1st team skipper Steve Cunningham at number 8 having turned down the opportunity to reprise his Vets role at centre; also injuries to Fitzy & Nev and the unavailability of "the Barrell" & Coatsey meaning yet another new midfield partnership in guest Phil "Shire" at 12 and the ever versatile Rob "Posty" Willis at 13, with guest Mike Neary making his debut at 15. In the engine room a welcome Vandals start for the considerable physical presence that is Dave "Thumper" Langley and the return from injury of Nick Levey on the flank , and last but by no means least Dave "Chicken" Hanson returning to the wing (you can see where all the zinc tape is going these days!).
Anyway despite our usual warm up comprising of walking out onto the pitch and unlike previous weeks we set about the task under the leadership of Dai "push me in" Baldwin (that's a flanker joke) right from the whistle and got into them straight away, and there followed the best part of twenty five minutes of non-stop bruising if scoreless action, with neither side giving an inch, but our pack making Tamworth having to work hard to retain their own ball. Lots of action in the backs with Ralphy trying to get the backs running with plenty of moves & crash balls to utilise Phil "Shire's" considerable presence.
Our first clear cut chance following great set piece ball saw the pill distributed crisply by the General and Ralphy going through the hands to Ed McDonald on the wing to pin his ears back, Ed deciding he fancied breaking a few tackles first decided to head in country to rendezvous with their cover tacklers, and being stopped a few metres short of the line. But the Vandals were now at the gate and not long after a great tackle breaking run by Phil "Shire" at inside centre saw him go over mid-way out 5-0. Up steps Ralph using new technology in the form of a nice red kicking tee strokes the ball over for a well deserved 7-0 lead. The remainder of the half saw our front five of Shannon, Steve, Dai, Thumper & big Phil in the ascendency, and the glamour boys of the back row Crouchy, Nick & Steve covering all manner of yards in both defence and attack, with Nick & Steve not at all looking like they'd just come off their injury enforced holidays.
Halftime 7-0 
With Shannon outbidding Dai for the second half's refereeing job Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby comes in at loosehead having broken all manner of speed limits to arrive in time for the break from Oxfordand Gregg "Swiss Army Knife" Allen taking over at hooker, replacing Steve Mancell who had soldiered on despite popping a rib in the game's first scrum!! They don't make them like they used to!
At half time Captain Dai stressed how important it was for us to have the next score, and we duly obliged when from a scrum between the Tamworth twenty two and ten metre line a clean pick up by Steve Cunningham at the base saw him waltz his way through several despairing tackles to score next to the posts. 12-0  Ralph and his new best friend converts 14-0.
More changes sees live wire Callum on and the General off for a short break. 
Next scrum near the halfway line sees Rog's opposite number go hang gliding, his flanker trying vainly to pin his feet on the ground, as our forwards start to turn the screw. The big combative Tamworth blindside gets tackled by Rog and cops all of Rog's weight on the back of his calf...ouch and off he goes, though he says after the game in the bar he hopes it's just a dead leg (and buried)!
The General back on in his alternative position on the flank (hates me for it mind) and Nick comes off after a solid game considering his month's lay off and not being able to see or hear his team mates.
Soon after we spin the ball out from a ruck/scrum/lineout (delete as necessary), the ball flows through the hands to find Mike "Nearly" Neary like all good fullbacks coming up in support on the outside to go over for a superbly taken try (despite some dissension in the Tamworth ranks which Shannon diplomatically ignored) 19-0. Ten metres in from touch Ralph "Goldenballs" Rollins notches his third conversion (big smirk on his face)
Posty comes off and on rumbles Dean Smith in one of his occasional cameos, as does Ed McDonald making way for young Sean Houghton on the wing.
Doubt if Tamworth have been 21-0 down for a while, so we give them the opportunity to score, which they take 21-7.
Our last try sees Phil "Shire" setting off on their ten metre line on a diagonal solo  run (obviously he needs the extra distance these days to get up a good head of steam) before straightening up  fifteen metres out and and about an inch in from the touchline in order to Lomuesquely run over their poor winger and crashing over in the corner 26-7. Ralphy now well and truly in the zone with his magic tee strokes it over 28-7 (cue even bigger smirk). The magic tee now lives in our first aid box!!
The General off and the Colt Arkell on, who with his first touch of the ball rampages 30 metres up the field, an impact sub if ever there was one.
Time for one more converted try by Tamworth's second row & skipper and a cracking last ditch try saving tackle by Sean Houghton.
Game over 28-14, great result & very fine performance all round.

Now on to Sunday

A quick mention about the future of our club.  It was good to see so many of our senior players at the club on sunday morning.  The under 14s, managed very well indeed by Steve Price, played in a triangular fixture.  First up were Redditch who were too strong, very well organised and who beat us 5-24 (or something like that).  Then the Edwardians, again very well coached by Paul Price, took on the Redditch boys but like us were defeated.  Finally, the game we had all come to watch, The Eds against The Ys.  What an absolute treat.  An even match, well refereed by Mr Darren Collingwood of the North Mids Society.  The skill levels of all players were superb, the conduct of the boys and the spirit in which the game was played would have embarrased many senior players.  A very late try by Jack Molloy (a product of the St Thomas Aquinas Academy) clinched a 15-14 win for the Yards with other try scorers including Jack Price, Tim and man of the match Jordan Pinnock-Miller.  To you guys who have not yet been to the club on a sunday morning get yourselves there, watch what goes on and then offer your help in any way you can.  Shannon, Pat and their helpers are brilliant but need help.  Get a coaching badge, take up the whistle, run touch, sort out post protectors and flags, work in the kitchen or on the bar, it doesn't have to be every week.  You would probably enjoy yourselves.

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