Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Wed, 18 Nov 2009 01:13

Bishops Castle 10  v  Old Yardleians 5

The long trek to the Welsh Borders saw Old Yards return home empty-handed on saturday.

On a wet, sticky pitch, OY’s elected to play against a strong wind in the first half, planning to defend opposition pressure early on and to take advantage of the elements in the second half.  From the start, Bishops Castle, through their forwards, drove into and occupied the OY’s 22 for the first 5 minutes or so but dogged defending  kept the home side out. OY’s then got into their stride, and some good ground gained through the backs and good tactical kicking saw the OY’s camped on the Bishops Castle line, and from a controlled forward drive, and a break by  Painter, a try scoring opportunity was set up and well taken on 13 min by fullback Hendrick.

This early advantage was not capitalised on, and play for the rest of the half became scrappy as both sides battled it out in the mud. Although in the lead, what grip OY’s had on the game was slipping due to basic errors when dealing with a wet ball and the muddy pitch . Bishops Castle took advantage of this deterioration, and cranked up the pressure. On 38 min, an infringement gave Bishops Castle a penalty, which was converted to bring the score to 3 – 5 to the OY’s

Still in the lead at the start of the second half, the OY’s were struggling to gain and keep the ball, now with the scrum under pressure. A rare attack was mounted on the Bishops Castle line, but their defence held firm. After 14 minutes the OY’s were unfortunate to lose Painter due to an ankle injury, and he was replaced by veteran second row John Lonie. By now, the match was being played in the OY’s half, and Bishops Castle were enjoying all the significant possession. At 25 min. an attempted long throw was missed by all and snapped up by the home side who scored a converted try under the posts, giving Bishops Castle the lead. The score remained at 10-5 until the final whistle and the Yards must have felt unhappy with their performance with five changes from the previous week not really helping their cause.

Egg’s Army marches on
Our development team who take mainly the second team fixtures continue their quest to play open and attractive rugby. In most games their ability to win first phase ball is limited by opposition experience and sheer weight leaving us to play sparkling rugby off of scraps of possession.  Well this week a front row of Lazenby (its hard to believe that he is only 23), Russell and Mancell were in top form claiming much good ball to release the backs.  Excellent tries were scored by  Sam Richards and Captain Ellwyn with two cons and a penalty by the reliable Andy Rhodes. 

Considering the recent rise to prominence of the Bournville club with their healthy influx of talented players (especially Warner and Charnley from the Aquinas Academy) this result was very impressive.

A special welcome to our South African utility back Bryan DeVett who had a superb game on debut at fly-half.  However, be careful Bryan drinking with Sid might lead you into tricky situations as is one of his duties as club president.


A fairly miserable day greeted us at Marlpool Lane on Saturday, and with a couple of late call ups (you know who you are) we travelled with a bare bones fifteen to Kidderminster, with Captain Slow having to play his first game in six weeks at No.8 as a result.
With like on previous occasions a referee failing to appear, the game was refereed by one of the Kidderminster players (and in fairness apart from the continual first half fringing, the not giving of a penalty try, Callum's talking to and Ralph's shirt pull right at the death he did alright)
With Kiddy winning the toss they elected to play with the elements in the first half, they being wind and light rain. On the park with twelve, not ideal lads, we managed to string the kick off along until first Gary "BMT'" Williams, elegantly strode on the pitch, followed by The Pres in his blue over shirt (not wanting to loose any body heat from his intense pre-match warm up...ok dump)...but where was our fifteenth man?? Ah Cedric having some technical difficulties of the ophthalmic kind (no not from all that herby smoke) but his contact lenses. So we start the game with fourteen; I know we all have our meet time moments but would be nice if we are all here, to be on the pitch when the whistle goes.
No mugs our hosts with a big experienced pack like ours (read old) and a youngish set of backs (unlike ours) they started from the off and within a very few minutes they secured good ball which was spun out to one of their whippets out on the wing who then showed a clean pair of heels to round our over-stretched (remember only 6) defence to score out wide. Conversion missed 5-0 down. Cedric finally arrives parity and 20-20 vision restored.
And then as in previous weeks we start to apply ourselves with our equally large pack taking it to them with stand-in second row big Bill Burrows making his first competitive start in three years looking like he'd never been away and Phil "Banahan" Goldbourne & Nick Levey prominent in the lineouts despite the wind making throwing in difficult (pay me later Sid) and our scrums looking solid with Shannon, Pres & Dai Baldwin not giving an inch especially given the twenty four stone behemoth up against Shannon (shows what good technique can do). The first half really tested our defensive mettle with some great defence throughout, with Fitz and the Barrel standing firm in the midfield. General Evans in his position B showing that there is a really good openside waiting to get out, harassing their halfbacks time and time again.
A new half back pairing this week of Gary "Quartz" Williams and Callum Killarney the latter having a really good match up with their equally young scrum half, with lots of niggle and discussion about the definition of "straight", ending with the ref finally getting the hump with Killarney Jr just before halftime.
Halftime 5-0. The behemoth seen off and we discuss the importance of getting the first score after the break now the elements are in our favour.
Kiddy kick off and we contrive to put ourselves under pressure, and from that Kiddy score close to the posts 10-0 conversion 12-0.
More Kiddy pressure sees a phenomenal tackle on our goal line by Man of the Match Nick Levey to deny Kidderminster a probably unassailable 19-0 lead, not only tackling but showing great technique in getting under his man. Nick had an outstanding game as both two jumper and in defence.
This was the spur we needed and Kiddy didn't look like threatening our line again and after a great series of phases with the Vandals at the gate the pressure finally tells and Kiddy give away a penalty, Captain Slow opts for points and new fullback Dave "Ralph" Rollins steps up with his magic tee 12-3
Everything starts to click and one great bit of interplay starting with Shannon showing his full repertoire of three-quarter skills sees the ball pass through a host of hands to Ian Neville only to be denied wide out by some equally gritty defence.
Minutes later a fine individual run from the Kiddy 22 sees Gary "Rolex" Williams waltz through their defence to score near the posts, 12-8 conversion narrowly wide but Kiddy's youngsters noticeably beginning to wilt under the pressure. Even "their" referee has had enough sending Kiddy back extra tens on two or three occasions for whingeing.
Another penalty Slow opts to kick and Ralphy strokes it through 12-11 with time running out and despite lots of pressure and a last minute controversial chip & chase by Ralph we fall just short. Final score 12-11
We can be very proud of this performance, not many sides I imagine give Kiddy this much of a run on their park.Well done, even though I did end up drinking on my own in the Bell!!


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